Gabriela Sabatini has said that when she was young, she used to lose games intentionally because she didn’t want to have a chat with the reporters. According to the former Argentinean superstar, she was an introvert girl and she used to feel nervous while talking to the press.
Talking to the correspondent of a newspaper recently, Sabatini said, “At the start of my career, I used to suffer defeats intentionally because I knew if I won, I would have to talk to the press. So, in order to avoid that, I used to lose matches.”
“I was a shy girl and I used to have problems in my schooling days too. I couldn’t talk to people with confidence. I used to get nervous.”
“I was not lacking competitiveness though and that’s why whenever I lost a match intentionally, I got disappointed.”
Sabatini had caught everyone’s eyes when she had first burst onto the scene in the mid eighties. She was seen as a hugely talented young player and was expected to achieve huge amount of success. But, she couldn’t quite live up to the expectations. She managed to win just one Grand Slam singles title in her career. Also, she didn’t become the no. 1 player in the world ever. The highest position that she managed to achieve in the WTA rankings was no. 3.
When asked about the reason behind her not becoming the no. 1 player in the world ever, Sabatini said, “I think my huge popularity was one of the reasons behind it. Having a low profile helps you to focus on your game much better. But, when you become as famous as I had become, it gets a bit tough.”
Sabatini retired from professional tennis 17 years back in 1996.
Sabatini Online video Rating: 4 / 5
Sabatini Video Score: four / five
Gabriela Sabatini’s countryman, Juan Martin Del Potro, has been defeated by Lleyton Hewitt of Australia in the second round of the ongoing US Open. Hewitt won the match in five sets by 6-4, 5-7, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-1.
It was a fine performance by the 32 years Australian veteran. He was close to losing the contest at one stage, but, he didn’t let the panic set in. He battled it out incredibly well and came out victorious at the end.
It was the 5th match between these two players and Hewitt defeated Del Potro for the 3rd time.
In the opening set, Del Potro started brilliantly and broke Hewitt’s serve in the second game to take a lead of 2-0.
In the very next game, Hewitt broke back and then, by holding his serve in the next game, he levelled the proceedings.
In the next couple of games, there were no serve breaks and then, in the 7th game, Hewitt sneaked a breakthrough again to get ahead by 4-3. Thereafter, he just bagged his next two service games and clinched the set.
In the second set, the first 8 games went with the serve and the scores were levelled at 4-4. Hewitt broke Del Potro’s serve in the 9th game to take a lead of 5-4. It seemed that the Australian player was going to win back-to-back sets. But, Del Potro didn’t let that happen. He won the next 3 games in a row with some fantastic shots and sealed the set by 7-5.
Del Potro continued flourishing in the third set as well and bagged it with ease with a couple of breakthroughs.
Now, the pressure was on Hewitt. He had to win the next set somehow to extend the match. He seemed to be doing that easily when he managed to get up by 5-3 by sneaking a breakthrough in the 8th game. He was serving for the set in the next game, but, he failed to serve it out and his lead got decreased to 5-4.
Both the players held their serve in the next 3 games and the set went into the tie breaker where Hewitt soaked up the pressure remarkably well. He let his opponent win only a couple of points and pulled off the tie breaker to drag the match into the 5th set.
In the decider, there was no stopping Hewitt. He was in his zone. With 3 successive serve breaks, he bagged 6 out of the first 7 games to win the match.