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Graf's fans surprised by timing coincidence

2012/05/27 16:56:06

Taipei, May 27 (CNA) Fans of Steffi Graf, the holder of 22 Grand Slam singles titles, who retired in 1999, said Sunday that the date on an autographed letter they received from Graf 12 years ago interestingly coincided to the very day with Graf's attendance at an exhibition game in Taiwan.

In 2000, a group of Graf's fans in Taiwan asked a portrait painter in Jiufen, New Taipei, to paint a picture of Graf and had it framed and sent to the star in Germany. Graf later replied to the fans with an autographed letter.

"Maybe one day we will see each other," wrote Graf in the letter dated May 25, 2000.

The slight hope for meeting Graf in person came true a day earlier when the fans waved Graf good-bye at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, according to Integration Sports, Inc., organizer of the 2012 Rise of Legends exhibition matches.

Also at the exhibition game were fellow tennis greats Andre Agassi, eight-time Grand Slam singles champion and Graf's husband, as well as Martina Hingis and Goran Ivanisevic.

Graf, Hingis and Ivanisevic left Taiwan late Saturday night, while Agassi left early Sunday.

(By Lee Yu-cheng and Ann Chen)