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post #311 of (permalink) Old Jul 3rd, 2005, 11:50 PM
country flag gabybackhand
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Cool Hi everybody

Hi everybody, I'm happy to see there are so many Gaby fans from all over the world. I'm Argentinian and this is my first post, so I have a welcome present for all English speakers. I hope you enjoy it!

Always Gabriela

While receiving love from the fans attending Nasdaq-100 Open, all-time best Argentine player spoke about the recognition she enjoys back home, how involved she is to national tennis and her current life style away from tennis rackets

Following the tennis tour enables you to be close to some real facts that seem far away or impossible to portray back in Argentina. From the very beginnig of the tournament, best-ever Argentine player Gabriela Sabatini has received respecto and veneration frome everyone wandering around Crandon Park, the complex that hosts Nasdaq-100 Open neighboring the apartment the former tennis player owns in Key Biscayne.
And Gabriela, huge Gabriela, is permanently responding to that passion. Stopping by to sign autographs, talking to every kid, affectionately greeting the boys eager to get a picture with her. Always a smile on her face. Always ready to say yes. Just like every great people who found a way beyond their remarkable resumť on their chosen activity, she is 34 years old and and owns a real sport ambassador woman style, which seems to be Ėunfairly- little considered back in Argentina. And not only in Key Biscayne. Sabatini gets cheering crowds in Rome, London, Paris, New York or any place in the world you can think of. And she is always announced or acclaimed as a special persona. No matter she has not played on the pro tour for over eight years, after eleven seasons during which she collected 27 titles, one of them here in 1989, and jumped on the rankings as high as the Nļ3 position.

-Gabriela, how can you explain this phenomenon about you and the people? It is a remarkable, very big thing
- One great thing I always get is peopleís affection, itís unbelievable, thereís no explanation for that. I donít know where all this comes from. Itís huge and I canít make up for it. Itís beyond everything. Itís overwhelming. I donít understand where so much love comes from. It happened to me go to places, say, Hungary, Slovakia or Poland y peopleís recognition is unbelievable. Itís hard to understand because I never played in those countries. That makes me think about how far tennis can reach and what a popular sport it is.

- Isnít it like a feed-back thing, in your opinion?
- I donít know how to explain it. I was always well inclined towards people because they gave me so much. But I never expected their love to be so huge. Nowadays, I like to stop by and talk to people, on equals standards.

- Is there more recognition for you abroad?
-No, not at all. Back home it is amazing also, people come over and say to me ďthanks for all you did and for all you gave us allĒ. Itís thrilling indeed.

- Just when Buenos Aires ATP Tour event was over, in February, you enjoyed a very special moment. During award ceremony, you were together with Guillermo Vilas and Gastůn Gaudio, Grand Slam winners as you

-Thatís true and it all came naturally. MartŪn (Jaite) called me during the match and asked if I wanted to present a trophy. It really was a wonderful time for me, as well as for Guillermo and Gastůn. I have that picture at home: it was history.

- And on top of that, in the middle of a golden age for Argentine tennis
- Yes, itís a fabulous time and we must take advantage of it. Argentina always produced good players, but never before we got three top-ten players and so many so close to be as now. Itís wonderful. Iíd love it could be like that for girls too. Itís always harder for them. I donít know whether itís because itís harder for a girl to travel alone or eventually leave home. We must keep on for girls to join this moment and start playing tennis

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