Steffi Graf: The Legend of Tennis

World No. 1 and US Open champion Iga Swiatek speaks to CNN in her hometown of Krakow, Poland. By Sara D. Davis May 15, 2012 10:25 a.m. ET In an era when women’s tennis…

Steffi Graf: The Legend of Tennis

World No. 1 and US Open champion Iga Swiatek speaks to CNN in her hometown of Krakow, Poland.

By

Sara D. Davis

May 15, 2012 10:25 a.m. ET

In an era when women’s tennis is a sport in which the top players are treated as equals in terms of career, there are only a handful of female players whose fame transcends time as well as space; namely, Steffi Graf, Gabriela Sabatini, Serena Williams.

That’s the way it seems to this mother of sons, who for years has followed these women, from the court to their homes to their children.

In the course of this interview, Graf tells CNN her love for the sport comes first, followed by her love of the people who make it all happen. “I really just have a deep respect for people who are great athletes, and I think the same goes for people who make great families,” Graf says. “These are really important things to me. … I’ve always been very committed to the women’s game, and I hope to be around for a long time.”

For those who might not know, here’s what Graf has to say about her love of the game and about her family.

CNN: Where did you learn to play tennis?

Steffi Graf: My parents played, but they were, you know, at an early age. I was very much into the whole sport of tennis. I was in junior tennis, you know, and my parents were involved with it. My dad started out at the age of nine, and my mom really just was into it. My grandmother really was into it, and so I kind of came into this profession of tennis at an early age.

You know, that was something that we always thought about, why is it in the history books and the history of sports that it’s always about sportsman? People always say, “There was no time before sports”. Well, there is no time before sports. It is always

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