Archive for the 'Steffi Graf' Category
Tags: Amelie Mauresmo, Anna Kournikova, Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova, Martina Hingis, Serena Williams, Steffi Graf, Venus Williams
Looking strikingly different from the pony-tailed star who ruled tennis courts till 1999, Stefanie Maria Graf made a charming appearance at an event hosted by her husband Andre Agassi on Saturday.
Dressed in a black-and-white, animal print gown, Steffi looked stunning as she posed for shutterbugs with Agassi.
The two were attending the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation for Education’s Grand Slam for Children benefit concert at Wynn Las Vegas hotel and casino on Saturday. The event was attended by celebrities such as Lionel Richie, Macy Gray, Chris Daughtry, Tim McGraw and Brian McKnight.
The foundation, which has raised $75 million through concerts since 1994, funds the school where low-income students get financial support. Students are chosen through a lottery.
The school has been the centre of the couple’s life for some time now.
“The most emotional moment of his (Agassi’s) social commitment was honouring the students from the first graduation class of his Andre Agassi Preparatory Academy…” Graf writes in her blog.
The winner of 22 Grand Slam titles, 40-year-old Graf has also been involved in charitable work. The only player to have won all four Grand Slam singles tournaments at least four times each, she has her own charity ‘Children for Tomorrow’. She was recently spotted enjoying a vacation at Capri in Italy with her husband and two children.
“It’s amazing how quick life goes by when you have children.”
Former Wimbledon champions Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf will return to the All England Club in May to try out the playing conditions under the new Centre Court roof.
Agassi and Graf—who are husband and wife—will join Kim Clijsters and Tim Henman for a series of exhibition matches on May 17, five weeks before the Wimbledon tournament.
The event—dubbed “A Centre Court Celebration”—is designed to test the new roof and air management system with live matches in front of a capacity crowd of 15,000.
The program will feature a men’s singles, a women’s singles and a mixed doubles match. The matches will be played in a pro-set format—the first to eight games, with a tiebreaker at 8-8.
Tickets, which will cost $50, will go on sale March 12.
The new sliding roof will help alleviate Wimbledon’s perennial rain delays.
The traditional roof overhang on Centre Court was removed after the 2006 tournament, leaving the grass surface more open to the elements in 2007. The overhang was back in 2008, along with 1,200 extra seats.
The Wimbledon tournament will be held June 22-July 5.
“Though this project has been a sophisticated engineering feat, we always wanted to capture the essence of Wimbledon’s history and tradition in a new, modern Centre Court which itself would still be celebrated as the stage of some of the most memorable moments in tennis,” All England Club chief executive Ian Ritchie said.
“With players of the caliber of Agassi, Graf, Clijsters and Henman, this test event promises to be hugely entertaining. Brilliant players, great tennis, an iconic venue and the chance to be part of Wimbledon history—what more could one want?”
Agassi, who retired in 2006 with eight career Grand Slam titles, won Wimbledon in 1992 and lost in the 1999 final to Pete Sampras.
“I have great memories of playing at Wimbledon and to be among the first to play under the new Centre Court roof is really exciting,” he said.
Graf retired in 1999 with 22 major titles, including seven Wimbledon crowns.
“There is no tennis venue more special to me than Centre Court at Wimbledon,” the German said. “It just doesn’t get any better. I couldn’t be more honored to play there again with my husband Andre, and tennis greats Kim and Tim. It will mean so much to return to Wimbledon and … relive so many wonderful memories.”
Clijsters, the 2005 U.S. Open champion, twice reached the Wimbledon semifinals and retired from tennis in 2007. Her only career match against Graf came in a fourth-round loss at Wimbledon in 1999.
“It was quite an experience,” Clijsters said. “I was very nervous to play against my idol and because of the rain the match took two days to finish. The new roof will prevent that this time around.”
Henman, Britain’s former No. 1 player, reached the Wimbledon semifinals four times.
“Wimbledon’s Centre Court was always a special place for me,” he said.
I figure that a bet on the winner of the 2020 World Cup of Soccer should get me odds of at least 100:1, or a bet on the winner of 2020 Baseball World Series should get me odds of at least 250:1, I’m ready to place a bet of $100 on the winner of the 2020 Australian Open Tennis Tournament if someone will give me odds of 500:1. Obviously it will not be a player who is currently a member of the ATP tour; 12 years from now Federer will be closing in on 40, Nadal will be 34, and all the young guns of today will have passed their primes and be over 30! My bet must be on a player who has yet to decide whether or not he will even want to play tennis, let alone becoming a champion, should he decide to play. Maybe 500:1 is not enough!
I’m a firm believer in genetics when it comes to sports. I also believe that being good at a particular sport for many individuals just happened to a choice made by circumstance rather than initial desire. What I mean by that is that most excellent athletes could be the best at any sport they chose to specialize in. For instance, I believe a great tennis player could also have been equally good at golf or cycling or cricket, if he or she had decided to put the same energy into learning that sport. So it follows that if Mum and Dad were exceptional athletes, Super Stars, or Olympic champions, then their offspring have a similar chance of being exceptional athletes. Just read the biographies of the top players in any sport, many of them have parents who excelled in one sport or another, but not necessarily the one in which the son or daughter pursued.
If my parents just happened to be two of the best tennis players that ever played the game of tennis, that between the two of them won 30 Grand Slams, 8 of those in Australia, 175 career singles titles, 2 individual Olympic Gold medals, and combined earnings approaching $55 million, then I would have to say that genetically the odds are in my favour that I will become a great tennis player in my own right. Now maybe Mum and Dad will decide that they don’t want either their son or daughter following in the family tradition, but knowing how competitive each of them was when they were active players, I would bet that seeing one of their kids standing on the podium as their country’s flag is raised, or seeing the hoisting of the Cup at the Australian Open would be such magic moment of satisfaction that neither of them as parents would not find it overwhelming. I’m betting it happens in 2020.
Jaren Gil Agassi was born in 2001, just do the math and you’ll figure out that he’ll be 19 when the 2020 Aussie Open rolls around. The perfect age! Maybe his kid sister Jaz Elle will prove to be recipient of the family’s genetic heritage, if so I’ll add her to my exacta ticket!