Biógrafia en español New
Gabriela Beatriz Sabatini is born the 16th of May 1970 at 6.30 am at the Hopital Italiano of Buenos Aires (Argentina). She is the second child of Osvaldo Sabatini and Beatriz Garofalo Sabatini. Her brother, Osvaldo Aníbal, is 5 years older than her. She spent her childhood in Villa Devoto. Around 1976, her family decided to sell their country house and became members of the River Plate Tennis Club. Gaby started to play tennis at 6 years old hitting the ball against the wall of the club. Daniel "Palito" Fidalgo noticed her and began to teach her tennis. She won her first tournament at the age of 8. At 11 years old, she won the Junior Championship in Caracas. But prior to this, she had already won a lot of metropolitan and national tournaments. She also spent much time in Patricio Apey's academy in Miami before travelling 3 months to South Africa & Europe together with Mercedes Paz, her best friend and argentinian tennis player. In June 1984, she won Roland Garros Junior and became World Junior Number one. She was welcomed by more than 300 people at the airport of Ezeiza after winning this title. Here started her celebrity and her exceptional relation with public.
In 1985, coached by Patricio Apey Sr, she became professional and played her first final in Hilton Head where she lost against the great Chris Evert 6:4-6:0. Two months later, she reached the Roland Garros semi-final for the first time where she lost once again against Chis Evert 6:4-6:1. She won her first championship the same year in Tokio beating Linda Gates 6:3-6:4. She played her first match against her greatest rival Steffi Graf in Mahwah losing 4:6-6:0-6:3 (first of 39 meetings). She reached Wimbledon semi-final for the first time in 1986 and was beaten by Martina Navratilova 6:2-6:2. Coached by Angel Gimenez, she took part in her first Grand Slam final in the US Open 1988 but lost against Steffi 6:3-3:6-6:1 and, a few weeks later, she was the silver medalist at the Olympic games of Seoul beaten by the eternal Steffi 6:3-6:3 and became the first woman olympic medalist of Argentina). The same year, she won one of her greatest titles in the Masters of New York beating Pam Shriver 7:5-6:3-6:2. She became world N3 in 1989, her best ranking. In 1990, coached by Carlos Kirmayr, she won her first and only Grand Slam title in the US Open beating (bet who !) Steffi Graf in 2 sets 6:2-7:6. As a result of a promise Osvaldo made to his daughter if she won the title, he had to stop smoking ! She reached Wimbledon final in July 1991 but lost it against Steffi 6:4-3:6-8:6 after having had the opportunity to have 2 match balls and to become the world N1. In 1992, she was close to take part of her first RG final but lost in 3 sets against Monica Seles 6:3-4:6-6:4. We all remember her terrible match against the lovely Mary-Joe Fernandez in Roland Garros 1993 where she led 6:1-5:1 and finally lost the match 1:6-7:6-10:8. Then she went through a 2 years crisis during which she didn't win any tournament. In 1994, she won the Masters for the second time beating Lindsay Davenport 6:3-6:2-6:4 and finally reunite her with victory. She won her last title in Sydney 1995 where she beat once again Lindsay 6:3-6:4. She decided to stop playing in 1996 and played her last tournament in Zürich in October against the survivor Jennifer Capriati. The announcement of her retirement as well as her farewell party took place at the Madison Square Garden in New York.
During her career Gabriela Sabatini has won 27 titles in single and 14 in double, was 3 times semi-finalist in the Australian Open, 5 times in Roland Garros, 3 times in Wimbledon and 3 times in the US Open. She was the most fair-play player so far, we all remember she has been the only one to support Monica Seles after the horrible event of 1993 in Hamburg, trying to let her stay the number one during her convalescence. And she was also the most popular tennis player of all time, catching the public attention each time she was playing, all around the world. She has always been kind-hearted, giving her time and money to all the people who needed it, a real proof she is a good person.
Gabriela did write a book in 1994 called My Story, sold together with a doll. She was the first tennis player to have a rose named after her in 1992. In the past, she also made avertisements for FILA, Notorio Occhiali, Pepsi, Ray-Ban, Longines, Eco de los Andes etc. Now she is a successful business woman who still has got her perfumes line and who help young tennis players in Argentina, giving them the opportunity to travel all around the world. She also invested money to build a new tennis center in Pilar (Tennis, Golf and Polo) that will be a tennis school as well. Gaby still takes part in some charity events every now and then and sometimes plays exhibitions, above all for Steffi Graf foundation.
She lives in Buenos Aires and she also has a flat in Key Biscayne (Florida, USA) where she spends some time during the year as well as in Europe. She still travels a lot around the world to promote her products or just for her own pleasure. She now enjoys cycling very much, did some races in France, Switzerland and South Africa and, since 2011, loves to swim 3 times a week. She also likes to spend time at home with her family and friends. She really loves her two nieces, Oriana Gabriela (1996) and Tiziana Beatriz (1999), the children of her brother Osvaldo and his wife, the famous venezuelan actress, Catherine Fulop. She is not married for the moment but no word about her private life and romances because she wants to keep that private and I respect that (you won't find any article about her private life on this website either). I wish her to find the man of her dreams and to be happy...
Gabriela with her parents Beatriz and Osvaldo
Her brother Osvaldo, his wife Catherine Fulop and their daughters, Oriana and Tiziana
Gabriela's family in 2009: her mother Beatriz, Tiziana (1999), her father Osvaldo, Oriana (1996) and her sister-in-law Catherine Fulop