Barbara Rittner: We will never have a new Steffi Graf



by   |  VIEW 5718

Barbara Rittner: We will never have a new Steffi Graf

The German National Tennis Coach Barbara Rittner says there will never be another player like Steffi Graf in German tennis, during an interview with DAZN and SPOX.

Barbara Rittner says there will never be another Steff Graf

During the interview, Rittner says she has often heard of new players being compared to the German tennis legend but admits that there will never be another player like the great Steffi Graf.

"I can only smile about it because, of course, I've experienced it so often in my many years as a national coach. A new Steffi was proclaimed every two years - but we will never have a new Steffi. She was an exceptional talent in all areas.

She played women's tournaments at the age of 13 and 14. She won in Berlin at the age of 15, she got the Golden Slam when she was just 19 years old. These are completely different dimensions. We were lucky to have another player, Angie Kerber, who won three Grand Slams.

It is incredible that the girls are so far away - and that is not meant to be derogatory. This generation around Alex Vecic really has potential. And if these girls can work hard, constant over a long period of time, then they will go their way.

So whether you exploit your potential for the Top 100, the Top 50 or maybe even the Top 10 or even win something really big, so many things play a role. How intact is family life? How happy is she at home? These are so many factors that can distract you and simply take your focus away from tennis.

Health too, of course. You need a bit of luck at the end of the day. " Rittner does have some high hopes for German junior Alexandra Vecic, who reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open junior event in January. "Alex is an extreme example of determination, ambition and hard work.

She has talent for the hardest work, I can say that with complete conviction. I have known her for 6 years now and I know you have to stop her rather than motivate her. In my opinion, Alex has to learn to take breaks and regeneration phases and to be able to switch off from tennis in the head.

If you say Alex: 'Make 7,800 jumps in the rope', then she doesn't stop under 8,000. She is so disciplined and so ambitious. The key will be to really manage to ensure she has enough breaks so that she does not overwork herself."

Steffi Graf is considered one of the greatest players of all time in women's tennis - she has been ranked world No. 1 for a record 377 weeks and won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, which is second in the Open Era in 1968 and third all-time behind Margaret Court (24) and Serena Williams (23).

In 1988, she became the only tennis player to achieve the Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year.