Sunday, July 16, 2006


This past Saturday in Newport, Rhode Island, Australia’s Patrick Rafter,33, and Argentina’s Gabriela Sabatini, 36, along with 8 others were inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Gabriela is perhaps the world’s all-time best female athlete. As such her induction into the hall of fame is no surprise!

She won the US Open in 1990, the Wimbledon Doubles title in 1988 (with partner Steffi Graf), and a silver medal in the 1988 Olympic Games. She was also part of the 1996 Argentine Olympic team.

Overall, Gabriela won 27 WTA Tour singles championships and 14 doubles championships; was ranked in the top 10 for ten consecutive years (1986-1995). Her career winnings were $8,785,849.

"In her playing career, Sabatini was graceful, athletic and elegant, a sound baseline player who switched successfully to the serve-and-volley game. She was glamorous, and the crowds loved her. Sports Illustrated noted her “brooding good looks.” (“Off the court, Sabatini is still in her prime” by Frank Litsky, N.Y. Times, July 16,2006)

From her induction speech:

"I was a very introverted person and it wasn't easy for me to relate to others. Tennis has exposed me to so many things in such positive ways that perhaps I wouldn't have experienced it if it wasn't through tennis."

"Today I am convinced that tennis is not only a sport, it is giving you the opportunity to open your mind, to travel all over the world, to get to know people and relate to others to have a commitment and responsibility, to grow and mature at an early age, to face and overcome obstacles, all of which I can apply in my everyday life. All of these things have made me the person I am today and that is why I am so grateful to this sport."

Gabriela currently lives in Buenos Aires and sells 14 perfume titles like ”Bolero” (recommended for casual wear) and ”Tempermento” (recommended for evening wear). She also has a rose named after her. Grace Kelly, Queen Elizabeth and John F. Kennedy also have named roses.

Congratulations to Gabriela!

Photo: Gabriela Sabatini at the Australian Open in 1994 (William West/AP)
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