The media dubbed it the “Golden Grand Slam” and her quest to attain it began in 1988 at the Australian Open. There she defeated the greatest tennis player Chris Evert in the finals to score the first win of the big tournaments that could earn her a Grand Slam title.
When the French Open rolled around, Steffi Graff successfully defeated Natasha Zvereva in a final that lasted only thirty-two minutes. Surprising since Zvereva had handily dispatched favorite, Martina Navratilova in the fourth round. Steffi Graff now left France taking with her that second prize in her quest to be a Grand Slam winner.
Then Steffi Graf came to Wimbledon, the tournament that had been ruled by best female tennis player Martina Navratilova for six straight years. Steffi trailed Martina in the final before coming from behind to win. Martina, the “queen of Wimbledon” was dethroned and Steffi was headed to the US Open and a possible Grand Slam, and it was still 1988!
Graff faced Gabriella Sabatini in a three-set final at the US Open to clinch that Calendar Year Grand Slam title, a truly special accomplishment for the young player since it had only been managed twice before in tennis history, first by Maureen Connolly Brinker in 1953 an then Margaret Court in 1970.
Steffi, however, wasn’t finished, yet. The 1988 Olympics offered Steffi Graff a “golden opportunity”. In Seoul, she defeated Sabatini again, 6-3, 6-3 in the Gold Medal match to take home an Olympic Gold Medal and to earn what has been referred to since as the “Golden Grand Slam”.