Graf overcomes layoff to beat Coetzer in farewell exhibition

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The Independent Online

Several months after retiring from professional tennis, Steffi Graf overcame her inactivity to beat South Africa's top-ranked woman Amanda Coetzer in the first of three exhibition matches in Durban, South Africa.

Several months after retiring from professional tennis, Steffi Graf overcame her inactivity to beat South Africa's top-ranked woman Amanda Coetzer in the first of three exhibition matches in Durban, South Africa.

Graf was leading Coetzer 6-3, 4-3 at the Westridge Stadium when rain interrupeted the match. She went on to win the final set 7-6, taking the tiebreaker 7-3.

The match was the first stop of a farewell world exhibition tour for the German, who quit the professional tennis circuit in August, saying she had nothing left to achieve and was not having fun any more.

Graf, 30, won 22 Grand Slam titles, the 1988 Olympic title and another 107 tournaments during her career, which began at age 13.

The encounter was the 15th time Graf and Coetzer, 28, have played, with Graf having won 12 times.

The two are scheduled to play again in Stellenbosch near Cape Town on Friday and in Johannesburg on Sunday.

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