Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 28th 2013 Contents A61
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...to set career major title record
American Serena Williams reacts after a point against Victoria Azarenka
of Belarus en route to winning the women's singles final of the US Open
tennis tournament on September 8 in New York. AP PHOTO
NEW YORK---Steffi Graf s career
ended with 22 Grand Slam singles
titles at age 30 because of injuries.
The tennis great doesn t see anyone
stopping Serena Williams from
becoming the career leader in major
titles, if she stays healthy.
Williams earned her 17th major
title at the US Open this month, and
Graf believes Williams will surpass
career leader Margaret Court (24).
"She s got a lot of tennis left in
her," Graf said yesterday. "I can easily
see her pass all of our records. I don t
see the competition catching up to
her at all."
Williams, who turned 32 on
Thursday, is one major championship
away from matching the 18 titles
held by Chris Evert and Martina
"Her body has been holding up
really well," said Graf, who was hin-
dered by knee injuries. "She s so
strong and has such a powerful
game. She has a chance to overpower
her opponents, and she s shown that
over and over."
The versatile Graf used her pow-
erful forehand and exceptional foot-
work to win seven Wimbledon titles,
six French Opens, five US Opens,
and four Australian titles.
She s the only singles player---male
or female---to win the calendar year
Golden Grand Slam. This year marks
the 25th anniversary of her winning
all four Grand Slam titles and the
gold medal at the 1988 Seoul
In her final season in 1999, Graf
beat a 17-year-old Williams in Syd-
ney and lost to her at Indian Wells.
Those meetings were memorable.
"You can feel a strong energy and
determination," Graf said. "That can
be definitely intimidating playing
against her. You know there s a force
on the court. Obviously, she tries to
take points over, then you feel pres-
sure to be aggressive.
"Even in her young age, she and
her sister (Venus), they just had a
really strong presence on the court."
Yesterday, Williams was guaran-
teed to finish the year with the No
1 ranking for the third time in her
career. Graf achieved that feat a
record eight times.
She won 107 singles titles, finish-
ing third on the WTA list after
Navratilova (167) and Evert (157).
Graf captured an astounding seven
of eight majors from 1988-89 in her
prime. If Serena wins two majors
each in the next three years, she
would pass Graf by the end of the
"We ll see how mentally and phys-
ically she s able to preserve herself
over the next few years," Graf said.
"I don t think anybody s ever played
that far, that kind of tennis, at her
age. I ll be curious to follow her."
Graf noticed the improved play of
Williams this season.
"I thought she really put it together
well in her matches this year---deter-
mined, focused," Graf said. "She s
seemed to have found an inner calm
on the court."
These days, the 44-year-old Graf
and husband Andre Agassi are busy
raising 11-year-old Jaden and 9-year
old Jaz, who enjoy baseball and
"They re really active, I guess
they ve caught that from their par-
ents," she said, laughing. "Jaden has
been playing baseball for about five
years, he plays club ball, loves it. He s
got a really intense schedule. When
I look back at my tournaments at
that age, he surpasses that easily.
"Jaz, the last three years, she s
really loving dance, hip-hop. It s
been fun seeing her branch out into
something that might not be as nat-
ural for her. But she s coming out of
her shell and really enjoying it."
Instead of tennis, Graf now relishes
lower-impact biking, Pilates and
"For me, working out is essential,"
she said. "It s something, not only
physically I need. I need it for my
state of mind. It helps me to take
some time for myself and organize
my thoughts, and it gives me energy
Graf attended a Longines "Women
Who Make A Difference" event in
New York on Thursday night and
promoted her foundation "Children
for Tomorrow," which works with
youth traumatised by war.
Agassi s College Preparatory Acad-
emy, which began in Las Vegas, has
expanded to 25 charter schools
nationwide, including another school
in Detroit and two schools opening
in Florida, she said.
"It s really personal and really
important to us, and we share that
intimately," Graf said before flying
back to their home in Nevada. "It s
the future of the country. It s giving
kids a chance, with education, to
make their own choices later in life.
"It s pretty moving when you see
some of the responses of the par-
In this March 13, 1999, file photo, Serena Williams, from Palm Beach
Gardens, Florida, holds the Evert Cup tennis tournament trophy as she
stands alongside Germany's Steffi Graf after winning 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in Indian
Wells, California. Williams earned her 17th major title at the US Open this
month. Graf, who won 22 titles, believes Williams will surpass leader
Margaret Court at 24. AP PHOTO
defender Sol Campbell believes
there is a prejudice against
black coaches in England and
expects to have to go abroad to
fulfill his managerial ambitions.
Campbell, who won 73 caps
for England and also played for
Arsenal and Tottenham, retired
in May 2012 and is completing
qualifications to start coaching.
There are, however, only four
black managers employed by
England s 92 professional clubs.
"I want to start abroad,"
Campbell says in an interview
with the Guardian. "There are
no opportunities for me here,
not until attitudes change any-
"I ve spoken to other black
players who want to coach and
they feel the same, that attitudes
here are archaic. I hope and pray
the environment changes." AP
Campbell criticises attitude toward black coaches
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