Germany tennis legend Steffi Graf, who reigned the field of sports for nearly two decades in 1980s and 1990s, will now promote Kerala’s famed Ayurveda system of healthcare.
46-year-old Graf was on Wednesday appointed the Ayurveda brand ambassador of God’s Own Country Kerala. The decision was taken by the cabinet today, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said.
The Kerala tourism department was given sanction to sign an agreement with Graf to become Ayurveda brand ambassador as part of the department’s ‘Visit Kerala Scheme’, Chandy said.
The tourism department had already held discussions and reached an agreement with the former World number one tennis player.
Graf, who had bagged 22 Grand slam single titles, had retired in 1999. She married former World No. 1 men’s tennis player Andre Agassi in October 2001.
Kerala’s Ayurveda, an ancient system of health care which is famous for its holistic effect on body and mind, attracts large number of people from the country and abroad every year.
Graf was ranked World No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) for a record 377 total weeks — the longest period for which any player, male or female, has held the number-one ranking since the WTA and the Association of Tennis Professionals began issuing rankings.
She won 107 singles titles, which ranks her third on the WTA’s all-time list after Martina Navratilova (167 titles) and Chris Evert (157 titles).
She is the only player, male or female, to win 3 grand slams in a calendar year 5 times (1988, 1989, 1993, 1995 and 1996).