Gabriela Sabatini

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Sabatini
Country Argentina
ResidenceBuenos Aires and Boca Raton
Born(1970-05-16) 16 May 1970 (age 42)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight59 kg (130 lb)
Turned proJanuary 1985
Retired1996
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Career prize money$8,785,850
Int. Tennis HOF2006 (member page)
Singles
Career record632–189
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)
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)
Last updated on: 4 February 2009.
 
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Sabatini
Country Argentina
ResidenceBuenos Aires and Boca Raton
Born(1970-05-16) 16 May 1970 (age 42)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight59 kg (130 lb)
Turned proJanuary 1985
Retired1996
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Career prize money$8,785,850
Int. Tennis HOF2006 (member page)
Singles
Career record632–189
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)
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)
Last updated on: 4 February 2009.
Olympic medal record
Women's Tennis
Silver1988 SeoulSingles

Gabriela Beatriz Sabatini (born 16 May 1970 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) is a former professional Argentine tennis player. She was one of the leading players on the women's circuit in the late-1980s and early-1990s. She won the women's singles title at the US Open in 1990, the women's doubles title at Wimbledon in 1988, two Year-End Championships in 1988 and 1994, and a silver medal at the 1988 Olympic Games.

Sabatini also won most of the highest level regular events on the women's tour, including Miami and Rome (four times), and she scored a total 10 wins over every reigning number one player she faced during her career.

Contents

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 the World No. 1 junior player in 1984.

In 1985, aged 15 years and three weeks, Sabatini became the youngest-ever player to reach the semifinals at 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 Germany's Steffi Graf, who had won the three previous Grand Slam singles events that year and was looking to win a fourth. Graf won the match 6–3, 3–6, 6–1.[1] Sabatini was selected to represent Argentina in the 1988 Summer Olympics held in Seoul. (She also carried the 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 into what the media had dubbed a "Golden Slam".[2] 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 US Open: Sabatini upsets Steffi Graf

Sabatini's next Grand Slam singles final came in 1990, where she again faced Steffi Graf in the final of the US Open. This time, Sabatini beat Steffi 6–2, 7–6. She also beat Steffi Graf in a semifinal of the WTA Tour Championships 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.

1991

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 Steffi Graf. Steffi prevailed 6–4, 3–6, 8–6, despite the fact that Sabatini served for the match on more than one occasion. Sabatini came close to attaining the World No. 1 ranking in 1991 but was narrowly denied by Steffi Graf and then by Monica Seles. All three players' rankings were within a few points of each other for much of the year.

1992: A mixed bag

Although winning 5 tournaments in 1992, Sabatini failed to reach a Grand Slam Final. At the 1992 Australian Open, Sabatini lost to Mary Joe Fernandez in the semifinals, 6–1, 6–4. Playing fine tennis at the 1992 French Open, Sabatini dropped a tight match against Monica Seles in the semifinals. In the third and decisive set, Sabatini was leading 4–2, but Monica rallied to beat Sabatini 6–3, 4–6, 6–4. At Wimbledon of that year, Sabatini looked to reach a second consecutive Wimbledon Final. And, just as the previous year, Sabatini found Steffi Graf standing in her way, this time in the ladies semifinals. But, unlike their 1991 Championship match, Steffi disposed of Sabatini easily, beating Sabatini 6–3, 6–3. And finally, at the 1992 US Open, Sabatini lost once again to Mary Joe Fernandez in the Quarterfinals, 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 of that year, she reached the semifinals but lost to eventual champion Monica Seles 2–6, 1–6. Later that year, at the French Open, Sabatini was defeated by Mary Joe Fernandez in a Quarterfinal clash. Sabatini had raced out to a commanding 6–1, 5–1 lead and appeared poised for the easy victory. However, Mary Joe saved five match points en route to winning a second set tiebreak. Finally, after 3 and a half hours, Mary Joe 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 1993 Wimbledon, facing Jana Novotna, a player she had beaten in 6 consecutive matches. But this time Jana got rid of Sabatini in straight sets 6–4, 6–3. At the 1993 US Open, Sabatini had hoped to end the year on a high note, but she would first have to get past Steffi Graf in the Quarterfinals. In their 4 previous meetings, Steffi had gotten the best of Sabatini, but Sabatini looked to change those recent results. After losing the first set 2–6, Sabatini raised the level of her game in the second set, winning 7–5 to even the match at one set apiece. However, in the third and deciding set, Steffi dismantled Sabatini 6–1 to win the match.

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, as she faced Arantxa Sanchez Vicario. It was also a rematch of the 1993 Bausch & Lomb final, where Arantxa disposed of Sabatini 6–2, 5–7, 6–2. Now, one year later, both players were looking to end streaks without a singles title: Sabatini was winless in 32 consecutive tournaments while Arantxa's streak had reached 15 tournaments. This time around Arantxa beat Sabatini in convincing fashion 6–1, 6–4 for the sixth time in their last seven meetings.

Sabatini finally brought her winless streak to an end at the WTA Tour Championships in 1994 and then won her first tournament of 1995 at Sydney (defeating Lindsay Davenport in the final of both events). But that proved to be the last singles title of Sabatini's career. In 1994, the Great American Doll Company created a doll in Sabatini's likeness, dressed in tennis clothes.[3] That same year, Sabatini published a motivational book entitled My Story (ISBN 1-886612-00-5) [1], providing a look at her background and the inspirations that led her to become a tennis player.

Sabatini retired from the professional tour in 1996, having won 27 singles titles and 14 doubles titles. She reached her highest ranking of World No. 3 in 1989. Her last professional singles match was on October 14, 1996, when she lost to Jennifer Capriati 6–3, 6–4. (Capriati's first loss on the WTA tour was to Sabatini in 1990.) Sabatini played her last professional match on October 19, 1996, in the doubles semifinals in Zürich with Lori McNeil. Sabatini was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 15, 2006.

Major finals

Grand Slam finals

Singles: 3 (1–2)

OutcomeYearChampionshipSurfaceOpponent in the finalScore in the final
Runner-up1988US OpenHardGermany Steffi Graf6–3, 3–6, 6–1
Winner1990US OpenHardGermany Steffi Graf6–2, 7–6
Runner-up1991WimbledonGrassGermany Steffi Graf6–4, 3–6, 8–6

Doubles: 4 (1–3)

OutcomeYearChampionshipSurfacePartnerOpponents in the finalScore in the final
Runner-up1986French OpenClayGermany Steffi GrafUnited States Martina Navratilova
Hungary Andrea Temesvári
6–1, 6–2
Runner-up1987French Open (2)ClayGermany Steffi GrafUnited States Martina Navratilova
United States Pam Shriver
6–2, 6–1
Winner1988WimbledonGrassGermany Steffi GrafSoviet Union Larisa Savchenko
Soviet Union Natasha Zvereva
6–3, 1–6, 12–10
Runner-up1989French Open (3)ClayGermany Steffi GrafSoviet Union Larisa Savchenko
Soviet Union Natasha Zvereva
6–4, 6–4

Olympic finals

Singles: 1 (1 silver medal)

OutcomeYearChampionshipSurfaceOpponent in the finalScore in the final
Silver medal1988SeoulHardWest Germany Steffi Graf6–3, 6–3

Year-End Championships finals

Singles: 4 (2–2)

OutcomeYearChampionshipSurfaceOpponent in the finalScore in the final
Runner-up1987New York CityCarpet (i)West Germany Steffi Graf4–6, 6–4, 6–0, 6–4
Winner1988New York CityCarpet (i)United States Pam Shriver7–5, 6–2, 6–2
Runner-up1990New York CityCarpet (i)Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Monica Seles6–4, 5–7, 3–6, 6–4, 6–2
Winner1994New York CityCarpet (i)United States Lindsay Davenport6–3, 6–2, 6–4

Titles (41)

Singles (27)

No.EventDateLocationSurfaceOpponent in FinalScore in Final
1VS14 October 1985Tokyo, Japan (Japan Open)HardUnited States Linda Gates6–3, 6–4
2VS1 December 1986Buenos Aires, ArgentinaClaySpain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario6–1, 6–1
3VS14 September 1987Tokyo, Japan (Pan Pacific Open)Carpet (i)Bulgaria Manuela Maleeva6–4, 7–6(6)
4VS19 October 1987Brighton, UKCarpet (i)United States Pam Shriver7–5, 6–4
5VS30 November 1987Buenos Aires, ArgentinaClayGermany Isabel Cueto6–0, 6–2
6Tier II7 March 1988Boca Raton, USAHardGermany Steffi Graf2–6, 6–3, 6–1
7Tier IV2 May 1988Rome, ItalyClayCanada Helen Kelesi6–1, 6–7(4), 6–1
8Tier II15 August 1988Montreal, CanadaHardSoviet Union Natasha Zvereva6–1, 6–2
9WTA Championships14 November 1988Virginia Slims Championships, New York CityCarpet (i)United States Pam Shriver7–5, 6–3, 6–2
10Tier I27 March 1989Key Biscayne, USAHardUnited States Chris Evert6–1, 4–6, 6–2
11Tier II10 April 1989Amelia Island, USAClayGermany Steffi Graf3–6, 6–3, 7–5
12Tier II8 May 1989Rome, ItalyClaySpain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario6–2, 5–7, 6–4
13Tier III9 October 1989Filderstadt, GermanyCarpet (i)United States Mary Joe Fernandez7–6(5), 6–4
14Tier II5 March 1990Boca Raton, USAHardUnited States Jennifer Capriati6–4, 7–5
15Grand Slam27 August 1990US Open, New York CityHardGermany Steffi Graf6–2, 7–6(4)
16Tier II28 January 1991Tokyo, Japan (Pan Pacific Open)Carpet (i)United States Martina Navratilova2–6, 6–2, 6–4
17Tier I4 March 1991Boca Raton, USAHardGermany Steffi Graf6–4, 7–6(6)
18Tier I1 April 1991Hilton Head Island, USAClaySoviet Union Leila Meskhi6–1, 6–1
19Tier II8 April 1991Amelia Island, USAClayGermany Steffi Graf7–5, 7–6(3)
20Tier I6 May 1991Rome, ItalyClaySocialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Monica Seles6–3, 6–2
21Tier III6 January 1992Sydney, AustraliaHardSpain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario6–1, 6–1
22Tier II27 January 1992Tokyo, Japan (Pan Pacific Open)Carpet (i)United States Martina Navratilova6–2, 4–6, 6–2
23Tier I30 March 1992Hilton Head Island, USAClaySpain Conchita Martínez6–1, 6–4
24Tier II6 April 1992Amelia Island, USAClayGermany Steffi Graf6–2, 1–6, 6–3
25Tier I4 May 1992Rome, ItalyClaySerbia and Montenegro Monica Seles7–5, 6–4
26WTA Championships14 November 1994Virginia Slims Championships, New York CityCarpet (i)United States Lindsay Davenport6–3, 6–2, 6–4
27Tier II9 January 1995Sydney, AustraliaHardUnited States Lindsay Davenport6–3, 6–4

Doubles (14)

Grand slam events in boldface.

Runner-ups (44)

Grand slam events in boldface.

Singles (28)

Doubles (16)

Singles performance timeline

Tournament1984198519861987198819891990199119921993199419951996Career SR
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian OpenAANHAASF3RQFSFSFSF1R4R0 / 8
French OpenASF4RSFSF4R4RSFSFQF1RQFA0 / 11
WimbledonA3RSFQF4R2RSFFSFQF4RQFA0 / 11
US Open3R1R4RQFFSFWQFQFQFSFSF3R1 / 13
Grand Slam SR0 / 10 / 30 / 30 / 30 / 30 / 41 / 40 / 40 / 40 / 40 / 40 / 40 / 21 / 43
Olympic Games
Summer OlympicsNHFNHANH3R0 / 2
Year-End Championship
WTA Tour ChampionshipsAA1R1RFWSFFSFSF1RWQFA2 / 11
Career Statistics
Tournaments Won011344255011027
Year End Ranking74111064353357729N/A

WTA Tour career earnings

YearGrand Slam
singles titles
WTA
singles titles
Total
singles titles
Earnings ($)Money list rank
1984–85011398,784n/a
1986011264,1398
1987033465,9336
1988044995,3993
1989044580,8013
1990112975,4904
19910551,168,5613
19920551,207,5654
1993000957,6805
1994011874,4706
1995011718,9786
1996000178,05037
Career126278,785,85024

See also

References

  1. ^ Miller, Stuart (2006). The 100 Greatest Days in New York Sports. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 305. ISBN 978-0-618-57480-3. http://books.google.com/?id=gbStu-wg1dIC&pg=RA3-PA305. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  2. ^ Woolum, Janet (1998). Outstanding women athletes (2 ed.). Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 58. ISBN 978-1-57356-120-4. http://books.google.com/?id=DWmCWO6SpsYC&pg=PA58. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  3. ^ New York Media, LLC (1992-11-09). "Why Sabatini Is Every Inch a Doll". New York Magazine 25 (44): 18. ISSN 0028-7369. http://books.google.com/?id=BeUCAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA18. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 

External links

Awards
Preceded by
Argentina Diego Maradona
Olimpia de Oro
19871988
Succeeded by
Argentina Eduardo Romero
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Ricardo Ibarra
Flagbearer for  Argentina
Seoul 1988
Succeeded by
Marcelo Garraffo