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Gabriela Beatriz Sabatini is an Argentine former professional tennis player. She was born on May 16, 1970. From the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s, she was a dominant player, winning 41 titles and reaching a career-high ranking of 3 in both singles and doubles. Sabatini won the US Open in 1990, the WTA Finals in 1988 and 1994, and was runner-up at Wimbledon in 1991, the US Open in 1988, and the 1988 Olympics.
She won Wimbledon alongside Steffi Graf in 1988 and reached three French Open finals. Sabatini holds the record for most wins over reigning world No. 1 ranked players among Open era players who did not reach the top spot themselves.
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She was admitted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006, and Tennis Magazine named her the 20th greatest player of the last 50 years in 2018.
Childhood and junior career
Sabatini was born to Osvaldo and Beatriz Garofalo Sabatini on May 16, 1970, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her father worked at General Motors as a senior executive. Osvaldo, her older brother, is an actor and producer.
Sabatini began playing tennis when she was six years old and won her first competition when she was eight. She became the youngest player to win the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida when she was 13 years old. In 1984, she won the French Open girls’ singles and the US Open girls’ doubles with fellow Argentine Mercedes Paz. Sabatini was awarded 1984 Junior World Champion by the International Tennis Federation after reaching world No. 1 in the junior rankings.
Sabatini said that she lost matches on purpose when she was younger to avoid having to perform on-court interviews and therefore avoid media attention. She admitted that her shyness had been a huge issue, and she believed she would have to speak on the court after playing in a tournament final; as a result, she would lose in the quarterfinals.
Sabatini became one of the youngest players to reach the semifinals of the French Open in 1985 when she was 15 years and three weeks old. She lost to Chris Evert. Later that year, in Tokyo, she won her first WTA Tour singles title. In September 1985, she debuted in the world’s top ten (at #10), and by the end of the year, she was placed number 12. She was named the WTA’s Newcomer of the Year.
Sabatini reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 1986, losing to Martina Navratilova, before capturing her second WTA championship in Buenos Aires the following year. In September 1986, she re-entered the world’s top ten, where she remained for 508 weeks until May 1996.
Sabatini advanced to the semifinals of the 1987 French Open and the final of the 1987 WTA Tour Championships, however both times she was defeated by Steffi Graf. She also won three WTA titles, including a victory in Brighton over world No. 4 Pam Shriver.
Sabatini first entered the top five rankings in February 1988 and remained there until August 1993. She advanced to her third French Open semifinal and then to her first Grand Slam singles final at the US Open, where she was defeated in three sets by Graf. Sabatini was a member of Argentina’s delegation to the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, where she was chosen to carry her country’s flag during the opening ceremony.
She then went on to win silver in the women’s singles event, losing in the final against Graf. Sabatini and Graf won the women’s doubles title at Wimbledon the following year. Sabatini won her first WTA Tour Championships without dropping a set at the end of 1988.
Sabatini reached the finals of seven tournaments in 1989, winning four of them, including the Miami Open (defeating Evert in the final). She became only the fifth player in Open Era history to defeat both the No. 1 and No. 2 rated players at the same tournament when she defeated world No. 2 Martina Navratilova and No. 1 Steffi Graf to win the Amelia Island title. She also advanced to the Grand Slam semifinals of the Australian Open and the US Open.
Sabatini hurt her ankle during a third-round match at the Australian Open and had to be wheeled off Center Court in a wheelchair. Mark Woodforde hurt his ankle on the same court 80 minutes later in the following match and had to retire by wheelchair as well.
Several players had protested about the perils of playing on the tournament’s Rebound Ace hard court surface, which they claimed got extremely sticky – and hence potentially dangerous – in extremely hot temperatures. The injury kept Sabatini off the circuit for six weeks, but she returned in mid-March and won her first tournament back, the Virginia Slims of Florida, without dropping a set.
She reached the Wimbledon semi-finals before losing in straight sets to eventual champion Martina Navratilova.
Sabatini reached her second Grand Slam final at the US Open, defeating world No. 1 Graf in straight sets, 6-2, 7–6, after saving two match points against her while down 5-6 in the second set. She attributed her victory to being more aggressive and attacking Graf’s shorter balls whenever she could.
Later the same year, Sabatini defeated Graf in the semifinals of the WTA Championships in Madison Square Garden but lost to Monica Seles in the final, 6–4, 5–7, 3–6, 6–4, 6–2. It was the first time the women’s tour had played a five-set match since 1901.
In the first half of the year, Sabatini won five competitions. Then won the title in Tokyo by defeating three of the top five players (Graf, Navratilova, and Fernandez), and she defeated Graf three more times at Boca Raton, Key Biscayne, and Amelia Island. Sabatini won the Italian Open final with a five-game victory over world number one Seles.
She advanced to the semifinals in Roland Garros after saving two set points in the quarterfinals against Jana Novotna, and then to the Wimbledon singles final, where she lost to Graph 4–6, 6–3, 6–8. (having served for the match twice).
Sabatini came close to becoming the world No. 1 in 1991, but Graf and later Monica Seles narrowly defeated him. For much of the year, the three players’ rankings were within a few points of each other. Her year came to a close when she was named the WTA Most Improved Player of the Year.
Sabatini reached eight finals and won five titles, including her fourth Italian Open (in which she defeated world No. 1 Seles in the final for the fourth time), Amelia Island (in which she defeated Graf in the final), and Hilton Head. She also advanced to the semifinals of three of the four great slams, including the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon, as well as the quarterfinals of the US Open.
Sabatini advanced to the semifinals of the Australian Open, saving three match points in the quarterfinals against Mary Pierce to win 4–6, 7–6, 6–0, before falling to eventual champion Seles. During the clay-court season, she reached the finals of both the Italian and German Opens.
Sabatini fell to Mary Jo Fernandez in the quarterfinals of the French Open on June, 8–10 in the final set, in what was the third-longest match in Open Era tennis at the time, despite leading 5–1 in the second. Sabatini also advanced to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon and the US Open, where she was defeated in three sets by Graf.
Following Monica Seles’ stabbing attack at the WTA Hamburg tournament in May of that year, the tour organizers held a vote among the top players to determine if Seles’ world no. 1 status should be safeguarded while she recovered from the knife attack.
Except for Sabatini, all 17 players who voted against protecting Seles’ rating voted no (who abstained). Despite the outcome of the voting, Seles was given a joint No. 1 rating (together with Graf) when she returned to the circuit two years later.
Sabatini reached the finals of the Amelia Island and Strasbourg Opens, as well as the semifinals of the Australian and US, Opens, in 1994. She did not lose before the quarterfinal stage in 15 straight Grand Slam competitions, from Wimbledon 1990 to the Australian Open 1994; this was the third-longest streak of consecutive quarterfinal Grand Slam appearances in women’s tennis history (behind Graf and Navratilova tied on 19).
Sabatini won her second championship at the WTA Championships in New York in November, defeating Lindsay Davenport in the final. She defeated world No. 6, Martina Navratilova, in the first round, which was Navratilova’s final match before retirement.
Sabatini won the Sydney International, defeating Davenport in straight sets in the final. She reached the quarterfinals of both the French Open and Wimbledon, as well as the semifinals of the US Open (where she lost to eventual champion Graf 4–6, 6–7). She also reached the quarterfinals of the French Open and Wimbledon. Graf won 29–11 in their semifinal, which was the 40th and final encounter between the two. Sabatini’s 11 victories meant she had beaten Graf more times than any other player in history.
Due to a torn stomach muscle, Sabatini missed many months of the season. She announced her retirement from professional tennis in October in New York. She was awarded the WTA Diamond Aces Award at the end of the year (given to the player considered to have done the most to promote tennis both on and off the court).
Sabatini spent 508 weeks in the world’s top ten from 1986 until her five-month injury layoff in 1996. This is the fourth-longest top-10 streak in WTA history for any player.
She finished six straight seasons in the top five, having spent 312 weeks in the world’s top five. Sabatini has played in 18 Grand Slam singles semifinals and 14 Grand Slam doubles semifinals and has reached at least one Grand Slam singles semifinal in 11 consecutive years. During her career, she defeated the current world No. 1 ten times (Graf seven times, Seles twice, and Navratilova once).
Sabatini was named the most prestigious “Sportsperson of the Decade” in Argentina in 2000, and she was admitted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in July 2006.
Gabriela Sabatini Personal life
Sabatini collaborated with Mülhens, a German perfume business, to produce a fragrance line in the late 1980s. In 1989, she released her unique perfume. She has continued to advertise her perfume lines since retiring.
Sabatini was the first tennis player to be honored with a rose named after her, an orange-red bloom, in 1992.
In 1994, the Great American Doll Company made a tennis-themed doll in Sabatini’s likeness. In the same year, Sabatini released My Story, a motivational book.
She was granted Italian citizenship “jus sanguinis” in 2003 through her paternal great-grandfather, David Sabatini, who was born in Potenza Picena, Eastern Italy, and came to Argentina with his wife Rosa Vivani at the end of the 19th century.
Mauricio Macri inaugurated a statue of Sabatini in central Buenos Aires in 2014. The bronze-colored racket was stolen from the statue’s grip just weeks after it was unveiled.
The statue stands beside memorials to Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona, Guillermo Vilas, and Roberto de Vicenzo, among other Argentine sports legends.
Sabatini received the International Club’s coveted Jean Borotra Sportsmanship Award in 2017 in appreciation of her sportsmanship throughout her career as well as her post-retirement charity endeavors. Rod Laver presented her with the award at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships.
Sabatini received the Philippe Chatrier Award from the ITF in 2019 for her achievements both during her tennis career and in post-retirement charitable work, notably her work with UNICEF, UNESCO, the Special Olympics, and as an ‘Athlete Role Model’ at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
Sabatini’s sister-in-law is Venezuelan actress Catherine Fulop, and her niece is Argentinian singer and actress Oriana Sabatini, who she met through her brother Osvaldo. Sabatini splits his time between Buenos Aires, Boca Raton, and Pfäffikon, Switzerland.
Gabriela Sabatini Partner & Lesbian Rumors
We scanned the internet for information on Sabatini’s dating history and personal life, despite the fact that she has kept her personal life a secret. She is not married and is not dating anyone, according to sources.
Because of her current lowkey relationship status, she has been accused of being a lesbian in the media. She, on the other hand, has yet to respond to the rumors.
According to her dating history, she had a one-month relationship with Donald Trump in 1989. In 1989, she had a relationship with Frank Unkelbach, a German businessman, but they broke up in 1990.
She later dated Ricky Martin, a Puerto Rican musician, for five months, starting in May 1992 and ending in October 1992. In 1992, she was said to be dating Argentine TV personality Leo Montero, but this was never confirmed.
Despite having a long record of dating relationships, the tennis legend has yet to discover the love of her life. Nonetheless, the renowned tennis player in her forties is a huge motivation to many aspiring female tennis players throughout the world.
Gabriela Sabatini Net Worth
Gabriela Sabatini is a former professional tennis player from Argentina with an estimated net worth of $8 million dollars. Gabriela Sabatini was born in 1970 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and began playing tennis at the age of six. Within two years, she had won a competition. Sabatini was the youngest tennis player to ever win the Orange Bowl at the age of 13.