Steffi Graf, first and only Golden Slam champion

The Beatles once sang, “You say you want a revolution, but you tell me it’s evolution.” We all want to change the world, but in that groundbreaking and exceptional 1988 season, Steffi Graf succeeded. Open Australia The Australian Open was always regarded as the worst of the four Grand Slam competitions prior to the 1988 competition.

As the competition shifted from Kooyong to Flinders Park—now called Melbourne Park—in the brand-new National Tennis Center, everything changed. The majority of players approved of the Rebound Ace playing surface, which is made of acrylic and polyurethane rubber for cushioning, according to the Guardian.

Richard Evans of the Times said that he had seen the most neutral surface to date. In the semifinals, Chris Evert, the third seed, unexpectedly defeated Martina Navratilova. In the 34th Grand Slam final, Evert would compete for her 19th championship against the formidable Steffi Graf.

After just one game, I thought to myself, ‘What the hell am I going to do?'” remarked Janine Thompson, the opponent from the second round. Fraulein Forehand lost just thirteen games in the first four matches. In the quarterfinals, she defeated the reigning champion Hana Mandlikova 6-2 6-2, and in the semifinals, she defeated her countrywoman Claudia Kohde-Kilsch in just 45 minutes.

Graf took a 6-1 5-1 lead in the title match, and things continued along the same path. Evert battled back, but in the tiebreaker, she gave up and lost to the German in five straight sets. Optimism Graf never had a perfect season, unlike Martina Navratilova in 1983, as she lost to Gabriela Sabatini twice in the first round of the season: once in the Boca Raton final and once in the Amelia Island semifinals.

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