Steffi Graf said in one of her earlier interviews that her father's sex scandal made life more difficult for her.
The tennis legend's father, Peter, was involved in a scandal during the 1990 German Open in Berlin. A model named Nicole Meissner claimed that he was the father of her child. The paternity suit against Peter Graf was dropped following a few blood tests.
Steffi Graf spoke about the impact of the scandal on her in an interview shortly after her retirement in 1999. She said that the incident made her life a lot more difficult since she was never comfortable in the spotlight.
"Yeah, I was completely unprepared. Absolutely. Not only with what happened- with the press coverage and all that - but because it truly came out of the blue. And it really hurt. It made my life more difficult because I've never been comfortable in the spotlight, even in the best and happiest of times. Of course, the story was timed to create the most publicity in Germany," Graf said.
"In some ways, my career changed for good after that" – Steffi Graf
Steffi Graf said that she had no desire to take to the court for her 1990 German Open final against Monica Seles, which the latter went on to win 6-4, 6-3. The German stated that she smashed her racquet against a wall when she got back into the locker room after the match.
"I remember like it was yesterday. I had to play Monica [Seles] in the final of the event and I had absolutely no desire to set foot on the court. I finally decided to play, and I lost, badly. When I got back into the locker room, I smashed my racquet against the wall. I hit it so hard that I made a hole in the wall. It was the first and last time I ever did such a thing. I guess that shows how difficult it was," Graf said.
Steffi Graf also stated that her career changed for the better after the scandal. She claimed that she had a tough time being sensationalized without any concern for herself or her family.
"In some ways, my career changed for good after that. I wasn't ever the most open person, or the most communicative. This only made it worse, and for a long time. Sure, some very big mistakes were made by my father, and I wouldn't deny that. But I also had a very hard time with how sensationally things were portrayed and how they were just put out there for all the world to see, with very little concern for me or my family. It became a big part of everything I was doing, and I felt that was wrong," Graf said.