Tuesday, June 12, 2012
40 greatest female athletes: Steffi Graf
A monster forehand and immaculate footwork helped Steffi Graf capture 22 Grand Slam singles trophies.
ESPN is marking the 40th anniversary of Title IX by unveiling the top 40 female athletes of the past 40 years.
When she was 18, Steffi Graf took down a legend in the finals of the French Open. A year later, Graf won the "Golden Slam," claiming all four majors and winning the gold medal at the Seoul Olympics.
In all, the No. 9 woman in ESPN's countdown won 22 major singles titles, second all-time for women and men, and was ranked No. 1 in the world for 186 consecutive weeks.
"She would be out on the courts in the early morning putting in the work," says former men's tour player Brad Gilbert, who coached Graf's husband, Andre Agassi. "She was always putting in the work. When somebody is that great and working harder than anybody else, that's when you get absolute greatness."