Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Under Carlos Moya
Hope this jogs a few more memories:
1987 marked the return of the women to the Foro Italico for the first time since 1979 and all the top-ranked players in the world except Evert were there. The top 4 seeds made the semi finals: Graf (#1) beat Sukova (#3) 63 63 and Sabatini (#4) beat Navratilova (#2) 76 (2) 61. At the end of her match, Navratilova, who had led 5-2 with set point in the first set, collapsed in tears. In the final, Graf extended her h2h lead over Sabatini to 6-0 with a 75 46 60 victory in which she came back from 2-5 and set point down in the opening set. The Italian press cruelly cast Steffi in the role of the beast against Gaby’s beauty and Graf, offended, vowed not to return to the tournament.
1988 In her last Italian Open appearance, Evert was forced to default her 3r match against Helen Kelesi, who later beat Reggi in the qf and Sanchez in the sf. Evert made the headlines anyway, as she was received by the Pope at the Vatican. Sabatini emerged triumphant, beating Hanika, Wiesner and Kelesi.
1989 The event suffered a major blow when Evert and Navratilova withdrew at the 11th hour, as both abandoned the entire clay court season. Manuela Maleeva was #2 but 4th seeded Sanchez pushed eventual champion Sabatini the hardest in a thrilling three-setter 62 57 64 and provided an inkling as to what would happen at Roland Garros later on.
1990 Navratilova beat Martinez 62 60 (her only win over Conchita) and Sabatini 76 75 in the semi-final in a desperate bid to win a tournament that was missing from her list but was swept aside bt Seles 61 61 in final. Helen Kelesi beat Sanchez #3 64 75 in the third round and made the semis but lost 61 62 to Seles, who conceded just 14 games in 5 matches overall.
1991 Sabatini defeated Martinez 61 62 and Seles 63 62 to win her third title. Navratilova, the 3rd seed, was thwarted by Martinez 63 64 in the quarters.
1992 Sabatini upset Seles 75 64 in the final to win the top prize. Like Bueno before her, Sabatini could draw comfort from her triumphs in Rome for her disappointments in Paris.
1993 Conchita Martinez beat Navratilova 61 64, MJ Fernandez 76 64 and Sabatini (who had taken out top seeded Sanchez 61 63 in the semis) to lift her first Italian title and take over from Sabatini as Queen of Italian Clay.
1994 Martinez defended her title in a tight two-set 76 (5) 64 victory over Navratilova in the latter’s last season. Navratilova thus ended her career without an Italian singles title to her name. Ironically, her 4th and last final at the age of 37, was the closest she ever got.
1995 Martinez upset two-seeded Pierce 63 63 in sf and top-seeded Sanchez 63 61 in an all-Spanish final to win her third consecutive title. Sabatini had gone out in the third round to Sukova 26 76 76. This was the last final show for Sanchez, who would end her career without a singles title at the Italian Open.
1996 Marked the return of Steffi Graf to Rome after a nine-year absence. It was not a happy one, however, as Steffi went out to Martina Hingis 26 62 63 in the quarters. Hingis made it all the way to the final but lost to Martinez 62 63, who set a tournament record with her fourth title in a row.
1997 Another returning champion, Monica Seles, was upset in the L16 by Mary Pierce 76 76. #2 seed Arantxa Sanchez lost 61 61 to Patti Schnyder in the qf. Pierce ended the reign of Martinez with a 64 60 final victory.
1998 Hingis won what was to be her most important clay court title over Venus Williams 63 26 63. Venus beat sister Serena in the quarters 64 62. The third round had seen the eliminations of Martinez by Serena 62 62 and Monica Seles by Sandrine Testud.
1999 In a reversal of fortunes, Venus Williams beat top-seeded defending champion Martina Hingis 64 16 64 in the semis and Mary Pierce 64 62 to clinch her most prestigious clay court title to date. Hingis beat Serena 62 62 in the quarters.
2000 Ten years after winning her first Italian title, Seles won her most important title since the Australian Open of 1996, beating Mauresmo 62 76 in the final. Seles was only seeded 5 but the top 4 had all crashed out: Davenport defaulted to Casoni in the 3R, Tauziat (#2) went out to Zuluaga, Venus Williams (3) lost to Dokic and Pierce lost to Maursmo in the third round.
2001 Jelena Dokic, world ranked #23, won her first ever tournament and what is still her biggest title defeating Martinez and Mauresmo in the last two rounds.
2002 Serena Williams joined her sister on the roll of honour, beating Capriati in sf and Justine Hénin in the final for her first clay court title.
2003 Kim Clijsters beat Amélie Mauresmo, who had put out Serena Williams, coming back and winning 7 straight games and the second set tie-break from 36 56 in the final. The Frenchwoman is thus a three-time losing finalist, one short of Navratilova’s record 4 defeats without a victory.
2004: The Italian Open celebrates its diamond jubilee as this year's tournament will be the 60th edition.
Traits Gandhi considered the most spiritually perilous to humanity.*Wealth without Work * Pleasure without Conscience
*Science without Humanity *Knowledge without Character
*Politics without Principle *Commerce without Morality
*Worship without Sacrifice