Gabriela Sabatini Bio - Biography

Name Gabriela Sabatini
Height 5 ft 9 in
Naionality Argentin
Date of Birth 16 May 1970,
Place of Birth Buenos Aires, Argentina
Famous for
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, aged 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 3 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 U.S. 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. 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 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." 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.

Sabatini's next Grand Slam singles final came in 1990, where she again faced Graf in the final of the U.S. Open. This time, Sabatini beat Graf 6-2, 7-6. She also beat 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.

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. Graf prevailed 6-4, 3-6, 8-6, despite the fact that Sabatini served for the match on more than one occasion. Sabatini reached her career-high singles ranking of World No. 2 that year and came close to attaining the No. 1 ranking but was narrowly denied by Graf and then by Seles. All three players' rankings were within a few points of each other for much of the year.

After winning five tournaments in 1992, Sabatini had a 29-month drought in which she failed to win a title. She brought this run 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 1989, she launched her own perfume, simply named "Gabriela Sabatini." Since retiring from competitive tennis, she has launched several other perfume lines. In 1992, a red-orange fiery rose was named the "Gabriela Sabatini Rose" in her honor. In 1994, the Great American Doll Company created a doll in Sabatini's likeness, dressed in tennis clothes.

In 1994, 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 12 doubles titles. She played her last professional match on October 19 1996 in the doubles' semi-final in Zurich, with Lori McNeil. Sabatini was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 15, 2006.

Gabriela Sabatini Photos