Agassi and Graf relieve glory

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LONDON. August 4. KAZINFORM  Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi may have won the small matter of 30 grand slam singles titles between them but for the most famous couple in tennis their Olympic gold medals are the most cherished moments of legendary playing careers, Kazinform refers to CNN.

Graf won singles gold for Germany when tennis was an exhibition event in Los Angeles in 1984 then followed it up with "official" gold at Seoul four years years later.

Agassi topped the podium for the United States at the Atlanta Games in 1996 and in an exclusive interview for CNN's Open Court leaves no doubt where it stands in his list of achievements.

"Being on that podium was a boyhood dream," he said.

"The medal around the neck, the national anthem, tears in my eyes. It's an out of body experience."

Graf's 1988 triumph was even more significant because it came in the same year she won all four grand slam tournaments.

Sports Illustrated first coined the phrase "Golden Slam" and it stuck.

Unique experience

Graf can also wax lyrical about the uniqueness of the Olympic experience.

"To me this was bigger than a grand slam, it was more special," the 43-year-old said.

"It's a different feeling, it's very unique and definitely more special."

Given she was only 19 at the time, Graf's achievements are all the more remarkable. When she arrived in South Korea she was feeling the effects of an arduous season, not to mention a grueling three-set victory over Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina in the U.S. Open final.

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"I was a bit tired emotionally, probably physically as well," Graf said.

"I just remember arriving at the airport and all the attention that I was getting, I just think I wasn't quite prepared for it at that point."

But Graf was able to concentrate on the task in hand and it was Sabatini who was again her victim in the singles final, this time in straight sets.

 

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