"You guys have fun while you can, because stress and pressures are always around the corner, and sooner or later you will find them in front of you, the secret to living well is to have balance."
This was the advice to young players directly from Steffi Graf, a former child prodigy of the WTA circuit, who in a great interview reported by the Republic talked on the sidelines of the Longines Future Ace youth tournament in which she made some exchange with the girls finalists.
She was 17 years old and had already won a Grand Slam and for the young German it was the first of many:
"My father insisted on a lot of training, even in our living room! I had to be careful not to break anything, then came my mother, who took it me.”
It is a fast-paced world, that makes the world go round, but it also steals a child's normal adolescence. But she has no regrets:
"The court gave me so much, it was an incredible experience, wonderful." That was interrupted by surprise in 1999: "After Wimbledon I had a strange feeling, I had no joy in playing tennis, it never happened before." And there was the retirement of the player who marked an era, an author among other things of the Golden Slam, winning in the same year the four Grand Slam tournaments plus an Olympic gold, a record hard to beat.
But life even gave her victories: the love with Andre Agassi, which was born in the year of her farewell to tennis at the party after the tournament, and she gave birth to a beautiful family, enriched by Jarden Gil, in 2001, and Jaz Elle, in 2003.
"Am I giving advice to generations of tennis matches today? I do not know, I think they are different than mine." Maybe Steffi, but from a champion like you there is always more to learn.