Originally Posted by jamesuk
What did Steffi say about Arantxa?
I found the article
Former world No. 1 Sanchez-Vicario retires
November 13, 2002
BARCELONA, Spain (Ticker) - Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, a former world No. 1 and a winner of four Grand Slam titles, announced her retirement on Tuesday.
Sanchez-Vicario confirmed her departure from the WTA Tour at a press conference near her native Barcelona.
"It's not been easy, but I think the time has come for me to abandon tennis," she said at her packed press conference, which was held at her family-owned Open Sports Club. "My motives are personal. Up to now, all my life has been tennis. It's been a great effort, but in exchange I have got what any professional sports person could want."
After turning professional in June 1985, the 30-year-old won 29 tournaments, including the French Open three times and the U.S. Open once. She appeared in eight other major finals.
"I want to remember all of the marvellous moments that I had the opportunity to live, and enjoy finishing my career with a smile of gratitude for all the people that made my professional career possible," a tearful Sanchez-Vicario said.
Sanchez-Vicario earned the nickname, "the Barcelona Bumblebee" for her buzzing, tenacious style. Her older brothers Emilio and Javier Sanchez competed on the men's tour, with Emilio coaching her after he retired.
In 1988, Sanchez-Vicario won her first title at the Belgian Open at age 16 years, 11 months. A year later, she upset Steffi Graf, 7-6 (10-8), 3-6, 7-5, in the French Open final to become the first Spanish woman to win at Roland Garros. At the time, she was the youngest French Open champion at 17 years, six months.
The Spaniard won the French and U.S. Opens in 1994 and became the No. 1 player on February 6, 1995. She did not win a Grand Slam title that year, but reached the final at the first three majors.
Sanchez-Vicario once held the top ranking in both singles and doubles simultaneously. She captured 67 doubles titles and several mixed doubles crowns.
In her most recent competitive appearance, Sanchez-Vicario was part of the Spanish team that lost to Slovakia in the Federation Cup finals earlier this month. She lost the deciding match to Janette Husarova, 6-0, 6-2.
However, she did set records for most Fed Cup matches (100), most Fed Cup ties (58) and most Fed Cup finals appearances (10, shared with Conchita Martinez. She helped Spain win the competition five times and collected four medals at four Olympics.
Sanchez-Vicario did not win a title this year, with her best result a runner-up finish at the French Community Championships in June. She completed the season ranked 54th.
Sanchez-Vicario's opponents remembered her fondly.
"Thinking of Arantxa, so many incredible matches come to my mind," said Steffi Graf, who led their rivalry, 28-8. "She has given so much to tennis - her competitiveness on the court and her willpower, but always with that great smile. She has made history and I wish her all the best."
And when Steffi retired Arantxa said - "She's been a great player, a great champion, a good person
and a friend. No one can replace Steffi. It's kind of hard
to think she isn't going to be there anymore."
I think Calimero and Irma would agree with ASV's second last sentence