On This Day: Graf Becomes No.1
Published August 17, 2014 12:13
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA - On the heels of a phenomenal 12-month stretch that saw her win 12 of 15 tournaments and 81 of 84 matches, Steffi Graf rose to No.1 in the world on Monday, August 17, 1987, right after beating Chris Evert in the final of the pre-US Open lead-up event in Los Angeles.
Over the last decade there have been many players rising to the top of the WTA Rankings but back in the 1980s it was much rarer to see a new World No.1, and Graf was only the fifth player ever to rise to the top spot, following Evert, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Martina Navratilova and Tracy Austin.
Graf would also stay there the longest of anyone, racking up a total of 377 weeks in the 502-week span from August 17, 1987 through March 30, 1997, surrendering it at times to Monica Seles and Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario but seeing her run finally come to an end against Martina Hingis on March 31, 1997.
Her 377 weeks at No.1 is the most weeks at No.1 in tennis history - both male and female.
Here are a few throwbacks to August 17, 1987:
No.1 song on Billboard Hot 100 singles: I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2
No.1 album on Billboard 200 albums: Whitney by Whitney Houston
No.1 movie at US Box Office: Stakeout starring Richard Dreyfuss & Emilio Estevez
No.1 men's tennis player: Ivan Lendl
No.1 women's tennis player: Steffi Graf