Congratulations to Gabriel Sabatini on her birthday, as she made a sad speech

From 1986 to 1995, the 1990 US Open champion finished ten years in a row in the Top 10, with three of those years—1989, 1991, and 1992—ending at her career-high ranking of No. 3. She was a constant at the top of the game.

Between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s, Gabriela Sabatini was one of the most well-known tennis players for more than ten years. We’re looking back at her amazing career on this day, her 50th birthday. Following a stellar junior career that included a 14-year-old French Open girls’ title win in 1984, Sabatini shot to fame on the same courts the following year when, in her second Grand Slam women’s event, she reached the semifinals before losing to Chris Evert.

At the time, the Argentine was just fifteen years and three weeks old. “I grew up on clay, so playing at Roland Garros has always been special to me,” the player remarked. “My first recollection dates back to my junior victory. At the time, I was fourteen. For me, that was really significant. Playing there has always been fun for me, and I’ve always wanted to win.

Despite making it to four more French Open semifinals during her career, Sabatini’s greatest achievements came at two other majors. She lost to Stefanie Graf in the 1988 US Open Grand Slam final, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. Two years later, on the same courts, she would win her first Grand Slam championship, defeating Graf 6-2, 7-6 (4), to win the 1990 US Open. Following her historic victory at Flushing Meadows, Sabatini remarked, “There’s no way to explain this emotion.” “I achieved my goal of winning a Grand Slam today, which I really wanted.”

She remains the first woman from South America to win a Grand Slam championship during the Open Era, excepting two-time major champion Garbine Muguruza, who is Spanish by birth but was born in Venezuela.

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