Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Dudley Randall Biography - A Poet from an Early Age to Ferrol Sams Jr Biography » Gabriela Sabatini: 1970—: Tennis Player, Fragrance Designer Biography - Showed Natural Talent, Intensity Won Tournaments, Reached Peak Of Tennis Career, Retired From Tennis

Gabriela Sabatini: 1970—: Tennis Player, Fragrance Designer - Intensity Won Tournaments

world beat ranked age

Sabatini's rapid rise to success at such a tender age caused concern among other observers. Dick Dell, who became her agent when she was 14, told Newman that Sabatini was focusing too much of her energy on tennis at a very young age and was thus losing her only chance to have a normal childhood. "I am for anything that would give her an outlet outside tennis," he said. "Instead of being in school every day with girls her own age, she was thrown into an adult world." Sabatini dropped out of school after moving to the United States, and she did not learn to speak English for three more years.

Sabatini's inability to speak English, combined with an innate shyness, led some to believe she was cold and aloof. However, this quality appealed to other observers. Tim Tinling, a tennis official, told Newman, "I think that aloofness is part of her charisma. There's a great arrogance about Sabatini, and it all shows in the carriage of her head. She looks almost goddesslike. Taken together, her beauty and her arrogance form a contradiction. And I don't think one should try to solve a contradiction in a beautiful woman. One has simply to accept her as she is."

Sabatini began making a mark on the international tennis world in 1984, when she won seven of the eight junior tournaments she entered. In that same year she became the youngest player ever to win a round at the U.S. Open, and when she won a second Open round, the press and other players began calling her "The Great Sabatini." She turned professional shortly afterward, and in June of 1985, she beat two top-ten-ranked players in one morning at the Family Circle Magazine Cup Tournament. Two months later, she reached the semifinals of the French Open, the youngest player ever to do so, and was ranked number 15 in the world. In July of 1985 she competed at Wimbledon, and in August she beat the top seed, Pam Shriver, in the quarterfinals of the United Jersey Bank Classic. In that same year, she was named Tennis magazine's Rookie of the Year.

In 1987 Sabatini changed coaches, hiring Angel Gimenez, a former Davis Cup player from Spain. She and Gimenez both worked on increasing her stamina and conditioning. Her training included running for up to an hour each day and practicing for longer hours on the court. By 1988 this training led to results: Sabatini was ranked fifth in the world. And at the end of the 1988 Virginia Slims tournament in Boca Raton, Florida, Sabatini won the final two sets against Steffi Graf, a player whom she had never been able to beat before. Ironically, although she had often been intimidated when it came to the task of beating Graf, she often played successfully with Graf in doubles tournaments.

Gabriela Sabatini: 1970—: Tennis Player, Fragrance Designer - Reached Peak Of Tennis Career [next] [back] Gabriela Sabatini: 1970—: Tennis Player, Fragrance Designer - Showed Natural Talent

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