The world of tennis is no stranger to captivating rivalries and partnerships that ignite passionate debates among fans.
Amidst the excitement of the Wimbledon Championships, a Twitter discussion brought attention to the enduring legacy of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.
However, a fan’s comment about the disproportionate attention given to certain legends raised eyebrows, prompting Martina Navratilova to question the absence of another iconic figure, Steffi Graf.
Navratilova’s response shed light on Graf’s low profile and her absence from the prestigious tournament.
Martina Navratilova raises questions about Steffi Graf’s Wimbledon involvement
On Twitter, fans were praising the long-standing rivalry between Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. However, one fan expressed their dissatisfaction with the excessive attention given to certain Wimbledon legends, including Evert and Navratilova.
Responding to this criticism, Martina Navratilova raised an intriguing question about Steffi Graf’s absence. She remarked, “And when was the last time you saw Steffi here at Wimbledon? She did not come for the amazing celebration of former champions last year. She is keeping a really low profile – so not sure about any airbrushing.”
Yes, I didn’t frame my original post very well. But here in Britain, at Wimbledon, certain legends get all the attention and, I have to say, sycophantic adulation. It’s a club in more ways than one. Other champions are airbrushed from discussions – Ann Jones, Evonne even Steffi.
— Michael Daly (@mjdaly57) July 9, 2023
Steffi Graf, widely acknowledged as one of the greatest female tennis players of all time, has consciously maintained a relatively secluded presence in recent years. Her absence from the significant event honoring former champions at Wimbledon last year raised eyebrows among fans and pundits alike.
Graf’s decision to keep a low profile has sparked speculation regarding the reasons behind her intentional detachment from the tennis spotlight.
Does Steffi Graf have a genuine reason for staying away from the limelight?
Steffi Graf’s absence from the tennis scene is not a recent phenomenon. She is seldom seen at major tournaments, instead making occasional appearances for sponsors or her charity, the Children of Tomorrow.
Doris Henkel, a German journalist who covered 19 of Graf’s 22 major titles, affirms that Graf had always made it clear that once her career was over, she would leave tennis behind.
Henkel explains, “She loved the competition, but all the rest was a burden for her. She didn’t like press conferences or the PR stuff, so it’s no surprise to me we don’t really see her.”
For Graf, the private life has become a source of contentment and fulfillment. In an interview with ESPNW in 2016, as reported by USA Today, she expressed, “I just don’t think of my career much.
I think [it’s because] I had such peace of mind that I felt I gave my sport everything.” Graf further shared her gratitude for what tennis provided her, saying, “It gave me what I have now – Andre, my family, and the time to spend with them. I’m extremely grateful.”
This certainly answers the fan’s question about Wimbledon ignoring the records of Graf. It shows how each legendary name in the sport has different views about staying connected with the sport after their retirement.