graf-williams

Serena Williams beat Steffi Graf for the title at Indian Wells, Calif. in 1999. They’ve played each other twice, each earning a win.

*Serena Williams enters the U.S. Open next week with a chance to break Steffi Graf’s Open era record of 22 major singles titles.

And no one is cheering harder for her to do so than Graf, herself.

“I’m cheering her on, yes,” the former top-ranked German told CNN’s Open Court in an interview at the Rio Olympics. “Because it’s great for the sport. Why not? She’s done so much for the sport. She’s out there working hard.”

Graf, now living in Las Vegas with husband and eight-time grand slam winner Andre Agassi and their two children, said she wouldn’t mind being bumped from her place in history by Williams.

“I’m happy for her, I’m excited for her,” Graf said. “It’s cool that records are being broken, that’s what they’re there for. She’s been phenomenal for the sport of tennis, it has been great to watch. I hope she does break it.”

Williams tied Graf’s slam record at Wimbledon, where she beat Germany’s Angelique Kerber to clinch her seventh title at the All-England Club.

The U.S. Open will run from August 29 – September 11 at Flushing Meadows in NY.