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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 10:23 PM   #46
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Re: The Italian Open Championships

1987

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.

A youtube link to the celebrated Sabatini-Navratilova semi:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC1J7...eature=related

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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 10:23 PM   #47
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Re: The Italian Open Championships

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.

Here are some pics of Gabriela Sabatini at the Italian Open, clearly her best tournament.
This is from around 1988 or 1989



La Bella Gabriella

Thanks to Gabybackahnd for suplying the photo of Sabatini.

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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 10:24 PM   #48
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Re: The Italian Open Championships

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.


Links to the final:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxO77dtKJcE
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcxA5...feature=relmfu
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAjTA...feature=relmfu
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsapT...feature=relmfu

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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 10:24 PM   #49
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Re: The Italian Open Championships

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.

Youtube links:

Capriati vs Sabatini (QF) and Seles vs Kelesi in the semis:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLakE...feature=relmfu

Seles d Kelesi and Navratilova vs Sabatini in the semis:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6nao...feature=relmfu

A dramatic Navratilova-Sabatini semi at night in front of an excited crowd:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6nao...feature=relmfu

The final:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41sUU...feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj_YYMAawcU

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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 10:24 PM   #50
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Re: The Italian Open Championships

1991


Gabriela Sabatini probably played some of her best tennis at this event, and her game in the 1991 and 1992 finals is some of the best tennis she exhibited. She lost early in her last appearances in 1994 and 1995, but from 1987 to 1993, out of 7 events, she won four and reached two finals and a semi. Really impressive, considering she beat the number 1 player 3 times (1987 Navratilova and Seles in 1991 and 1992).

In 1991 her game was flawless, and these were her rivals and the scores:

1R: Gabriela Sabatini- (Arg)-bye

2R: Sabatini d Amanda Coetzer, Amanda (SA) 6-2 6-2

3R Sabatini: Nathalie Tauziat (Frn) 6-0 6-1

QF: Sabatini d Jennifer Capriati (UA) 6-0 6-2
QF: Conchita Martinez (Sp) d Martina Navratilova (US) [3] 6-3 6-2

SI: Sabatini d Conchita Martinez (Sp) 6-1 6-0

FI: Gabriela Sabatini (Arg) d Monica Seles (US) 6-3 6-2

Here is a youtube link to the final:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO7Em...eature=related
__________________

These two from her win in 1991







Thanks to Gabybackhand for a lot of the summary for Sabatini and the pictures

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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 10:24 PM   #51
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Re: The Italian Open Championships

1992


Sabatini upset Seles 7-5 6-4 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.

Youtube link to the final:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlOaj...feature=relmfu
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iztro...feature=relmfu

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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 10:24 PM   #52
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Re: The Italian Open Championships

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.

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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 10:24 PM   #53
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Re: The Italian Open Championships

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.

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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 10:25 PM   #54
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Re: The Italian Open Championships

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.

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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 10:25 PM   #55
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Re: The Italian Open Championships

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.

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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 10:25 PM   #56
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Re: The Italian Open Championships

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.

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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 10:25 PM   #57
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Re: The Italian Open Championships

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.

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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 10:26 PM   #58
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Re: The Italian Open Championships

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.

Venus victorious:


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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 10:26 PM   #59
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Re: The Italian Open Championships

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.


Seles wins ten years after first victory at the Foro

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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 10:26 PM   #60
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Re: The Italian Open Championships

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.

Dokic's biggest year and title

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