View Full Version : Goodbye Arantxa

Nov 12th, 2002, 04:59 PM
From El Mundo

HER FIRST ROLAND GARROS | It was in 1989 when a youngster of barely 17 years old shocked the world of tennis defeating Germany's Steffi Graf in the final of Roland Garros 7-6(8-6), 3-6, 7-5. It was only the beginning.

FRIENDS AND RIVALS | Germany's Steffi Graf became the rival of Arantxa in most of the big finals that the Spanish player reached in her caeer.

FIVE FED CUP TITLES | The youngest of the Sánchez-Vicario played all the finals that the Spanish team reached, winning five titles in her career and becoming the tennis player with more apperances in a final in Fed Cup history, along with her partner, Conchita Martínez.

THE US OPEN ALSO HERS | In 1994 she stormed through her best season, winning Roland Garros and the US Open, making true all the promise of previous seasons.

A VERY SPECIAL DEDICATION | Never in her career did she forget those close to her. She always had big friendships both in the court and away due to her great dedication to her friends and family.

WITHOUT MAKING ANY NOISE | Even being the great diva of Spanish tennis, Arantxa has always stayed away from controversy to dedicate herself entirely to "her sport"

THIS ONE DIDN'T GO OVER | Friend and foe, the net has been a great help and a big enemy at times. But this time, the net has not saved Arantxa, who has decided to hang her racquet.

WIMBLEDON - THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY | The very desired and prestigious english tournament was the one that as far as Arantxa was concerned got away. Steffi, twice, stood in the way of her dream tournament win.

THE OLYMPIC DREAM | Her great performance in the singles at the Olympics Games in Barcelona and Atlanta gave her 2 medals (bronze, silver).

A GREAT TEAM | The partnership that she formed with Conchita Martínez is the best in Spanish tennis history, winning two Olympic medals in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic games (silver and bronze).

HER LAST GRAND SLAM | It was in 1998 when Arantxa won Roland Garros against usa's Monica Seles. That title was the last one in a impressive Grand Slam record.

THE SANCHEZ-VICARIO FAMILY | Emilio, Javier and Arantxa were the main spanihs players for many years, but it was without a doubt, the "girl" who made a name for herself in world tennis.

GOODBYE ARANTXA | With barely contained tears and visibly affected, the best spanish player of all time has said goodbye to tennis. She knows it's her time to go and she has decided to stop. We won't see her again in the WTA Tour.

Nov 12th, 2002, 05:01 PM
This was great!!!!

Nov 12th, 2002, 05:02 PM
goodbye :)

Nov 12th, 2002, 05:03 PM
:sad: Its sad to see her go...Good Luck Arantxa in the future :sad:

Nov 12th, 2002, 05:03 PM
Thank you for your conclusion...
suddenly feel sad now....:(
ASV..thx you for playing so many good matches!
You are definitely the hero in my heart!
Hope you can have better life after you retired!

Nov 12th, 2002, 05:45 PM
She'll be missed a lot. There were so many great matches where she was involved.

Thank you for the many exciting years Arantxa and good luck for the future! :)

Nov 12th, 2002, 05:52 PM
It's great that she and steffi always came along so well despite being rivals for so long:)

Nov 12th, 2002, 05:57 PM
I think Arantxa was very underrated and didn't receive as much credit as she deserved. People say Steffi had no rivals when Monica was off the tour, but some of those matches between Steffi and Arantxa in 94-96 remain some of the best I have ever seen. They played some intense battles and I will always remember them fondly.

Goodbye Arantxa, well done and have a great life :)

Nov 12th, 2002, 06:01 PM
:sad: :sad: :sad:


Arantxa and Steffi were great rivals and friends too I think

I will miss her :sad:

Good luck in the future :wavey:

Nov 12th, 2002, 06:51 PM
Goodbye Arantxa and thanks for those great matches esp. against Steffi in RG! I remember one of the first matches i saw on TV was the 1994 RG final against Mary Pierce! :)

Great career, great champion!

Nov 12th, 2002, 06:57 PM
One of the best posts that I have ever read here Gallofa. Who are the other two players in the Fed Cup photo?

Nov 12th, 2002, 06:57 PM
Thanks for that post Bea :) Great pictures and great memories!

Arantxa is awesome. I'm proud to have supported her! Arantxa got me into tennis, and because of that I've met the best people and had the best tennis trips. All good things must come to an end and whilst it will be strange and sad to see the tour without her, its nice to reflect on a stunning career and some wonderful achievements. I would have followed Arantxa if she had won 100 Grand slams or none - and few players are so great to their fans. Good luck for the future Arantxa, you deserve every second of a happy life! :bounce:

Nov 12th, 2002, 06:58 PM
Arantxa, I knew this day would come, and although I'm upset that you're going, I couldn't be happier for you. I know this is obviously the best desicion, not because of your recent results, but because you just simply want to move on. Good luck with life Arantxa, I know you wil achieve whatever you strive for.:sad:

Nov 12th, 2002, 06:59 PM
I'll never forget the first tennis player i ever saw win a tournament :sad: bye arantxa :sad:

auntie janie
Nov 12th, 2002, 07:00 PM
Lovely thread! Muchas gracias, Gallofa!! :kiss:

Adios, Arantxa! :hearts: :hearts: :hearts:
Tennis won't be the same without you! :sad: :sad: :sad:

Nov 12th, 2002, 07:20 PM
she will be missed,the thing i liked about her is that she had a lot of love for the game,and she always gave it 110 percent,she was a hard worker and i hope she will be missed and remembered,it seems monica's generation is retiring,i guess we will not see any more seles arantxa battles,how sad....best of luck arantxa in the rest of your career.

Nov 12th, 2002, 07:29 PM
Hasta siempre

Nov 12th, 2002, 07:30 PM
Originally posted by Caesar's Messenger
Who are the other two players in the Fed Cup photo?

from l to r: Captain Miguel Margets, Arantxa, Conchita, Gala Leon Garcia, Vivi Ruano Pascual.

Nov 12th, 2002, 07:40 PM
the last picture is killing me, I hate to see her cry,
I hope she will have nice familly, beautiful kids with Arantxa's smile.

Nov 12th, 2002, 07:41 PM
Sad to see her bow out. I wish she did it last week so they could have given her a farewell presentation in LA like they did for Sabatini and Date. Arantxa was never my favourite but I grew to like and admire her over the years. She took on Steffi and in the periods whenever Monica was out and Steffi was injured, it was Arantxa who carried the tour by turning up to events and making sure quality tennis was played. She'll be missed but it maybe was time to go. She is way too good to be having the results she had this year. I wish her well.

Nov 12th, 2002, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by Caesar's Messenger
Who are the other two players in the Fed Cup photo?

from l to r: Captain Miguel Margets, Arantxa, Conchita, Gala Leon Garcia, Vivi Ruano Pascual.

Nov 12th, 2002, 07:45 PM
for some reason I think she will a great mother!

Nov 12th, 2002, 07:59 PM
Goodbye Arantxa ;) I will miss Arantxa so much, but will always remember her fighting spirit, her Grand Slam wins, and all those matches where she came back from seemingly impossible situations to win! Good Luck Arantxa:)

auntie janie
Nov 12th, 2002, 08:00 PM
I hope she will be a COACH!!! She'd be fantastic. If I had a daughter I would want her to be coached by Arantxa. :)

Nov 12th, 2002, 08:16 PM
I was fortunate enough to see Aranxta play twice. A singles match against Marlene Weingartner at the 2001 Canadian Open. ASV lost in 3, but she didn't give up. The next day I saw her play a doubles match with Martina against Majoli/Nagyova. After the match ASV was given an award for her commitment to playing the Canadian Open for many years. I remember when ASV looked shocked when she got the award, for she thought it was going to Martina because she said Martina has been given many awards since they started playing doubles that year. Never short on humor, ASV start signaling with her thumb back and forth telling the umpire to get out of the chair so ASV could speak to the crowd. The crowd laughed at the jester and so did the chair ump. Aranxta climbed onto the chair and started talking to the crowd, she made a remark about how old Martina is, and Martina took the ladder away from the Umpire chair so ASV couldn't get down. The crowd loved it and started clapping and laughing. And the rest is history I guess.

Goodbye ASV!


Nov 12th, 2002, 08:30 PM
Good bye Arantxa. I will miss you.

Nov 12th, 2002, 08:45 PM
I wouldn't say that I was a huge fan of Arantxa, but I've been following her career for a long time now. It will be sad to see her go. :sad:

Goodbye Arantxa and good luck in the near future.

Nov 12th, 2002, 09:00 PM
Wow. Its a sad day for me; I've said it before here, but in a funny way being a fan of Arantxa has affected me greatly: she got me interested in tennis in the first place, a hobby that has brought me much happiness, and after 15 years of being a fan, a career. My interest in her also sparked my interest in all things Spanish, which culminated in me moving here.

Its gonna be strange now to have a tour without a favourite player, and someone to root for all the time!

Nov 12th, 2002, 09:14 PM
Agreed JonBcn, it is raining here too. To me everything is sad. :(

Nov 12th, 2002, 09:18 PM
:sad: :sad: :sad:

this is not surprising but really sad. Arantxa was the player that got me into tennis and has been my favorite for the entire time that I've been following tennis.

I hope that she has a great life after tennis!

I really like that pic with Monica :)

Nov 12th, 2002, 09:26 PM
:sad: :sad: :sad:

Thanks for the many great matches. You are a true champion.

Nov 12th, 2002, 09:27 PM
The great thing for Arantxa is that she will be able to look back on her career with few regrets, so many talented players, you look back on their career and think 'if only' and 'what if'

Not so Arantxa, her towering competitive streak and fighting spirit carried her to the very top...she truly made the most of her talents. :)

Nov 12th, 2002, 09:32 PM
I will really miss you Arantxa...:sad: :sad:

All the best for you in your life!!!! :kiss:

Nov 12th, 2002, 09:43 PM
i have no words. All is said.

Nov 12th, 2002, 10:05 PM
Arantxa was never one of my favorites, but she's always been interesting to watch. I'm gonna miss her.

thanks for the thread Bea.

Nov 12th, 2002, 10:10 PM
Goodbye Arantxa, Thank You for all the memories!

Nov 12th, 2002, 11:09 PM
GoMonica! I was at those very same Arantxa matches in Toronto 01. Seeing her receive the award was great - ever the clown, Arantxa knows how to entertain :)
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: ArantxaRockz!

Nov 12th, 2002, 11:16 PM
Ave Atque Vale

When Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario told the media that she would have an announcement to make after the Los Angeles Championships, the buzzing started immediately: Would she retire?

The question is not as obvious as it sounds. Although Sanchez-Vicario's ranking had slipped dramatically this year, finally falling out of the Top Fifty, it wasn't really a wasted year. Yes, she was only 21-24 on the year in singles, with a final at Brussels and a semifinal at Bali but nothing else better than a quarterfinal. And 12 of her losses were to players ranked below #50. But she wasn't bad at all in doubles; she won six titles (Doha with Janette Husarova; Amelia Island and New Haven with Daniela Hantuchova; Sopot, Helsinki, and the Princess Cup with Svetlana Kuznetsova). She made the Australian Open final with Hantuchova, and the two qualified for the year-end Championships though they were unable to play. We show Sanchez-Vicario with a record this year of 54-17 in doubles -- better than 75%. There are plenty of doubles players with lesser records still sticking around!

But it wasn't to be. The Spaniard decided not to prolong the agony. She's through.

Her timing may be good. Newer fans don't really know the old Barcelona Bumblebee; they remember the player who was regularly creamed by Martina Hingis, or who couldn't seem to win a match indoors (if she could even be induced to play there). They remember a fan yelling that she shouldn't be playing this year's Fed Cup final -- Sanchez-Vicario, the most successful Fed Cup player ever. She may have been injured this year, but she did help Spain to the final, folks! And Spain won the Cup in 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1998, and it was Sanchez-Vicario, more than anyone else, who made it happen.

And there was much to be proud besides that. Starting with four Slams: Roland Garros 1989, 1994, 1998, and the U. S. Open 1994. And at least two appearances in the finals at all four Slams: Australian Open 1994, 1995; Roland Garros 1989, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998; Wimbledon 1995, 1996; U. S. Open 1992, 1994. Her record at Roland Garros is astonishing: From 1991 to 2000, she never failed to reach the quarterfinal, made the semifinal every year except 1997, and had the five finals, with three wins. From Roland Garros 1990 to the U. S. Open 2000, she didn't miss a Slam. From 1991 to 1998, in 32 Slams, she made the quarterfinal or better 26 times, the fourth round or better 30 times, and won at least one match every time (that streak, in fact, extended from the 1990 U. S. Open to the 2000 U. S. Open -- 41 straight Slams without a first round loss!).

Nor did she suffer from a shortage of smaller results. She won her first title at Brussels in 1988, and her last at Madrid 2001; in that period, she won at least one title every year except 1997 and 2000. All told, she won 29 titles in her career (appears to be tied for twelfth all-time, assuming WTA records are accurate -- and we need to point out that their records frequently are not accurate for players who played before 1980), of which 23 were the equivalent of Tier II or better. She won on all four surfaces: eight hardcourt titles, 19 clay titles, one title on grass (Newport 1990) and one indoors (Oakland 1994). In her prime in 1993 and 1994, she was the best clay player in the world, with seven clay titles, all Tier II or better. In 1994, she truly broadened her results, winning a tour-leading eight titles (Amelia Island, Barcelona, Hamburg, Roland Garros, Canadian Open, U. S. Open, Tokyo, Oakland) and earning enough points that she eventually spent twelve weeks at #1. In addition to her four Slams, she won two Lipton titles, and eventually won every important clay title except Rome.

From the time she broke into the Top 20 in 1988, she didn't relinquish the spot for over a dozen years, ending the year in the Top Ten eleven times from 1989 to 2000 (she missed only in 1999), and in the Top Five eight times (1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998); she ended the year at #2 in 1993 and 1994 (plus officially #2 but actually #3 in 1996). Her 11 Top Ten finishes are eighth all-time. And all this while playing what was, for the time, a relatively heavy schedule: in 1992, she played 17 events, which was tied for the most among Top Ten players; in 1993, her 18 events were again tied for the lead; her 17 events in 1994 was tied for #3 among Top Ten players, and her 18 events in 1996 were again tied for the Top Ten lead. Which, at that time, could have lowered her ranking. Her career record, if we read the WTA records correctly, was 708-274, a winning percentage of 72.1%. That, assuming the WTA still stands by its records makes her fifth in Open Era history (she passed Billie Jean King and Evonne Goolagong this year).

And that while playing a full doubles schedule as well. Although many top women still played doubles in the Nineties, the other leading players of the time -- Steffi Graf and Monica Seles -- tended to play only singles. Sanchez-Vicario was one of only two players in the mid-Nineties (Jana Novotna was the other) to be a true major threat in both singles and doubles.

In her career, that translated into six Slams in doubles: The 1992 Australian Open and the 1993 U. S. Open with Helena Sukova; the 1994 USO and the 1995 Australian and Wimbledon crowns with Jana Novotna; and the 1996 Australian with Chanda Rubin. (Strange and ironic that she never won Roland Garros in doubles.) She won the year-end championships in 1992 (with Sukova) and 1995 (with Novotna). She ends her career with 67 doubles titles (including the six this year; that appears to be ninth among Open Era players), and with at least one title in every year from 1990 through 2002 except for 1998. Our quick and unofficial count shows her as having won, at one time or another, 23 of the 31 Tier II+ doubles events now active. She led the Tour in doubles titles in 1992 (won 10), and 1996 (won nine), and was tied for the lead in 1994 (won 11). In 1994 she won titles with six different partners (Novotna, Neiland, Davenport, Halard, McGrath, and McNeil), and she had titles with five players in 1996. She was #1 in doubles for over two year from 1992-1997 (almost constantly from March 1995 to March 1997).

She was also one of the top mixed doubles players of the era, winning four titles (Roland Garros 1990 with Lozano, Roland Garros 1992 with Woodbridge, 1993 Australian Open with Woodbridge, and the 2000 U. S. Open with Palmer).

It really is the end of an era. There is perhaps no player left today with Sanchez-Vicario's mix of skills. Martina Hingis comes closest, but she never plays mixed doubles and doesn't even play women's doubles all that often. And she doesn't play Fed Cup. We may have a long wait for another player like the Spaniard.

Hail and farewell.

source: www.tennisone.com

Colin B
Nov 12th, 2002, 11:52 PM
I remember when she first played at Wimbledon. "Hello", I thought, "this one's a bit of a character."
And so she proved to be; always playing with great skill and determination, yet never losing her wonderful sense of fun.
Professional Tennis has lost a great personality today.

Happiness always Arantxa!!

Nov 12th, 2002, 11:55 PM
I am another one that would like to wish ASV well and farewell. She has had a fantastic career - and she deserves all the accolades that are sure to come her way during her farewell stops. She used to wrack my nerves at times when she hit up them moon balls whilst playing my faves - but other than then - I loved the way she would scramble and chase them balls down, thereby frustrating her opponents. There was absolutely no one better. She had that area covered.

She was so quick and could just about retrieve any ball that was just inside the baseline. She gave all her comtemporaries loads of competition - and she is one out of about five of the best competitors the tour has ever seen - IMO.

I have not seen her play one match this year now that I think about it - and now I wish I would have.


Nov 13th, 2002, 12:14 AM
I never been a fan of Arantxa but I always admire her fighting spirit, her grand slam, record singles titles, career wins, Fed Cup wins speak for itself. She is very exciting to watch no matter whether she is winning or not, she will be miss :sad:

Randy H
Nov 13th, 2002, 12:17 AM
Don't have much more to add to what everyone has said here, nice to look back on some wonderful memories and appreciate such an amazing fighter and champion. She will be my #1 forever.

Thanks very much for this post Bea, some terrific photos. :)

We love you Arantxa :)

Nov 13th, 2002, 12:27 AM
http://pro.corbis.com/images/watermark/67/11276411/TP003166.jpg 1994 French Open win

http://pro.corbis.com/images/watermark/67/11321621/SQ001690.jpg A young Arantxa and Monica

http://pro.corbis.com/images/watermark/67/11321567/SQ001632.jpg A doubles partnership that could have accomplished much more..


http://pro.corbis.com/images/watermark/67/11815352/U90312007.jpg More net kissing! :-D

http://pro.corbis.com/images/watermark/67/12917858/UT0039647.jpg Typical Arantxa! ;)

http://pro.corbis.com/images/watermark/67/11488128/VE002040.jpg Great rival

Brian Stewart
Nov 13th, 2002, 07:00 AM
I wasn't a big fan of Arantxa's, but she earned my respect. It's a shame she didn't announce her retirement sooner, so that she could have been given a tribute at the year-end Championships. She deserved the fanfare. Yet it is somehow fitting with the way she was treated throughout her career. Often overlooked by the glamour-seekers, she was appreciated by the true fans of the game.

Throughout much of her career, Arantxa was the player that "wasn't there". When Monica was trying to recover from her stabbing, and Gaby was in a slump, and Jennifer had gone astray, and tennis pundits bemoaned the lack of a rival for Steffi, Arantxa was there to challenge her. (Not that they noticed.) When writers opined about whiny tennis players who gave nothing back to the sport or the community, Arantxa did so, albeit well below their radar. Although she stood about 5'6", she was always smaller to the tennis media. But much larger to tennis itself.

Several years ago, when Mahwah promoter John Korff was scrambling to find star players for his annual tourney, someone suggested Arantxa. He disgracefully dismissed the notion by ridiculing what he perceived as her lack of drawing power. "Sanchez-Vicario? That sounds like something you scrape off of your shoe!" Some people never learn about Karma. Negativity will eventually bite you in the ass. Come 2002, Arantxa was still here. The tournament in Mahwah?

She always gave 100%. She was beaten quite a few times by the top players, sometimes badly. But while the crowds may have been disappointed when the matches weren't closer, they certainly were never disappointed by her effort. And while many top players found Fed Cup to be an inconvenience, she found it to be an honor. And in so doing, brought honor to the event. If the other top players were like her, Fed Cup would have the prestige it deserves. How appropriate that it would be her last event, and that she would exit setting even more records.

You can rattle off a litany of statistics, any of which would result in automatic Hall of Fame entry. She won over 750 singles matches; one of only 5 players to do so in the Open Era. That's the equivalent of 15 50-win seasons. And she was always there in the summer (Northern hemisphere) slams. For 15 consecutive years, she played Roland Garros AND Wimbledon AND the US Open. No other player ever has.

That was quintessential Arantxa. She was like a pair of comfortable slippers. Always there, day in and day out. A reassuring presence. One that you never seem to fully notice or appreciate. Then, after many years, the slippers wear out, and you have to get rid of them. Sure, you can get new slippers, but it takes time to get them just right.

Arantxa played for 17 years. She was a significant presence in the sport for at least 15. That's a good chunk of any fan's life. (Even mine. :)) It truly is the end of an era. While there were others before her, and there will be others to come, each of these greats takes with them their own unique chapter in history. We should honor them as they go, and appreciate those still with us.

Fare thee well, Arantxa. And thanks.

Nov 13th, 2002, 10:32 AM

Nov 13th, 2002, 10:33 AM
Adiós Arantxa :sad:

Nov 13th, 2002, 10:45 AM
:wavey: Thanks Arantxa for all that great tennis you have given.
Enjoy your private life now.

Princess Fiona
Nov 13th, 2002, 01:44 PM
Goodbye Arantxa... :wavey: Thanks for so many years of great tennis and the very best of luck with your future!

Nov 13th, 2002, 01:47 PM
Bye Bye Arantxa! :wavey:

Nov 13th, 2002, 04:24 PM
Bye Arantxa! You'll be missed!

Nov 13th, 2002, 05:02 PM
I never was a fan of Arantxa, but I think the reason is that on the back of my head I respected her a lot as a player and I knew how dangerous she could be to my favourites. She always fought for every ball and you could see how she really enjoyed the game. A role model for all players and everyone, showing that if you really work for something, you can achieve much more than you imagine.

Nov 14th, 2002, 09:00 PM
http://pro.corbis.com/images/watermark/67/14025082/UT0104029.jpg Arantxa and Tommy winning HC this year

http://pro.corbis.com/images/watermark/67/13136487/FT0095620.jpg Possibly Martina's best doubles partner since coming back, made the mistake in dumping her. ;)

http://pro.corbis.com/images/watermark/67/11321574/SQ001641.jpg Brother and sister duo! :D

http://pro.corbis.com/images/watermark/67/11237990/TP002057.jpg Another pic of Arantxa and Steffi at net.

http://pro.corbis.com/images/watermark/67/11321624/SQ001687.jpg Arantxa and Conchita, spanish rivals for the past decade, but together..they are awesome!

http://pro.corbis.com/images/watermark/67/12857137/UT0031634.jpg Arantxa loves getting down and dirty!

Nov 14th, 2002, 11:30 PM
For someone who wasnt a big fan of Arantxa that was a fine eloquent tribute, Brian! Thanks. And nice pics, Julian. :)