"I don't think you're ever prepared for those kinds of things" - When Steffi Graf opened up about her father's tax evasion scandal

Steffi Graf opened up on the impact of her father
Steffi Graf opened up on the impact of her father's tax-evasion scandal on her career

Steffi Graf opened up about how she was affected by her father's tax-evasion scandal.

The German is among the greatest tennis players of all time and has enjoyed a stellar career, winning 22 Grand Slam titles. Graf's father Peter, who was an instrumental figure during the early stages of her career, became embroiled in a few scandals over the years.

One such scandal came to light in 1995 when Peter Graf was arrested on charges of tax evasion (12.3 million Deutsche Marks), for which he was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison in January 1997. His sentence was later cut short and he was later released in April 1998.

During an interview in 2000, Steffi Graf was asked how her father's tax-evasion scandal affected her career. She responded by saying that one is never prepared for things like that.

"I don't think you're ever prepared for those kinds of things. I got the news when I got off a plane from Atlanta, en route to getting some physical therapy for a knee injury. This guy travelling with me said, 'Look, there's your brother Michael.' I had this terrible feeling, because at the time Michael was living in New York, with his pregnant wife, Elaine. My first reaction was that something went wrong with the pregnancy. I went right over to him and he just said. 'Father's in jail. It has something to do with taxes.' So it started all over again," Steffi Graf said.

"I couldn't escape into my work" - Steffi Graf expressed frustration at living 'uncomfortably' under spotlight

Steffi Graf in action at the 1995 Wimbledon Championships.
Steffi Graf in action at the 1995 Wimbledon Championships.

Speaking on the same topic, Steffi Graf bemoaned the lack of privacy she had in her life and expressed her frustration at not being able to take a step back from a big problem and evaluate it objectively.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion stated that she lived uncomfortably in the spotlight and could not immerse herself in her profession as the ever-present media would not let her stick to just being an athlete.

"One of the most frustrating things is that when ever I had a big problem, like that one, I just wanted to step back from it so I could evaluate the situation objectively, but I couldn't do that," she said.
"I've lived, uncomfortably, in the spotlight. I couldn't escape into my work, because the press was always there, ready to remind me, wanting answers or comments, often before I was ready to give them," she added.

Peter Graf passed away in November 2013, aged 75.

What are Andre Agassi-Steffi Graf’s children doing now? Everything to know about Jaz & Jaden Agassi

Quick Links

Edited by Anirudh
App download animated image Get the free App now