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 - Retired From Tennis

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In early 1992 Sabatini won five tournaments, but she was losing her enthusiasm for the game. By 1994, she had gone two years without winning a tournament, and she was further disgraced at the French Open, when Silvia Farini, who was ranked 108 in the world, beat the number-eight ranked Sabatini. It was only the second time in her pro career that Sabatini had failed to make it past the first round in a Grand Slam event. Of this apparent slump, she told Sally Jenkins in Sports Illustrated, "People keep asking me [if I'm burned out]. They want to know if I'm tired, do I need more time off? No. I doubt the solution is in a vacation." She said she would keep playing. "I love this sport. I'm happy to be out there. I like to keep trying and I like to work hard. I just don't like to lose."

However, she did continue to lose, and in 1996, she suffered a pulled stomach muscle that kept her out of the French Open and Wimbledon; her ranking had already dropped to 31. On October 15 Sabatini played what would be her last match, against Jennifer Capriati at the European Indoor in Zurich, Switzerland, and lost 6-3, 6-4. In the locker room after the match, she wept. According to Josh Young in the Washington Times, "She said she wasn't crying out of sadness, but out of relief, giving us a glimpse of the real Sabatini." At a news conference announcing her retirement, Sabatini said, "This is what I want to do for my life, this is what makes me happy, and this was the right time to do it," according to Young. Her coach at the time, Juan Nunez, said, "She lost the fire to compete because of the pressure she's put on herself over the years to make other people—her fans, her family, her coaches—happy, and in doing that I think she left aside a big part of herself. It broke my heart to see her suffering out there. I felt like I was pushing her to do things she didn't want to do anymore."

During the press conference where she announced her retirement from tennis, Sabatini said that she wanted to devote her attention to her perfume business. She has lived quietly and has remained out of the public eye since then. Her perfumes are marketed by Cosmopolitan Cosmetics, which also sells other celebrity fragrances.


Sources

Books


Contemporary Newsmakers 1985, Issue Cumulation, Gale Research, 1986.

Dictionary of Hispanic Biography, Gale Research, 1996.

Great Women in Sports, Visible Ink Press, 1996.


Periodicals


Maclean's, November 4, 1996, p. 15.

People, September 7, 1987, p. 127.

Sports Illustrated, May 2, 1988, p. 52; September 17, 1990, p. 22; March 18, 1991, p. 66; June 6, 1994, p. 60.

Washington Post, July 6, 1991.

Washington Times, October 30, 1996, p. 5.


On-line


"Gabriela Sabatini," Biography Resource Center, www.galenet.com/servlet/BioRC (May 7, 2003).

Gabriela Sabatini Official Website, www.gabrielasabatini.com (June 12, 2003).

—Kelly Winters

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