“I am crying and going crazy on this small plane at 1 o’clock in the morning,” Steffi Graf said as she was flown to Heidelberg for emergency care following her shocking Wimbledon SF loss.

Once, Steffi Graf described the terrifying incident she had when traveling to Germany for emergency medical attention on a small aircraft. The incident happened following her unexpected withdrawal from the 1990 Wimbledon Championships.

Graf lost to Monica Seles 7-6(6), 6-4 in the French Open final in 1990, a turbulent season marked by her father Peter’s paternity scandal and its apparent negative effect on her on-court performance.She went home to Germany and consoled herself by getting behind the wheel of a Formula 3 racing car. Though she was reluctant at first, the German discovered that her time on the racetrack brought about a much-needed change in outlook, which gave her newfound resolve going into Wimbledon.

As the top seed and two-time defending champion, Graf seemed in excellent form going into Wimbledon, easily defeating opponents like Meredith McGrath, Jennifer Capriati, and Jana Novotna en route to the semifinals.

She struggled, though, and lost shockingly to Zina Garrison 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in the semifinals. The German’s incredible run of 13 straight Major Finals appearances came to an end with the loss.The difficulties didn’t stop there; shortly after her death, Steffi Graf contracted a respiratory ailment that required immediate medical attention and a transfusion, which sent her to Heidelberg.Recounting her horror, the German revealed that she was on the little plane at 1:00 am, “crying and going crazy” due to severe pain in her ears from the pressure.

 

 

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