Steffi Graf achieved in 1988 the Golden Slam: he won all four Majors and the Gold medal at the Seoul Olympics. Novak Djokovic had a chance to match her but in Tokyo he ran out of end.
Graf was 18 years old at the beginning of 1988 but had already been a Grand Slam champion (Roland Garros 87) and had risen to the top of the WTA rankings. It had its explosion. On January 24 the German (World No. 1) won Australian Open final over Chris Evert (No. 3) by 6-1 and 7-6 (3). It was his second Grand Slam title.
In June she beat two Argentines to reach the final in Paris: in the quarterfinals she beat Bettina Fulco Vilella (No. 37 in the world) 6-0 and 6-1 and in the semifinals she would defeat one of her great adversaries during her extensive career. Gabriela Sabatini (5th in the world) would fall 6-3 and 7-6 (3). The end of Roland Garros 1988 was brutal: 6-0 and 6-0 to Zvereva.
On June 14, Graff turned 19 and already had 3 Grand Slam titles but his march did not stop: he would win his first Wimbledon beating in the final atto mythical Martina Navratilova (No. 2 in the world) by 5-7, 6-2 and 6-1.
On September 11, in New York, Graf would complete the Grand Slam calendar by defeating Gabriela Sabatini. Argentina, No. 4 in the world at that time, took the match to three sets but history again tilted for the German: 6-3, 3-6 and 6-1.
Just a few weeks later, on October 1, in South Korea, the final of the 1988 Olympic Games was played with the same participants as in the US Open: Graf and Sabatini. The result? Again for the German side, although this time in straight sets (6-3 and 6-3).
Graf would end his career with 22 Grand Slam titles, 107 in total and 900 victories. Novak Djokovic kept all three Majors which were played in 2021. The Olympic Games will not have him at the top of the men’s singles podium. And that is already a pending account …