Peter Graf on pounds 8.6m tax evasion charge

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The Independent Online
Peter Graf, the father of Steffi Graf, the joint world No 1 women's player, was charged yesterday day with evading pounds 8.6m in taxes by failing to report up to pounds 18.6m of his daughter's income.

The Mannheim prosecutor's office filed the charges against Peter Graf and the Graf family tax adviser, Joachim Eckardt, with the Mannheim state court stating the tax evasion took place between 1989 and 1993.

Graf, 57, has been in investigative custody in a Mannheim prison since his arrest on 2 August. Eckardt, who is also jailed, was arrested on 25 September. Prosecutors have said both are being held to prevent them from fleeing or destroying evidence.

Peter Wechsung, the Mannheim prosecutor, said there was still no evidence that Steffi Graf had a role in the tax evasion, although she is still under investigation.

According to Wechsung, the charges against the two men consist of 237 pages of evidence. A trial is not expected to begin until late summer or early autumn.

Pete Sampras celebrated his return to the top of the world rankings with 6-3, 6-2 victory over France's Lionel Roux in the Japan Open in Tokyo, a performance that included 15 aces.

Michael Chang, the No 2 seed, momentarily worried by some sharp shots from Germany's Alex Radulescu, took control in the third set and also advanced to the last 16 with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 victory.

Britain's Greg Rusedski moved into the third round of with a 6-7, 7-5, 6-4 victory over the local favourite Shuzo Matsuoka. Rusedski, the No 13 seed, triumphed in a battle of the big servers, hitting 10 aces to his opponent's seven.

As Rusedski went marching on, fellow Briton Chris Wilkinson, suffered a 6-4, 6-3 second-round defeat at the hands of the American Jeff Tarango. Wilkinson had beaten Marcos Ondruska of South Africa 6-1, 6-1 in his opening match.

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