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Gabriela Sabatini

 

Gabriela Sabatini is a former professional tennis player from Argentina born May 16, 1970. 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, and a Silver Medal at the 1988 Olympic Games. Sabatini first came to the tennis world's attention as a brilliant junior player. She started playing tennis at the age of 6, and won her first tournament at age 8. In 1983, aged 13, she became the youngest player to win the Orange Bowl 18s in Miami, Florida. She won six major international junior titles, including the French Open girl's singles, and was ranked the World No. 1 junior player in 1984. In 1985, aged 15 years and 3 weeks, Sabatini became the youngest-ever player to reach the semi-finals 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. In the final she faced Germany's Steffi Graf, who had won three previous three Grand Slam events that year and was looking to complete the set. Sabatini put up a brave fight, but Graf was not to be denied and won 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. Sabatini was selected to represent Argentina in the Olympic Games in Seoul that year, and carried the country's flag in the opening ceremony. She won the Silver Medal in the women's singles competition. In the final she faced Graf and lost 6-3, 6-3. Sabatini teamed-up with Graf to win the women's doubles title at Wimbledon that year. And she also won 1988's year-end WTA Tour Championships.

After winning five tournaments in 1992, Sabatini had a 29-month drought in which she failed to win any titles. She brought this run to a dramatic end at the WTA Tour Championships in 1994, and then followed this up by winning her first tournamament of 1995 at Sydney. But that proved to be the last singles title of Sabatini's career. Sabatini retired from the professional tour in 1996, having won 27 singles titles and 12 doubles titles. Sabatini launched her own perfume, simply named Gabriela Sabatini, in 1989. Since retiring from competitive tennis, she has launched further perfume lines. In 1992, a red orange fiery rose was named the 'Gabriela Sabatini Rose' in her honour. In 1994, the 'Great American Doll Company' created a doll in Sabatini's likeness, dressed in tennis clothes. Sabatini was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006.



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