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Today in Performance Sneaker History: Steffi Graf Wins Australian Open

In 1988, Steffi Graf couldn’t be stopped. In what was possibly her greatest year on the courts, Graf won the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Gold Medal at the Olympic Games, earning the title of the “Golden Slam”. These unprecedented achievements were kicked off at the beginning of the year with her 6-1, 7-6 victory over fellow sensation Chris Evert at the Australian Open.

In fact, it was January 23, 1988 when Graf won the Australian Open. Donning her sponsor adidas, who had cranked out signature models for her in the past, Graf was a force to be reckoned with in the white/red Grand Slam model. Although it may be a bit primitive compared to today’s styles, the Grand Slam is a classic performer. Named as one of the best tennis sneakers of the ’80s, the simple design is enhanced by an injection molded sole and the “3-Peg” cushion system, which allowed for adjustable impact protection as well as aesthetic adjustments.

Chris Evert, who had quite a career in her own right (former World No.1 ranked player, eighteen Grand Slam singles titles), came up short in the event. However, her footwear was on point. Laced in the Converse GSV (Grand Slam Victory), this was a model which Converse created specifically for the major tournaments. The supple leather offered flexibility and durability, while the rubber midsole kept things stable and soft.

Be sure to stick with Sneaker Report for further Australian Open coverage and more historic moments in classic performance sneakers.

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