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Old Jan 7th, 2013, 07:40 PM   #436
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Re: 1992

SABATINI OUSTS GRAF - GABY, SANCHEZ VICARIO REACH SATURDAY'S FINAL
The Palm Beach Post
Friday, March 20, 1992
PATRICK McMANAMON

Jennifer Capriati lacked the power and the passion Thursday.

Gabriela Sabatini, though, had both.

Sabatini, in a dazzling display of gritty and flashy tennis, came from behind in the semifinals for the second year in a row to beat Steffi Graf at the Lipton International Players Championships.

Sabatini, who will play Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in Saturday's final, lost the first set, then won a close-as-it-gets second set tiebreaker before taking charge in the third to win 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 at the International Tennis Center.

Sabatini fed on the cheers, chants and singing of the largely Hispanic crowd of 11,554, which waved banners and Argentinian flags and celebrated every Sabatini point.

Sabatini fought back from a 3-1 second-set deficit and a 2-0 tiebreaker deficit to beat Graf (seeded No. 2) for the seventh consecutive time in Florida.

"This was a most important match to win," Sabatini said. "Inside, I fought very hard. I never thought I was going to lose."

Jennifer Capriati, who beat No. 1-ranked Monica Seles on Wednesday, was frustrated by the craftiness of Sanchez Vicario, who took the luster off Capriati's week by winning 6-2, 6-3.

"I'm happy," Sanchez Vicario said, "because I played a great match."

Sabatini, the No. 3 seed, played an almost carbon copy of last year's semifinal against Graf. A year ago, Sabatini lost the first set 6-0, won a second-set tiebreaker and won the third set 6-1.

Like a year ago, Sabatini seemed energized by winning the tiebreaker. She took command in the third set, hitting 12 winners and making only one error. Graf, whose game relies on hitting winners, had just four in the third set, when she just didn't have the energy to compete.

"I played very good in the third set," said Sabatini, who has a home on Key Biscayne. "I came to the net much more. At the end it looked like she was not trying very much, too."

The wildly supportive Miami crowd helped Sabatini. Key Biscayne residents painted a banner that said "Vamos Gaby" with a heart representing the "o" in vamos. The crowd sang during changeovers, waved flags and chanted "Gaby! Gaby! Gaby!" during the third set.

"It's very special to play here," Sabatini said. "They really helped me to keep fighting."

"I shouldn't have let the crowd into the match," Graf said. "I had my chances in the second set leading 3-1. I let them into it."

Graf admitted being tired in the third set. She led the second set tiebreaker 2-0, fell behind 4-2 and tied the score at 4. On set point, Sabatini hit a backhand winner down the line, pumped her fist, stood and acknowledged a standing ovation.

Graf lost her serve on the first game of the third set, and from there, it was all Sabatini.

"I knew it would be difficult in the third to keep up with it," Graf said.

Sanchez Vicario, ranked No. 5, played a smart match against Capriati, who had beaten Seles by pounding balls with the top-seeded player. Sanchez Vicario didn't let Capriati play that game.

The Spaniard moved Capriati around and rarely let her see the same kind of shot twice in a point, hitting topspin, loops, slices and flat shots.

Capriati had trouble with the changing pace and made 32 unforced errors, compared to just 14 for Sanchez Vicario.

"If she's not in position, she has more trouble," Sanchez Vicario said. "She can't hit the ball hard like she did against Monica. When she runs is when she makes mistakes. . . . I think I put pressure on her and she didn't know what to do. I thought I played a great match."

Sanchez Vicario never lost her serve, made 77 percent of her first serves, and won almost 80 percent of her second service points.

"I was tired from playing five days in a row, but still she played well," Capriati said, chomping on a wad of bubble gum. "She waited for me to make the mistakes. She got everything in, was trying to move me and break me down."

For Sanchez Vicario, the win marked a breakthrough of sorts. She has largely been ignored in the tournament, even though she had not lost a set in five matches.

"No (people) didn't care," Sanchez Vicario said. "They know I'm the fourth seed, but you read about Seles and Graf and Sabatini and Capriati. It looks like I was not here. Nobody was paying a lot of attention to me. Maybe now, they will."
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Old Jan 7th, 2013, 07:41 PM   #437
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Re: 1992

Sanchez Vicario downs Capriati
The Tampa Tribune
Friday, March 20, 1992
CHUCK MULLING

Every victory has its price.

For Jennifer Capriati, it meant bowing out of the Lipton International Players Championships the day after one of her proudest moments.

Capriati fell to fourth-seeded Arantxa Sanchez Vicario 6-2, 6-4 Thursday in the semifinals, a day after shocking No. 1-ranked Monica Seles.

The victory against Seles proved to be taxing. Capriati played her fifth match in as many days and admitted she was tired.

"I just didn't have the legs,'' Capriati said. "Five straight matches without a break took a little out of me.''

Capriati will have a few days to recover before she plays in next week's Light N' Lively Doubles tournament at Saddlebrook. That event will be her first professional tournament in Tampa.

Sanchez Vicario advanced to Saturday's final against third-seeded Gabriela Sabatini, who beat No. 2 Steffi Graf 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 Thursday night.

The men's semifinals are today. Jim Courier, the No. 1 seed and defending champion from Dade City, will play sixth-seeded Michael Chang at 1 p.m. Jakob Hlasek will face Alberto Mancini tonight.

A victory today would assure Courier of keeping his No. 1 ranking. A loss would elevate Stefan Edberg to the top spot next week.

The men's final is at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Capriati, 15, already had left her mark on the tournament, beating Seles in straight sets in Wednesday's quarterfinals.

By defeating Seles, Capriati shot down Lipton 's two-time defending champion and the game's dominant player. Seles had won her previous 27 matches and had reached the final of her last 21 tournaments.

But Capriati, the No. 5 seed, couldn't follow it up. Sanchez Vicario took the first set in 38 minutes and made the second set look just as easy.

Early on, Sanchez Vicario laid out a simple but effective strategy. She mixed her shots, changing the pace and moving Capriati all over the court.

Capriati's power worked against Seles, but it never had a chance to crank up against Sanchez Vicario. Too often, the points ended with Capriati sending a ball long or into the net. Capriati committed 32 unforced errors.

And when Capriati's shots found the court, Sanchez Vicario was there to retrieve them.

"She played a smart match,'' Capriati said. "She waited for me to make mistakes, and I did. Her plan was to just get everything back and try to move me around and wear me down.''

If Capriati was riding momentum following her victory against Seles, it didn't intimidate Sanchez Vicario.

"I thought it would be a tough match,'' Sanchez Vicario said. "When you beat the No. 1 player, you have to be playing well. Besides that, Jennifer is a tough player.''

Sabatini continued her edge against Graf. Sabatini has won six of the last seven meetings. It was their first match since last year's Wimbledon final, which Graf won in three sets.

Sabatini won a tense second-set tie-breaker to force a final set. She rolled from there, picking up support from a Hispanic-dominated crowd.

Graf, who leads the series 21-10, was irritated by the crowd's behavior. Sabatini, who lives part of the year in Key Biscayne, has won seven consecutive matches against Graf in Florida.

The crowd repeatedly was warned against cheering during points. The Hispanic fans gave Sabatini a lift during critical stretches of the match.

"I let the crowd get into it,'' Graf said. "At the end, it was very one-sided, but that's the way it is down here against her.''
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Old Jan 7th, 2013, 07:42 PM   #438
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Re: 1992

Capriati wilts after ending Seles's run - Tennis
The Times
London, England
Friday, March 20, 1992
From Andrew Longmore, Tennis Correspondent in Key Biscayne

THERE was a distinct feeling of the morning after the night before as Jennifer Capriati sank gently to defeat in the semi-final of the Lipton International yesterday.

Capriati said she had been in bed by 10.30pm, like all good 15-year-olds, but a lacklustre 6-2 6-4 defeat at the hands of Arantxa Sanchez Vicario suggested that, emotionally at least, she was still hung over after her 6-2 7-6 win over Monica Seles the previous afternoon.

It had been the same at Wimbledon last year, when Capriati had barely absorbed her win over Martina Navratilova before she was back on court against Gabriela Sabatini.

Capriati, though, blamed her body more than her mind for defeat, and Sanchez Vicario's pick-and-mix tactics more than both.

``It wasn't that I didn't have the will to fight," the American said. ``She just kept moving me around, changing the pace. You can't fight if you don't have the legs."

Had Seles been watching from her home in Bradenton, she should have taken notes, because the Spaniard's tactics worked to perfection. Capriati was forced to play on the move, which is not her forte at the moment.

``She likes pace," Sanchez Vicario said. ``When she moves, she makes mistakes and I made her move."

Sanchez Vicario was understandably delighted with such an unexpectedly straightforward win which, appropriately enough, she dedicated to her father to mark Father's day in Spain. Her mother had to be content with a hug.

Key Biscayne has not been the Spaniard's happiest hunting ground in the past and, after winning only three matches in three years, she had missed the last two years.

But the slow high-bouncing hard courts are ideal for her claycourt game and, whether she plays Steffi Graf or Sabatini in tomorrow's final, she will give a good account of herself.

The beaten finalist in the French Open last year, Sanchez Vicario will also be one of those heartened by the glimpse of Seles's fallibility. Though it is still early days, the world No.1 has donned the mantle of invincibility over the past five months, and few felt it would slip from her shoulders in Key Biscayne, of all places, where she has been unbeaten for two years.

With Seles gone, it was left to Jim Courier to uphold the honour of the No.1 seeds, which he did after losing a desperately tight first set tie-break 10-8 to Diego Nargiso.

The Italian has slimmed down considerably over the winter, but he spent all his energy in the first set and won only two games thereafter as the defending champion suddenly increased the tempo.

Only the diminutive figure of Michael Chang now stands between Courier and a defence of his No.1 ranking.

On the day players, officials and press debate the ``speed of the game" at a special seminar organised by the Association of Tennis Professionals, Courier against Chang and, to a lesser extent, Jakob Hlasek v Alberto Mancini in the other semi-final, should provide evidence that power is not everything.
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Old Jan 7th, 2013, 07:43 PM   #439
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Re: 1992

Sanchez's win gains media attention
USA TODAY
Friday, March 20, 1992
Author: Doug Smith

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. - Arantxa Sanchez Vicario was a bit peeved.

Though she had not lost a set in four previous matches at the Lipton International Players Championships, the U.S. media hadn't requested an interview.

``They know that I'm the fourth seed, but they didn't care,'' said Sanchez, 20, from Barcelona, Spain. ``Maybe now, they will.''

She drew a media crowd Thursday by defeating No. 5 seed Jennifer Capriati 6-2, 6-4 in a semifinal. Using her nothing-fancy-just-keep-the-ball-deep style, Sanchez wore down her opponent with precision and patience.

``I didn't lose my serve, I moved the ball very well, I changed the pace and I didn't make many mistakes,'' the 1989 French Open winner said. ``She didn't know what to do.''

The crowd seemed eager to lift Capriati emotionally, but her game never caught fire and Sanchez never let up.

``I knew the crowd was going to be more with Jennifer, but they were a lot with me, too,'' Sanchez said.

Capriati would have replaced Sanchez at No. 5 in the world rankings by reaching the Lipton final.

Sanchez said Thursday was Father's Day in Spain and she dedicated the victory to her father, whom she called before the match.

Capriati played without the fervor and fluidity that helped her upset No. 1 Monica Seles 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) in a raucous quarterfinal Wednesday night. She made 32 unforced errors and committed five double faults, yet seemed unperturbed.

In the past, Capriati often was near tears after losing, especially to top- ranked players.

``I thought she played very smart. I was tired from five straight days of playing, and I had two tough matches,'' Capriati said. ``I just really didn't have the energy. I was willing to fight more, but you can't fight if the legs aren't there.''

At the post-match interview, she wore eye makeup, lipstick, a ring on every finger, necklaces, a bracelet on each wrist, a Led Zeppelin shirt and a black, below-the-knee skirt. She chewed gum (``it's sugarless'') between questions.

Her agent, John Evert, was asked what's behind Capriati's new look? His simple answer:

``She's 15.''

Schedule

All times EST

MEN

- FRIDAY'S SEMIFINALS

- Jim Courier (1), Saddlebrook, Fla., vs. Michael Chang (5), Henderson, Nev., 1 p.m., ESPN

- Jakob Hlasek, Switzerland, vs. Alberto Mancini, Argentina - FINAL: Sunday, 4 p.m., ABC

WOMEN

- FINAL: Saturday, 1 p.m., ABC
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Old Jan 7th, 2013, 07:44 PM   #440
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Re: 1992

She is ranked fifth in the world and has a French Open title to her name.
USA TODAY
Thursday, March 19, 1992
MARK WOODS, Gannett News Service

She is ranked fifth in the world and has a French Open title to her name.

But that name - Arantxa Sanchez Vicario - hasn't exactly been the talk of Lipton International Players Championships.

This fact was pointed out to fourth-seeded Sanchez Vicario after she breezed to 6-2, 6-4 semifinal victory Thursday against fifth-seeded Jennifer Capriati.

She smiled and said, "Nobody was paying a lot of attention to me ... Maybe they will now."

The 20-year-old Spaniard succeeded where Monica Seles failed - she kept Capriati off balance and earned a spot in the final Saturday against third- seeded Gabriela Sabatini.

Sabatini continued her recent dominance of Steffi Graf, seeded second in the tournament, with a 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 victory Thursday night in the second semifinal.

Graf is 21-10 against Sabatini - but 1-7 in Florida. And Thursday night's match was strangely familiar. It looked like a 1991 rerun - Sabatini beat Graf 0-6, 7-6, 6-1 in the semifinals last spring - much to the delight of the large Hispanic contingent on hand at the International Tennis Center.

``It's very special to play here,'' Sabatini said. ``The crowd towards me so much helps me keep fighting. ... In the end, it looked like (Graf) wasn't trying so much.''

"I had chances in the second set," Graf said. "I was ahead 3-1 and I let the crowd get into it ... That's the way it is down here."

In the men's side of the tournament, the final four survivors of an upset- filled week return to action Friday. Top-seeded Jim Courier plays sixth- seeded Michael Chang and 17th-seeded Jakob Hlasek meets 20th-seeded Alberto Mancini.

But the question of Thursday was: What happened to Jenny?

This looked like it might be the weekend the Capriati, a 15-year-old from Saddlebrook, Fla., took another step in her career. Since turning pro two years ago, Capriati has won three tournament titles - but none as prestigious as Lipton .

So when she upset Seles - ranked No. 1 in the world and two-time defending Lipton champion - in straight sets Wednesday it seemed like this might be the breakthrough tournament. After all, who was up next? Oh, yeah, that Spaniard with the name no one seems to remember.

Here's the problem, though. Capriati can play power tennis with anyone. But put her in a game of finesse and she still has some problems. She had seventy-six minutes filled with them Thursday.

Consider: Seles hit 18 winners but made 46 unforced errors in her match against Capriati. Sanchez Vicario had only eight winners but also made only 14 unforced errors.

Capriati gave credit to her opponent, saying, "I thought she played very smart. She was waiting for me to make mistakes."

And she obliged. There were glimpses of the Seles upset. But they were overshadowed by glaring mistakes. Five double faults. An easy overhead smashed into the back wall. Repeated groundstrokes into the net.

After the match, Capriati showered, put on makeup and a handful of rings and slipped into a tie-dyed Led Zeppelin T-shirt.

She arrived in the interview room looking tired from a week of tennis - and from fighting off talk that she isn't tired of playing the game.

"I was mentally ready to fight," she said, chomping on a wad of gum. "But the legs just weren't there."

A reporter asked if she will be able to look back on this week and take any satisfaction.

Capriati paused before unenthusiastically responding, "Yeah. I will."

No matter what happens Saturday in the women's final - Sanchez Vicario is 3-11 against Sabatini - Sanchez Vicario will leave Florida feeling like she accomplished something.

The winner of the 1989 French Open has people talking about her again.

"I'm probably a much better player than I was three years ago," Sanchez Vicario said. "I'm growing up. And my game is getting much better."
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Old Jan 7th, 2013, 07:45 PM   #441
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Re: 1992

SABATINI TRIES FOR 2ND LIPTON TITLE
The Miami Herald
Saturday, March 21, 1992
AMY NIEDZIELKA

The last time we saw Gabriela Sabatini, she was coming from behind to a wild chorus of cheers and defeating Steffi Graf in three sets.

The last time we saw Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, she was deadening the power of Jennifer Capriati by running her all over the court.

High emotion will meet heady composure at 1 p.m. today at the International Tennis Center on Key Biscayne for the women's final of the Lipton International Players Championships.

Sabatini, the tournament's third seed, will be seeking her second Lipton title against fourth-seeded Sanchez Vicario. Sabatini won the Lipton in 1989, the same year Sanchez Vicario made it to the third round, her best finish in three tries at the Lipton.

Sabatini is 11-3 against Sanchez Vicario, though only 4-3 in their most recent meetings. Though Sabatini, 21, who lives on Key Biscayne, should have the crowd advantage, Sanchez Vicario, a 20-year-old from Spain, should have some supporters. "It is very special to play here," Sabatini said. "The crowd always supports me very much."

Sanchez Vicario said she heard as many cheers for her as for the well-liked Capriati during their semifinal match.

"The crowd I knew was going to be more with Jennifer, but there was a lot with me, too," she said. "I feel very comfortable having the crowd with me."

Sabatini is likely to be coming to the net frequently against Sanchez Vicario, who plays a more patient, defensive game.

"She's a big fighter and she runs down everything," Sabatini said. "I'll just try to fight very much."

Sabatini is 16-2 in match play this year. Sanchez Vicario is 9-3.
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Old Jan 7th, 2013, 07:46 PM   #442
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Re: 1992

Sanchez Vicario follows quiet road to final
St. Petersburg Times
Saturday, March 21, 1992
DARRELL FRY

It doesn't bother Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, really. In fact, she's kind of tickled by it all.

She is not one of the marquee players at the star-studded Lipton International Players Championships. Sanchez Vicario, from Spain, has played mainly in the shadows this week, outside the spotlight trained on Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati and Steffi Graf.

So today, as she waits to play third-seeded Gabriela Sabatini in the 1 p.m. final and those other big names watch from the sidelines, Sanchez Vicario chuckles at her inconspicuous route to the title match.

"They (the fans) know I'm the fourth seed, but they didn't care. They read about Seles and Graf and Capriati and Sabatini, so it looked like I was not (here),'' Sanchez Vicario said. "It was like nobody was (paying) me a lot of attention. Maybe now they will, huh?''

A capacity crowd of 12,332 at the International Tennis Center will today. If they're smart, they will get comfortable and settle back for what is likely to be a grueling final.

Sanchez Vicario and Sabatini are both fighters. Sanchez Vicario plays every point as if it's match point, and Sabatini seemingly does not play her best tennis until she is a set down and losing the grip on the second.

Sanchez Vicario has a tenacity that allows nothing to get in her way. Her code is to return everything that comes over the net; if she touches the ball, she should return it.

That grit helped beat Capriati 6-2, 6-4 in their semifinal Thursday. Capriati hits the harder ball, but Sanchez Vicario broke her down by keeping the ball in play until Capriati's patience ran out.

"I think if I play like (Thursday), I can win,'' Sanchez Vicario said.

Sabatini, of Argentina, is not likely to be so accommodating. She wasn't in her 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 victory over Graf in Thursday's other semifinal. Perhaps the most complete player on the tour, Sabatini has many weapons at her disposal, which is why she is considered a master of marathon matches and of beating Sanchez Vicario. Sabatini leads their head-to-head series 11-3. In their most recent encounter, in January, Sabatini won 6-1, 6-1.

"Yeah, but she's a big fighter and she runs down everything,'' Sabatini said. "I came to the net very much (against Graf), and I think probably I will a little bit (against Sanchez Vicario). I just have to fight very much.''
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Old Jan 7th, 2013, 07:47 PM   #443
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Re: 1992

WOMEN'S TITLE TODAY -- A LATIN SHOWDOWN ARGENTINE SABATINI VS. SPAIN'S SANCHEZ - DAY 7
Sun-Sentinel
Saturday, March 21, 1992
JIM SARNI

KEY BISCAYNE -- They'll be yelling vamos at Lipton today, but the cries won't all be for Gabriela Sabatini.

Everybody's favorite Argentine meets Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain in a sold-out title match (1 p.m. ABC, WMRZ-AM) that should excite the passionate local Hispanics.

''Sanchez and Sabatini should be great for the people,'' Sanchez said. ''I am looking forward to this match.''

The showdown between the Nos.3 and 4 seeds is one that none of the experts predicted.

No. 1 Monica Seles, the two-time defending champion, had reached her last 21 Kraft Tour finals, but Seles was upset by Jennifer Capriati in the quarterfinals. Sanchez beat Capriati in the semifinals.

No. 2 Steffi Graf, an impressive winner at the Virginia Slims of Florida two weeks ago, lost to Sabatini, who has the German's number in Florida (it's now seven -- Sabatini's Sunshine State Streak).

So for the first time in the eight years of the tournament, neither the No. 1 nor No. 2 player will claim the title.

Sabatini won Lipton in 1989, defeating Chris Evert. She loves playing the event in her American hometown and has never missed the tournament.

Sanchez skipped Lipton for two years but returned this year, feeling that Lipton was big-time.

''I decided that Lipton was a good tournament, the biggest title after the Grand Slams,'' Sanchez said. ''I like to play the biggest tournaments with all the top players. I also like the people here. They make me very comfortable.''

While everyone talked about Seles, Graf, Sabatini and Capriati, Sanchez quietly won her matches without losing a set.

''It looked like I wasn't here,'' Sanchez said. ''But the people knew I was here. I've been playing good tennis, and I like the court. It's not fast.''

Sabatini and Sanchez have played 14 times but never with this much at stake. Sabatini leads the series 11-3, but Sanchez has won three of the last seven matches. Five of those seven have gone three sets.

Sabatini smashed Sanchez 6-1, 6-1 in their last match, the Sydney final in January, but Sanchez said she was sick.

''If I play like I did against Capriati, I can win,'' said Sanchez, who played smartly in her 6-2, 6-4 semifinal victory. ''I can play very well on this court.''

Sabatini knows she's in for a battle.

''Sanchez is a big fighter,'' she said. ''I will try to fight very much, too.''

Vamos.

-- Sanchez reached the doubles final with Larissa Savchenko-Neiland Friday. The top-seeded team defeated Stephanie Rehe and Brenda Schultz 6-1, 6-1.

Sanchez will try to become the third woman to win both singles and doubles. Martina Navratilova (with Gigi Fernandez) in 1985 and Graf (with Sabatini) in 1988 have done it.

-- Top-seeded and defending champion Kim Barry of West Palm Beach defeated Jami Yonekura of Miami 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 to reach the final of the USPTA championships. Barry meets Tracy Houk-Kuhn today.

MEN'S SEMIFINALS

6. Michael Chang d. 1. Jim Courier 6-2, 6-4.

Alberto Mancini d. Jakob Hlasek 7-6 (7-4), 7-5.

MEN'S DOUBLES SEMIFINALS

Flach/Witsken d. Ferreira/Norval 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-2).

Kinnear/Salumaa d. Bathman/Bergh 6-4, 7-5.

WOMEN'S DOUBLES SEMIFINALS

Sanchez/Savchenko d. Rehe/Schultz 6-1, 6-1.

Hetherington/Rinaldi vs. Adams/Bollegraf, night

ETC.

-- Michael Chang will try to become the third different American man to win Lipton in the past three years, following Jim Courier (1991) and Andre Agassi (1990).

-- Chang is playing Lipton for the second time. Last year, Chang lost to Emilio Sanchez in the round of 16.

-- Gabriela Sabatini is 32-5, playing in all eight Lipton tournaments.

-- Sabatini is 3-1 against Sanchez in Florida.

TODAY'S MATCHES

1 p.m.

Gabriela Sabatini vs. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario: Big chance for Sanchez to prove she belongs with the elite.

Ken Flach and Todd Witsken vs. Kent Kinnear and Sven Salumaa: Flach reaches the doubles final with a new partner.

Television: . Radio: WMRZ (750-AM).

Tickets: Sold out.

Directions: Take I-95 South to the Key Biscayne exit to Rickenbacker Causeway to Key Biscayne.
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Old Jan 7th, 2013, 07:49 PM   #444
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Re: 1992

This was more entertaining as a battle of between obnox-- uh, raucous fans than as a tennis match.


The crowd sang, waved flags and chanted "Vamos, Gabby."
USA TODAY
Saturday, March 21, 1992
MARK WOODS, Gannett News Service

The crowd sang, waved flags and chanted "Vamos, Gabby."

Let's go, Gabby.

But Argentina's Gabriela Sabatini - who calls this tiny island off the coast of Miami her second home - never could get going Saturday in the women's final of the Lipton International Players Championship.

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario wouldn't let her.

The 20-year-old Spaniard rolled to a surprisingly easy 6-1, 6-4 victory to win her seventh career title - and the biggest since the 1989 French Open.

The flashback to the summer of '89 could continue Sunday if Michael Chang, the other out-of-nowhere French Open champion that year, extends his career-high 11-match winning streak and beats Argentina's Alberto Mancini in the men's final.

"I'm happy he's doing well," Sanchez Vicario said. "He's a nice kid."

Those might be the words many would use to describe her after the past week. Nice kid - with wickedly consistent ground strokes.

After the final, Sabatini searched for words to explain what happened on her home court.

"She was not doing any mistakes," she said.

The English wasn't perfect. But the description was.

Sanchez Vicario, ranked fifth in the world, didn't lose a set in the Lipton tournament, the most prestigious event outside of the four Grand Slams. And along the way she managed to frustrate two top-10 players. First, Jennifer Capriati. Then Sabatini.

Most thought Sabatini, ranked third in the world, was ready to roll to her second Lipton title.

Even Sabatini admitted that she was feeling confident after beating Steffi Graf in the semifinals. "I thought she (Sanchez Vicario) was a more beatable player," she said.

Sanchez Vicario was at one time. Sabatini entered the match with an 11-3 edge, including a 3-0 advantage in finals.

But it was obvious from the start Saturday that this was different.

Sabatini stayed on the baseline and tried to exchange ground strokes with Sanchez Vicario. Big mistake.

Sabatini eventually realized that she needed to come to the net, but by that time Sanchez Vicario had broken her serve three times and rolled up a stunning 5-0 lead.

"In the second set, I tried to do something different," Sabatini said. "But I had some bad luck on some points."

The point of the match came in the ninth game of the second set. The score was tied 4-4. Sanchez Vicario was serving and trailing 15-30.

Both players had held all their service games so far in the set, but the fans seemed to sense Sabatini was on the verge of turning it around - just like she did after losing the first set to Graf.

"Vamos, Gabby," they chanted.

The two engaged in a long rally that had them scurrying all over the court. Drop shots, lobs, volleys and then back to the baseline battle. Sabatini hit two straight shots at Sanchez Vicario's forehand, rushed the net and blasted a volley to the other side of the court.

But Sanchez Vicario ran it down and pounded the ball cross court for a winner.

Sabatini fell to the ground and covered her face with her hands.

High up in the stands, Sanchez Vicario's cheering section broke into song: "Don't Cry for Me Argentina."

Sabatini didn't see the humor. She pulled herself off the ground and shot an angry glance at the section.

"I did not like that very much," she said. "That hurts."

Moments later, Sanchez Vicario inflicted a little more pain, breaking Sabatini's serve for the fifth time.

She had beaten Sabatini on her home court. She pumped her fists. And her fans began chanting, "Viva Espania."

"It looked like a Davis Cup match," Sanchez Vicario said with a laugh. "It was a nice atmosphere."
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Old Jan 7th, 2013, 07:50 PM   #445
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Re: 1992

TENNIS; Sanchez Vicario Wins, Keeping Sabatini Back
March 22, 1992
New York Times

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla., March 21— When fans in one corner of the stadium began singing "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina," Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain smiled and Gabriela Sabatini frowned.

They wore the same expressions after their match.

Sanchez Vicario lured Sabatini into a duel from the baseline and then withstood the Argentine's net late charges for a 6-1, 6-4 victory today in the women's final at the Lipton International Players Championships.

Sabatini, who lives on the island of Key Biscayne, clearly had a home-court advantage in crowd support. But shouts of "Gaby, Gaby" gave way to cheering by supporters for Sanchez Vicario, a sly and steady Spaniard.

Her fans chanted and waved Spanish flags, and at 4-4 in the second set, they broke into the sentimental song from "Evita."

"It was funny because everybody was shouting for Sabatini," Sanchez Vicario said. "I laughed first, and then I concentrated on the game."

Sabatini glared at the singers.

"I didn't like that very much," said the Argentine. "To my country, that hurts sometimes."

Probably 'Overconfident'

The loss hurt, too. Sabatini came into the match with an 11-3 edge over Sanchez Vicario, and had momentum after a comeback victory over Steffi Graf in the semifinals on Thursday and a shot at her third tournament title this year.

"Probably I was overconfident a little bit," the third-ranked Sabatini said. "She played really well the whole match."

This title was Sanchez Vicario's biggest since winning the 1989 French Open. Though a clay-court specialist, she has won last two titles on hard courts -- she won the Virginia Slims of Washington last August.

Sanchez Vicario won every set on her way to the final, and said she deserves to be mentioned with the best in the game. But she was overlooked in a field that also included top-ranked Monica Seles and Jennifer Capriati. Sanchez Vicario easily defeated Capriati in the semifinals.

Talk of the Tour

"It was not really fair because they were talking about the others," Sanchez Vicario said. "Now for sure I know the people will talk about me, and that makes me happy."

Her steady groundstrokes spiced with perfect drop shots defused the aggressiveness Sabatini had shown in earlier matches. By the time the Argentine first ventured to the net, she was down two service breaks, 3-0.

"My strategy was to try to come to the net," Sabatini said. "But I didn't have many chances because she was hitting the ball deep."

Sabatini charged more in the second set, but Sanchez Vicario held every serve and finally broke Sabatini in the last game. Sabatini finished with 37 errors and just 16 winners. Better Result This Time

Sanchez Vicario lost to the Argentine, 6-1, 6-1, on a hard court in the final of the New South Wales Open last January. In recent weeks, she has been working with a new coach, Mervyn Rose of Australia.

In the men's final on Sunday, Alberto Mancini will try to reverse Argentina's luck when he faces sixth-seeded Michael Chang of the United States, who has already won two tournaments this year.

Cheney triumphs

Dodo Cheney collected two more titles and two more gold balls by winning the 75s singles and doubles events of the $13,000 USTA National Senior Clay Court Championships at the Houston Racquet Club.

The top-seeded Cheney beat second-seeded Sheila Evans 6-3, 4-6, 7-5. Cheney and Evans then combined to whip Alice Beckenbach and Vi Graham 6-1, 6-0 in doubles.

In the 35s singles final, second-seeded Diane Fishburne beat top-seeded Nancy Ornstein 7-5, 6-3.
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Old Jan 7th, 2013, 07:51 PM   #446
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Re: 1992

IT'S A SURPRISE PARTY FOR SANCHEZ VICARIO HERE'S WHERE WINNER GOT WHEELS
The Miami Herald
Sunday, March 22, 1992
EDWIN POPE

As the story goes from no less a story-teller than Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, her mother and father decided they had had enough children after their first three.

The three did not include Arantxa. But then mama went on a Ferris-wheel ride that somehow threw her chemistry out of whack. Little Arantxa arrived more or less nine months later. And every time she goes by a Ferris wheel now, she shouts, "Thank you very much!"

Tennis should say, thank you very much.

Not that the game is any less grateful for Gabriela Sabatini after Sanchez Vicario beat her, 6-1, 6-4, for the Lipton women's championship.

Sanchez Vicario just makes such a refreshing gust, even three years after winning the 1989 French Open.

None of tennis' too-frequent long faces for this miss from Barcelona. Whether it is only a patina of cheerfulness or a truly deep streak of positivism, I'm not close enough to say, but what shows certainly sets her apart in a game too seldom played on this level as a game.

"My name is right there with all the others (top players) now," she announced after Saturday's conquest on the Key.

No it's not. It's above them. She's playing better than any, for a number of reasons.

Her happy feet conjure up boxing's Sugar Ray Leonard at his baffling best. Stick and run, and never give opponents what they want to hit. Saturday, in extension, her changes of pace stiffed at least a dozen Sabatini backhands.

Some of this traces to instruction from Mervyn Rose, the old Aussie who helped Billie Jing King so much. Most of it is pure Sanchez Vicario. She's hot and knows it.

"I am more tough to beat now," she said. "They will have to be more careful against me now. I can hit winners from both sides. I know I can beat anybody."

She knew she had to beat Sabatini's crowd as well as Sabatini. Key Biscayne is just wild about Gaby, and she's just wild about Key Biscayne. Neither guessed how that would backfire.

A tiny cluster of fans from Spain waved a flag the whole match. When Sabatini lost a pivotal point in the ninth game of the second set, the Spaniards shouted, "Don't cry for me, Argentina!"

That hurt Sabatini. She had just lost the biggest and best point of the match, when Sanchez Vicario slapped a backhand pass and Sabatini lay on the court covering her face with her hands. So the cry from the stands came to Sabatini as another cruel thrust.

"I didn't like that very much," Sabatini said. "That's my country and that's personal."

Fair is fair. Sanchez Vicario had had to contend with Sabatini's crowd all day.

"Maybe next year," Sanchez Vicario said pointedly, "they will give me more support."

Not against Sabatini they won't. Sabatini owns them. But Sanchez Vicario still reveled in her miniature rooting section of guys from Espana , and her mother the Ferris-wheel lady. "And
Julio Iglesias' brother," she said. "That helped."

She doesn't need much help. Sabatini couldn't win a game off her for 36 minutes.

"The Barcelona bumblebee," Bud Collins called Sanchez Vicario in the Sunshine Network/Armed Forces Radio broadcast where he and Cindy Schmerler talk to 150 countries. (Good stuff -- some Lipton attendees watched this match Dolfan-style, only their headsets were tuned to WMRZ.)

Added Collins, who is as irrepressible as the champion: "Arantxa never met a Ferris wheel she didn't like."
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Old Jan 7th, 2013, 07:52 PM   #447
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Re: 1992

IT'S A SURPRISE PARTY FOR SANCHEZ VICARIO SABATINI FALLS IN LIPTON WOMEN'S FINAL
The Miami Herald
Sunday, March 22, 1992
AMY NIEDZIELKA

They had a huge party Saturday at the International Tennis Center for the queen of Key Biscayne, Gabriela Sabatini, and everybody on the island was invited.

A perfect day for a party, it was cool and sunny with a light wind blowing off the water and and lot of wind blowing from the noisy party-goers.

But then Arantxa Sanchez Vicario showed up.

Sanchez Vicario strutted onto stadium court, which may as well be the backyard of Key resident Sabatini, and ignored the fact that she wasn't invited to go out there and win. Win she did, defeating Sabatini, 6-1, 6-4, in the women's final of the Lipton International Players Championships.

The fourth-seeded Sanchez Vicario blocked out the Gaby-calls and other noisy indications that the majority of the sellout crowd of 12,332 wanted her to lose. She simply went out and outplayed the third-seeded Sabatini from the first serve.

"I didn't have any pressure," said Sanchez Vicario, 20, of Spain, who won the $120,000 first prize. "I was just doing the best I could. I knew I was going to give everything I have.

"Now for sure I know that people will talk more about me, and that makes me happy."

While Sanchez Vicario reveled in the victory, Sabatini felt as if she had accidentally dropped the celebratory cake.

"For me, this tournament means a lot, for where it is," said Sabatini, who won $60,000. "It's like at home. I don't think it's at the level of a Grand Slam, but inside, it means a lot to win this tournament."

Sabatini did win it, defeating Chris Evert in the 1989 final. This time, however, Sanchez Vicario got in the way.

The victory was Sanchez Vicario's first tournament title since last August, when she won the Virginia Slims of Washington in D.C. It was her biggest victory since she won the French Open in 1989 at age 17.

Sanchez Vicario said she is far better now.

"I'm more aggressive," she said. "I can hit now on both sides, forehand and backhand winners, and also go to the net when I have the short ball. So my game improved a lot."

Sabatini, 21, would agree. After a comeback victory over Steffi Graf in the semifinals, Sabatini came into the final confident and prepared.

She planned to employ the same attacking, net-rushing game she used to run away from Graf in the third set.

"That was my strategy, try to, when I had the chance, come to the net," she said, but "I didn't have too many chances to do that."

She had Sanchez Vicario to thank for that. Hitting balls deep, making few errors and surprising Sabatini now and then with impeccable drop shots, Sanchez Vicario was the better aggressor and stronger defender.

"Sometimes I wasn't very sure of what I wanted to do on the court," Sabatini said. "I didn't feel I was playing well. I was doing too many errors.

"She was not doing any mistakes. She played very well. She was taking risks sometimes and she was playing very deep, too, so I didn't have many chances to come to the net."

Sabatini spent most of the first set tentatively behind the baseline, waiting for short balls that she could follow to the net, but getting few. And when the opportunities came, Sanchez Vicario usually seized them back, nailing quick passing shots down the line or cross court.

"I felt things were not working," Sabatini said. "I wasn't reacting. I wasn't aggressive."

Sabatini was broken at 30 twice to start the match and, unlike in the semifinal against Graf, she couldn't erase the early deficit.

Still, Sabatini never lost hope. After Sanchez Vicario broke her to win the first set, Sabatini tried to put the whole horrible beginning out of her mind.

"I just said, 'Let's try again,' " she said. " 'Let's start again and try to think about doing something different.' "

The difference was a more aggressive Sabatini. What remained the same, however, was Sanchez Vicario, still playing a nearly flawless game.

"I'm no longer a specialist on clay," Sanchez Vicario said. "I can win sometimes on the hard courts."

Sabatini lost all but one game that went to deuce, including a crucial one at 4-all in the second set. With Sanchez Vicario serving, Sabatini had a break point but failed to convert, hitting a backhand wide. Two points later, Sanchez Vicario had won the game.

Nine points later, she had secured the match.

Sabatini offered her a hearty handshake and pat on the back at the net. An elated Sanchez Vicario immediately went over to the stands and gave her mother a big hug.

Sabatini, meanwhile, such a big winner just two nights earlier against Graf, slowly packed up her equipment.

"It's tough after winning that big match," she said. "Arantxa, I thought, is a more beatable player. Probably I was overconfident a little bit."

And Sanchez Vicario was better, a little bit.
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Old Jan 7th, 2013, 07:53 PM   #448
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Re: 1992

"Hasta la vista," Gaby
St. Petersburg Times
Sunday, March 22, 1992
DARRELL FRY

The pride of Argentina and a part-time resident of this suburb in Spanish-accented Miami, Gabriela Sabatini has for years been the favored daughter of fans at the Lipton International Players Championships.

They pack the stadium here with painted faces, waving flags and drowning out everyone else with their shouts of vamos! and andale!

The place rocked like usual Saturday, only the ruckus was over Spain's Arantxa Sanchez Vicario. After her stunning 6-1, 6-4 final-round win over Sabatini, the fans have a new resident champion. And this one, too, speaks the language.

"I knew she was gonna have more of the crowd for her, but I knew I'd have my friends here also, and so every time they cheered for me it was like Davis Cup. Now, maybe next year when I come here, I will have even more (of the) crowd for me,'' Sanchez Vicario said.

The Lipton title, worth $120,000, is Sanchez Vicario's first of the year and the biggest since her French Open conquest in 1989. And her win on a hardcourt identifies her as more than just a one-dimensional (clay-court) player.

And to think she has skipped this tournament the last two years.

"I had wanted to play more tournaments on clay, but, after two years, I decided that it was time to come back because I can play really well here and this surface can help me,'' said the fourth-seeded Sanchez Vicario, who is headed to the Tampa Bay area for the $175,000 Light n' Lively Doubles, Thursday through Sunday, at Saddlebrook Resort. It's the first of a series of clay-court events leading up to May's French Open.

"It was funny, because everybody was shouting for Sabatini,'' Sanchez Vicario said. "I laughed first, and then I concentrated on the game.''

As significant as this Lipton title is, Sanchez Vicario probably isn't going to brag too loudly. With 65 unforced errors committed in the match, it's the kind of victory you accept and then go on your way.

The abundance of mistakes ruined what was supposed to have been a tense, quality duel between the versatile Sabatini and the counter-punching Sanchez Vicario in front of a sellout crowd of 12,332.

Sabatini, seeded third, earned a lot of the blame. After an inspiring three-set comeback against Steffi Graf two days earlier in the semifinals, the 21-year-old pro struggled to be ordinary.

"After winning that big match, Arantxa, I thought, is a more beatable player and probably I was over confident a little bit,'' Sabatini said.

Sabatini sometimes charged the net while other times played moon balls.

"Sometimes I felt like I wasn't very sure what to do on the court,'' Sabatini said.

Sanchez Vicario played her usual patient baseline game, waited for opportunities to attack (she won 11 of 14 net points) and dug Sabatini into a 5-0 hole before many fans had found their seats. Only a momentary lapse in concentration by Sanchez Vicario kept Sabatini from getting shut out.

Sabatini's break of service to 1-5, however, foretold nothing of what was to come in the second set. Her 19 errors in the first set were followed by 18 more in the second blunders so inexcusable that Sabatini at times stood bewildered with hands on hips.

"I didn't feel I was playing good,'' Sabatini said. "I was just missing so much.''

The cheers from the crowd seemed to spur Sabatini to 4-4, as much as her 13 point-winning rushes to the net.

But the steady Sanchez Vicario finished her off, breaking her to 6-4 after Sabatini had held a game point that could have made it 5-5 instead.

Then the throng of Sanchez Vicario supporters landed the final blow, shouting No llores por mi Argentina the sentimental "Don't cry for me, Argentina'' from the play Evita about the former first lady of Argentina.

"I didn't like that very much,'' Sabatini said. "They were talking about my country, and that hurts sometimes.''

Sanchez Vicario, of course, is feeling no pain. With the Lipton title in her bag, she said she'll sit back today and root for Michael Chang in the men's final against Alberto Mancini. Sanchez Vicario and Chang both won the French Open in '89 as 17-year-olds.
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Old Jan 7th, 2013, 07:54 PM   #449
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Re: 1992

SANCHEZ DEFEATS SABATINI
OVERLOOKED SPANIARD WINS IN STRAIGHT SETS
Sun-Sentinel
Sunday, March 22, 1992
JIM SARNI

KEY BISCAYNE -- The tournament began with three champions -- Monica Seles, Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini.

All had won Lipton before. Three coins in the fountain, which one would the fountain bless?

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.

The 20-year-old Spaniard created hardly a ripple as the fourth seed, but she made a big splash Saturday when she won the title with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Sabatini before 12,332 at the International Tennis Center.

''The people were talking about all the others, which wasn't really fair,'' Sanchez said. ''Maybe the people will talk more about me next year.''

It was Sanchez's biggest victory since the 1989 French Open, when she stunned Graf for the title.

Sanchez did not lose a set in six matches, surrendering only 29 games. The most difficult match was her first against Lindsay Davenport, the 15-year-old American who won eight games.

Saturday Sanchez surprised Sabatini, who enjoyed an 11-3 edge.

Sabatini had outlasted Graf in the semifinals and may have thought that was enough.

''Sanchez was the more beatable player,'' Sabatini said. ''I thought I had a chance to win the tournament, but it just didn't happen.''

Sanchez wouldn't let it. She is crafty, as Jennifer Capriati learned in the semifinals, and doesn't beat herself. Sanchez controlled the match and kept Sabatini off-balance with drop shots and lobs.

''Sabatini hits all the balls back,'' Sanchez said. ''I was very patient and waited for my opportunities to hit winners. When she came to the net, I was ready to hit the passing shot. I knew the game that she was going to play and was ready for it.''

Sanchez won the first five games before Sabatini responded with a service break. Sanchez broke back for the set. Sabatini won only 11 points on her serve in the set.

Sabatini stayed close in the second, working her way out of a few jams. Sanchez had a point for 4-2, but Sabatini volleyed it away. At 3-4, 30-all, Sabatini fought to hold serve.

Sabatini had a break point in the next game, but Sanchez fooled her with a kick serve that Sabatini blocked into the net.

Sabatini led 40-15 for 5-all, but she didn't win another point. Sanchez hit two winners to get to deuce. Sabatini netted a backhand, and Sanchez won the match on a backhand crosscourt.

''I tried to come to the net more in the second set, but she was playing too deep,'' said Sabatini, who dived in vain for one volley. ''Sometimes I wasn't sure what to do.''

Sabatini won 16 of 29 points at the net -- 13 of 21 in the second set. Sabatini committed 37 unforced errors to 28 for Sanchez.

Sanchez served well (79 percent), as she had all week. Sanchez has been working with former Australian star Melvyn Rose, who had helped Billie Jean King with her serve.

''My serve is much better now,'' Sanchez said. ''I want to thank Melvyn.''

Sanchez skipped Lipton for two years to prepare for the clay-court season, but she returned this year to go after a title that ranks right below the Grand Slams.

Sanchez felt right at home at Lipton . Sabatini had her usual adoring crowd Saturday, but Sanchez could count on her passionate friends, including a bunch of University of Miami students from Spain, who waved the flag and sang Don't Cry For Me, Argentina.

''I didn't like that very much,'' Sabatini said. ''It hurts because Argentina is my country.''

Sanchez, who rewarded her fans with autographs for a half-hour after the match, hopes that Lipton is just a warmup for the Olympics, which will be held in her hometown of Barcelona.

''I want to win a medal, any medal, but gold would be the best,'' she said.

Sanchez was as good as gold at Lipton. Seles, Graf and Sabatini -- Martina Navratilova, too -- had better watch out.

''I'm playing my best tennis,'' Sanchez said. ''I hope to be winning more tournaments.''
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Old Jan 7th, 2013, 07:55 PM   #450
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Re: 1992

Sanchez Vicario beats Sabatini to win Lipton
The Dallas Morning News
Sunday, March 22, 1992
Debbie Fetterman

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Arantxa Sanchez Vicario served notice. She is not to be ignored.

The 20-year-old Spaniard, slighted by the Lipton International Players Championships' American media and fans, grabbed the spotlight with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Key Biscayne resident Gabriela Sabatini in Saturday's women's final. Sanchez Vicario, who captured her biggest singles title since the '89 French Open, will try to add the women's doubles title with partner Larisa Savchenko-Neiland on Sunday.

Sanchez Vicario had only a small, vocal Spanish contingency compared to the partisan Sabatini fans amid the rowdy, sellout crowd of 12,332 on Stadium Court. Despite racing through the tournament without dropping a set, she received little attention heading into the final.

"It was not really fair because they were talking more about the others," she said. "Now for sure, I know that people will talk more about me. That makes me happy."

Sanchez Vicario figures her name belongs in the same breath as the tournament's leading seeds: Monica Seles, Steffi Graf and Sabatini. She has dramatically improved her game since becoming the youngest French Open champion at the time. The former counterpunching, baseline-hugging clay court specialist proved she can challenge on any surface.

Consistency remains Sanchez Vicario's greatest strength. Her error-free play enabled her to reach nine semifinals in '91 events and the '92 Australian Open. She spent the past month perfecting her game's other aspects.

Since losing in straight sets to Seles at the Australian Open, Sanchez Vicario has been working with former Australian player Mervyn Rose.

Rose concentrated on stengthening Sanchez Vicario's serve, increasing her aggressiveness and building her confidence. All facets were noticably improved as she outplayed Sabatini.

She chased down Sabatini's would-be winners while producing 20 winners to Sabatini's 16. Sabatini responded by going for too much. She fell behind, 5-0, in the first set. In the end, she had amassed 37 unforced errors and lost her serve five times.

Sanchez Vicario played the ball deep against Sabatini, keeping the Argentine at the baseline, unable to capitalize on the aggressive net game that helped her to defeat Graf in the semifinals. Sanchez Vicario mixed in unexpected and well-disguised drop shots and lobs.

"I felt like I wasn't very sure of what to do on the court," said Sabatini, whose game plan proved ineffective.

When Sabatini tired of the baseline game in the second set, she began charging the net with little success. Sanchez Vicario passed her almost half the time. Sabatini had a few more opportunities in the second set, but Sanchez Vicario came up with the bigger shots on the critical points.
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