Gabriela Sabatini

Gabriela Beatriz Sabatini (Spanish pronunciation: [gaˈβɾjela saβaˈtini]; born 16 May 1970) is an Argentine former professional tennis player. She was one of the leading players on the women's circuit in the late-1980s and early-1990s. She won one women's grand slam singles title at the US Open in 1990, the women's grand slam doubles title at Wimbledon in 1988, two WTA Finals in 1988 and 1994, and a silver medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.

Sabatini also won most of the highest level regular events on the women's tour including Miami and Rome (four times). In the late 1980s, Sabatini launched a line of fragrances after partnering with the German perfume company Muelhens. Her signature scent debuted in 1989.

Gabriela Sabatini
Gabriela Sabatini US Embassy in Argentina cropped
Sabatini at the US Embassy
in Buenos Aires, January 2012
Full nameGabriela Beatriz Sabatini
Country (sports) Argentina
ResidenceBuenos Aires, Argentina
Boca Raton, Florida, U.S.
Born16 May 1970 (age 48)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Turned proJanuary 1985
Retired1996
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize moneyUS$8,785,850
Int. Tennis HoF2006 (member page)
Singles
Career record632–189 (76.98%)
Career titles27
Highest rankingNo. 3 (27 February 1989)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenSF (1989, 1992, 1993, 1994)
French OpenSF (1985, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992)
WimbledonF (1991)
US OpenW (1990)
Other tournaments
Tour FinalsW (1988, 1994)
Doubles
Career record252–96
Career titles14
Highest rankingNo. 3 (6 November 1988)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenSF (1989)
French OpenF (1986, 1987, 1989)
WimbledonW (1988)
US OpenSF (1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1994, 1996)

Early life

Sabatini was born 16 May 1970 in Buenos Aires, Argentina to parents, Osvaldo and Beatriz Garofalo Sabatini. She has one elder brother.[1] Her father is an executive in General Motors.[2]

Sabatini said that she deliberately lost matches in her youth to avoid reporters and the limelight. She made this claim when she was 43, saying her shyness was a major problem, and she thought she had to speak after winning a tournament; so, she often lost in semifinals.[3][4][5]

Career

Sabatini first came to the tennis world's attention as a junior. She started playing tennis at the age of 6, and won her first tournament at age 8. In 1983, age 13, she became the youngest player to win the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. She won six major international junior titles including the French Open girls' singles, and was ranked World No. 1 junior player in 1984.

In 1985, aged 15 years and three weeks, Sabatini became one of the youngest-ever players to reach the semifinals of the French Open, where she lost to Chris Evert. She won her first top-level singles title later that year in Tokyo.

In 1988, Sabatini reached her first Grand Slam singles final at the US Open. She faced West Germany's Steffi Graf, who had won all three previous Grand Slam singles events that year and was looking to win a fourth. Graf won the match in three sets.[6] Sabatini was selected to represent Argentina in the 1988 Summer Olympics held in Seoul and carried her country's flag in the opening ceremony. She went on to win the silver medal in the women's singles competition. In the final, she again faced Graf, who was bidding to turn her "Grand Slam" (all four majors in the same year) into what the media had dubbed a "Golden Slam" (all four majors plus the Olympic Games in the same year).[7] Graf won 6–3, 6–3. Sabatini teamed-up with Graf to win the women's doubles title at Wimbledon that year. She also won 1988's year-end WTA Tour Championships.

1990–92: US Open and other achievements

Gabriela Sabatini
Sabatini practicing in the early 1990s

Sabatini's next Grand Slam singles final came in 1990, where she defeated Kathy Jordan, Isabelle Demongeot, Sabine Appelmans, Helena Suková, Leila Meskhi and Mary Joe Fernandez before again facing Graf in the final of the US Open in New York. Sabatini beat Graf in straight sets, winning her only grand slam women's singles title. She credited her win with being more aggressive and coming to the net whenever she can to attack Graf's shorter balls. Sabatini also beat Graf in a semifinal of the WTA Tour Championships in Madison Square Garden, but lost the final to Monica Seles in the event's first-ever five-set final 6–4, 5–7, 3–6, 6–4, 6–2.

Sabatini us open trofeo
Sabatini raising the trophy won at the 1990 US Open after her victory over Steffi Graf

Sabatini had a strong start to 1991, winning five tournaments in the first half of the year. She reached her third grand slam singles final at Wimbledon and yet again faced Graf who prevailed in three sets, despite the fact that Sabatini served for the match twice. Sabatini came close to attaining the World No. 1 ranking in 1991, but was narrowly denied by Graf and then Monica Seles. All three players' rankings were within a few points of each other for much of the year.

Although winning five tournaments in 1992, Sabatini failed to reach a grand slam final. At the 1992 Australian Open, Sabatini lost to Mary Joe Fernández in the semifinals with a score of 6–1, 6–4. At the 1992 French Open, Sabatini lost a tight match to Seles in the semifinals where in the third and decisive set, Sabatini was leading 4–2, but Seles rallied from behind to beat Sabatini. At Wimbledon of that year, Sabatini looked to reach a second consecutive Wimbledon final, and just as the previous year, Sabatini found Graf standing in her way, only this time in the semifinals. However, unlike their 1991 Championship match, Graf beat Sabatini easily with a score of 6–3, 6–3. At the 1992 US Open, Sabatini lost once again to Fernández in the quarterfinals with a score of 2–6, 6–1, 4–6.

1993

At the start of the 1993 season, Sabatini continued to advance deep into grand slam singles events. At the Australian Open, she reached the semifinals but lost to the eventual champion, Seles, with a score of 2–6, 1–6. Later that year at Roland Garros, Sabatini was defeated by Fernández in a quarterfinals. Sabatini had raced to a seemingly insurmountable 6–1, 5–1 lead and appeared poised for an easy victory. However, Mary Joe saved five match points on her way to winning a second set tiebreak. Finally, after 3½ hours, Fernández eliminated Sabatini by a final score of 1–6, 7–6 (7–4), 10–8. Despite the setback at the French Open, Sabatini reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, losing to Jana Novotná, a player she had beaten six consecutive times. However, this time Novotná defeated Sabatini in straight sets. At the 1993 US Open, Sabatini had hoped to end the year on a high note, but she would first have to again get past Graf, this time in the quarterfinals. In their four previous meetings, Graf had beaten Sabatini, but Sabatini was looking to change those recent results. After losing the first set at 2–6, Sabatini raised the level of her game in the second set, winning at 7–5 to even the match at one set apiece. However, in the third and deciding set, Graf dismantled Sabatini with a 6–1 final set to win the match. That year, Sabatini was the only one of 17 of the top 25 players to abstain from voting against Seles for having her ranking preserved following her stabbing. Graf was absent from the tournament and thus the vote.[8][9] When Seles returned to the tour two years later she was finally granted a joint No. 1 ranking with Graf.[10]

1994

After winning five tournaments in 1992, Sabatini had a 29-month drought, in which she failed to win a title. At the 1994 Bausch & Lomb Championships in Amelia Island, Florida, Sabatini reached her first singles final in nearly a year and faced Arantxa Sánchez Vicario. It was also a rematch of the 1993 Bausch & Lomb final where Sánchez Vicario beat Sabatini. One year later, both players were looking to end streaks without a singles title: Sabatini was winless in 32 consecutive tournaments while Sánchez Vicario's streak had reached 15 tournaments. This time around Sánchez Vicario beat Sabatini in convincing fashion for the sixth time in their last seven meetings.

Sabatini finally brought her winless streak to an end in November, defeating Lindsay Davenport in the final of the 1994 WTA Tour Championships in Madison Square Garden. Also in 1994, Great American Doll Company had created a doll in Sabatini's likeness, dressed in tennis attire.[11] That same year, Sabatini published a motivational book entitled My Story (ISBN 1-886612-00-5) [1], providing a peak into her background and inspirations that led her to be a tennis player.

1995

Sabatini started the 1995 season by reaching the semifinals in Sydney, where she faced Mary Joe Fernández in what was a rematch of the previous year. At the 1994 Sydney tournament, Fernández had put Sabatini away in straight sets in that semifinal encounter. This time, she won in straight sets, snapping a three match losing streak against Fernandez. Sabatini then defeated Lindsay Davenport in the final in straight sets in what was to be the last singles title of her career. At the 1995 Australian Open, Sabatini, seeded fifth, was dismissed by Marianne Werdel in the first round. In the semifinals of the Lipton Championships in Key Biscayne, Sabatini was leading Kimiko Date 6–1, 5–1 before squandering three match points and double faulting 18 times as Date rallied to beat Sabatini with a scoreline of 1–6, 7–6, 7–6. It turned out to be a repeat performance of the 1993 French Open quarterfinals, where Sabatini lost an identical lead of 6–1, 5–1 against Mary Joe Fernández. At the 1995 French Open, Sabatini looked to put that memory behind her when she faced second seeded Steffi Graf in the quarterfinals. However, Graf proved too strong for Sabatini and won in straight sets. Later that summer at Wimbledon, Sabatini, seeded eighth, lost to defending champion and third-seeded Conchita Martínez of Spain in the quarterfinals. Martínez had clearly turned the tables against Sabatini in their rivalry, beating Sabatini four out of their last five meetings. At the final grand slam of the year, the US Open in New York, Sabatini beat Martina Hingis in the round of 16. She then defeated Mary Joe Fernández in the quarterfinals before losing to top-seeded Graf. With the victory, Graf had now got the best of Sabatini in eight consecutive matches. Against Graf, this also marked the 40th match and final time the two would meet since their rivalry began in 1985 with Graf winning 29.

1996 and into retirement

Gab2-sabatini-wikipedia
Sabatini with her perfume in 2006.

Sabatini's last professional singles match was on 14 October 1996, when she lost in straight sets to Jennifer Capriati in the first round of the European Indoors. Sabatini played her last professional match on 19 October 1996, a women's doubles semifinals encounter, with Lori McNeil in Zürich. Sabatini retired from the professional tour in 1996, having won 27 singles titles and 14 doubles titles.[12][13] She reached her highest ranking of World No. 3 in 1989. In 2001, she won the Diamond Konex Award as the most relevant "Sportsman of the Decade" in Argentina. Sabatini was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on 15 July 2006.

Personal life

On 22 May 2003, Sabatini was able to obtain Italian citizenship "jus sanguinis" because her paternal great-grandfather David Sabbatini was born in Potenza Picena in the Marche region, and immigrated to Argentina at the end of the 19th century like many other Santesi in Roldán, Province of Santa Fe with his wife Rosa Vivani, whom he married on 12 February 1899 in Potenza Picena.[14]

Nowadays, she resides in Buenos Aires and Boca Raton and since 2015 in Pfäffikon, Schwyz as well.[15]

Since retiring at the age of 26, Sabatini has promoted her lines of perfumes and worked with organizations to help children and the poor.

Grand Slam performance timelines

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH

Singles

Tournament 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 SR W–L
Australian Open A A NH A A SF 3R QF SF SF SF 1R 4R 0 / 8 30–8
French Open A SF 4R SF SF 4R 4R SF SF QF 1R QF A 0 / 11 43–11
Wimbledon A 3R SF QF 4R 2R SF F SF QF 4R QF A 0 / 11 43–11
US Open 3R 1R 4R QF F SF W QF QF QF SF SF 3R 1 / 13 52–12
Win–Loss 2–1 7–3 11–3 13–3 14–3 14–4 17–3 19–4 19–4 17–4 13–4 13–4 5–2 1 / 43 168–42
Year End Ranking 74 12 9 6 4 3 5 3 3 5 7 7 NA

Doubles

Tournament 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 Career SR
Australian Open A A NH A A SF 2R 3R A A A 2R QF 0 / 5
French Open A 1R F F SF F A SF A A 3R 3R A 0 / 8
Wimbledon A 2R A 3R W QF QF A A A 1R SF A 1 / 7
US Open A 1R SF SF SF SF 3R A A A SF 2R SF 0 / 9
Grand Slam SR 0 / 0 0 / 3 0 / 2 0 / 3 1 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 2 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 2 1 / 29
Year End Ranking 128 54 9 5 3 19 29 55 NR NR 14 13 NR
  • SR = the ratio of the number of tournaments won to the number played.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Web bio". Archived from the original on 8 June 2015. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  2. ^ Gabriela Sabatini Retrieved 3 September 2016
  3. ^ "Gabriela Sabatini deliberately lost tennis matches to avoid reporters!". sports.ndtv. 19 October 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Sabatini lost matches on purpose to avoid reporters". sify. 19 October 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Sabatini lost matches to avoid reporters". timesofindia. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  6. ^ Miller, Stuart (2006). The 100 Greatest Days in New York Sports. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 305. ISBN 978-0-618-57480-3. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  7. ^ Woolum, Janet (1998). Outstanding women athletes (2 ed.). Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 58. ISBN 978-1-57356-120-4. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  8. ^ "Gaby Sabatini."Ahora disfruto de todo lo que no hice cuando jugaba"". La Nación.
  9. ^ Hall of Famer Gabriela Sabatini motivated for upcoming Garden showdown vs. Monica Seles Retrieved 3 September 2016
  10. ^ "Comeback: Back stabbers". New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC: 78. 31 July 1995. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  11. ^ New York Media, LLC (9 November 1992). "Why Sabatini Is Every Inch a Doll". New York Magazine. Vol. 25 no. 44. p. 18. ISSN 0028-7369. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  12. ^ "Sabatini, 26, to Retire After Wonderful Career". Los Angeles Times. 23 October 1996.
  13. ^ Robin Finn (23 October 1996). "Sabatini to announce end to her career tomorrow". The New York Times.
  14. ^ Onofri, Paolo (3 December 2011). "Gabriela Sabatini, ex campionessa internazionale di tennis, cittadina onoraria di Potenza Picena ….. e non solo" (in Italian). I Santesi. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  15. ^ Ex-Tennisstar Gabriela Sabatini wohnt jetzt am Zürichsee-Ufer. Limmattaler Zeitung, 2015-02-09

External links

Awards
Preceded by
Argentina Diego Maradona
Olimpia de Oro
1987–1988
Succeeded by
Argentina Eduardo Romero
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Ricardo Ibarra
Flagbearer for  Argentina
Seoul 1988
Succeeded by
Marcelo Garraffo
1985 Virginia Slims World Championship Series

The 1985 Virginia Slims World Championship Series was the 15th season since the foundation of the Women's Tennis Association. It commenced in March 1985, and concluded in March 1986 after 52 events.

The Virginia Slims World Championship Series was the elite tour for professional women's tennis organised by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). It was held in place of the WTA Tour from 1983 until 1987 and featured tournaments that had previously been part of the Toyota Series and the Avon Series. It included the four Grand Slam tournaments and a series of other events. ITF tournaments were not part of the tour, although they awarded points for the WTA World Ranking.

The season was dominated by Martina Navratilova, who won 13 tournaments and reached the finals of the four Grand Slam events. She defeated Chris Evert at Wimbledon and the Australian Open. Navratilova also won the Virginia Slims Championships in March and ended the year at World Number 1. Evert, the winner of ten titles in 1985, emerged victorious at Roland-Garros, while Hana Mandlíková won the U.S. Open. Newcomer of the Year Gabriela Sabatini won the first title of her career in Tokyo. In doubles, the pairing of Navratilova and Pam Shriver won the title at Roland-Garros and the Australian Open, Jordan and Smylie won the Wimbledon title and Kohde-Kilsch–Suková were victorious at the US Open.

1986 Argentinian Open

The 1986 WTA Argentine Open was a women's tennis tournament played on outdoor clay courts at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club in Buenos Aires, Argentina and was part of the Category 1 tier of the 1987 Virginia Slims World Championship Series. It was the inaugural edition of the tournament and was held from 1 December until 8 December 1986. First-seeded Gabriela Sabatini won the singles title.

1986 Virginia Slims World Championship Series

The 1986 Virginia Slims World Championship Series was the 14th season since the foundation of the Women's Tennis Association. It commenced in March 24, 1986, and concluded in December, 1986 after 41 events. The season was abbreviated in order to return the tour to a calendar year basis.

The Virginia Slims World Championship Series was the elite tour for professional women's tennis organised by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). It was held in place of the WTA Tour from 1983 until 1987 and featured tournaments that had previously been part of the Toyota Series and the Avon Series. It included the four Grand Slam tournaments and a series of other events. ITF tournaments were not part of the tour, although they awarded points for the WTA World Ranking. No Australian Open was held during 1986 due to the tournament start date being moved from November to January.

1987 French Open – Women's Doubles

The Women's Doubles tournament at the 1987 French Open was held from 25 May until 7 June 1987 on the outdoor clay courts at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France. Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver won the title, defeating Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini in the final.

1987 Virginia Slims World Championship Series

The 1987 Virginia Slims World Championship Series was the 15th season of the tennis circuit since the foundation of the Women's Tennis Association. It commenced in January, 1987, and concluded in December, 1987 after events.

The Virginia Slims World Championship Series was the elite tour for professional women's tennis organised by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). It was held in place of the WTA Tour from 1983 until 1987 and featured tournaments that had previously been part of the Toyota Series and the Avon Series. It included the four Grand Slam tournaments and a series of other events. ITF tournaments were not part of the tour, although they awarded points for the WTA World Ranking.

1987 WTA Argentine Open

The 1987 WTA Argentine Open was a women's tennis tournament played on outdoor clay courts at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club in Buenos Aires, Argentina and was part of the Category 1 tier of the 1988 Virginia Slims World Championship Series. The tournament ran from 30 November until 6 December 1987. First-seeded Gabriela Sabatini won the singles title.

1988 Virginia Slims World Championship Series

The 1988 Virginia Slims World Championship Series was the elite tour for professional women's tennis of the Women's International Tennis Association (WITA) for the 1988 season. The 1988 WTA Tour included the four Grand Slam tournaments, the WITA Tour Championships and the WTA Category 1-5 events. ITF tournaments were not part of the WTA Tour, although they award points for the WTA World Ranking.

The tour was governed by the Women's International Professional Tennis Council (WIPTC), a cooperation between WITA, ITF and recognized tournaments. Philip Morris sponsored the tour under its

Virginia Slims brand.

1988 Virginia Slims of Florida

The 1988 Virginia Slims of Florida was a women's tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, Florida in the United States and was part of Tier II of the 1988 WTA Tour. The tournament ran from March 7 through March 13, 1988. Fourth-seeded Gabriela Sabatini won the singles title and earned $60,000 first-prize money, ending a 30-match winning streak by Steffi Graf. It was Sabatini's first win over Graf after 11 previous defeats.

1988 Virginia Slims of New England – Doubles

Elise Burgin and Rosalyn Fairbank were the defending champions but only Fairbank competed that year with Wendy Turnbull.

Fairbank and Turnbull lost in the quarterfinals to Jenny Byrne and Janine Tremelling.

Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver won in the final 6–3, 3–6, 7–5 against Gabriela Sabatini and Helena Suková.

1988 Virginia Slims of Washington – Doubles

Elise Burgin and Pam Shriver were the defending champions but they competed with different partners that year, Burgin with Robin White and Shriver with Martina Navratilova.

Burgin and White lost in the quarterfinals to Larisa Savchenko and Natasha Zvereva.

Navratilova and Shriver won in the final 6–3, 6–4 against Gabriela Sabatini and Helena Suková.

1989 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

The 1989 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix was a women's tennis tournament played on indoor carpet courts at the Filderstadt Tennis Centre in Filderstadt, West Germany and was part of the Category 4 tier of the 1989 WTA Tour. It was the 12th edition of the tournament and was held from 9 October to 15 October 1989. First-seeded Gabriela Sabatini won the singles title.

1989 Virginia Slims World Championship Series

The WTA Tour is the elite tour for professional women's tennis organised by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). The 1989 WTA Tour included the four Grand Slam tournaments, the WTA Tour Championships and the WTA Category 1-5 events. ITF tournaments are not part of the WTA Tour, although they award points for the WTA World Ranking.

1992 WTA Tier I Series

The table below shows the 1992 WTA Tier I Series schedule.

1992 WTA Tour

The 1992 WTA Tour (officially titled 1992 Kraft General Foods World Tour after its sponsor) was the elite professional tennis circuit organized by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) for the 1992 tennis season.

The WTA Tour is the elite tour for professional women's tennis organised by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). The WTA Tour includes the four Grand Slam tournaments, the WTA Tour Championships and the WTA Tier I, Tier II, Tier III and Tier IV events. ITF tournaments are not part of the WTA Tour, although they award points for the WTA World Ranking.

1994 WTA Tour

The 1994 WTA Tour was the elite tour for professional women's tennis organised by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). The WTA Tour includes the four Grand Slam tournaments, the year-ending WTA Tour Championships and the WTA Tier I, Tier II, Tier III and Tier IV events. ITF tournaments are not part of the WTA Tour, although they award points for the WTA World Ranking.

1994 WTA Tour Championships

The 1994 Virginia Slims Championships were played on indoor carpet courts at the Madison Square Garden in New York City, United States between November 14 and November 20. It marked the last singles tournament for Czech player Martina Navratilova until her comeback in 2002. The singles title was won by unseeded Gabriela Sabatini and earned $250,000 first-prize money.

1995 WTA Tour

The WTA Tour is the elite tour for professional women's tennis organised by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). The WTA Tour includes the four Grand Slam tournaments, the WTA Tour Championships and the WTA Tier I, Tier II, Tier III and Tier IV events. ITF tournaments are not part of the WTA Tour, although they award points for the WTA World Ranking.

Amelia Island Championships

The Amelia Island Championships was a women's tennis tournament held in Amelia Island Plantation and later Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, United States. The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event was an International series tournament played on outdoor green clay courts from 1980 to 2010.

WTA Tier II tournaments

The WTA Tier II tournaments were Women's Tennis Association tennis second-level tournaments held from 1990 until the end of the 2008 season. The line-up of events varied over the years, with tournaments being promoted, demoted or cancelled.

From 2009 WTA Tour, WTA changed tournament categories, so that majority of Tier I and Tier II tournaments from the previous season are in one category, WTA Premier Tournaments.

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