Peter Graf, coach of tennis player Steffi Graf, dies

Dec. 2, 2013 at 12:44 PM
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MANNHEIM, Germany, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Peter Graf, who coached his daughter Steffi Graf to tennis prominence, has died at the age of 75 in Germany.

Graf died Saturday of pancreatic cancer in his hometown of Mannheim, Germany. Steffi Graf, who had a falling out with her father in 1997, had traveled from the United States to Germany to meet with her father a few days before his death, reports said.

"We grieve quietly in the circle of our family and look back on many beautiful moments we spent together. We have to thank our father a very happy childhood and a great sense of family," a notice on Steffi Graf's website stated.

Steffi Graf credited her father with coaching her through a career in which Graf won 22 women's singles Grand Slam titles and spent a record 377 weeks as the No. 1-ranked women's tennis player.

All but one of the major tournament championships came prior to 1997 when Peter Graf was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to three years in prison. The issue led to a deep breech between father and daughter but they were said to be reconciled in recent years.

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