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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)

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Why did Gaby draw Steffi in her QF bracket at the Toray Pan Pacific in 1991? Graf was the highest ranked player in the draw, so for Sabatini to draw her in the quarters, Gaby would have to have been seeded no higher than fifth.

So what was Gaby's ranking when the Toray draw was made? Graf was still #1 followed by Seles and Navratilova. Who then was ranked fourth? It can't have been ASV, so I'm guessing it was MJF? Even so, shouldn't Gab have at least been the fourth seed? Or did Seles commit to playing and then pull out after the draw?
 

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Why did Gaby draw Steffi in her QF bracket at the Toray Pan Pacific in 1991? Graf was the highest ranked player in the draw, so for Sabatini to draw her in the quarters, Gaby would have to have been seeded no higher than fifth.

So what was Gaby's ranking when the Toray draw was made? Graf was still #1 followed by Seles and Navratilova. Who then was ranked fourth? It can't have been ASV, so I'm guessing it was MJF? Even so, shouldn't Gab have at least been the fourth seed? Or did Seles commit to playing and then pull out after the draw?
MJF was seeded fourth at Tokyo, even though I think she was ranked fifth -- a case of draw being made before the post-AO rankings came out and her finalist points coming off. Seles pulled out after the tournament started, so there was no promotion of seeds. Kind of a strange bit of circumstance for Gaby. (Slightly related, I read that the Pan Pacific is in a precarious situation right now.)
 

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I read that the Pan Pacific is in a precarious situation right now.
That's a shame. I read today that this year's Pan Pacific will be the final one and the event will be replaced by a new event in Li Na's hometown, Wuhan, from 2014 onwards. I find it very depressing when established events like Amelia Island, Pan Pacific, the German Open, and Houston bite the dust. The demise of the German Open and Houston were particularly sad because of the rich tennis and WTA history associated with those events. :sad: At the current rate I wonder how much longer the Family Circle Cup will survive.
 

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Pan Pacific Open 1991 start at January 28th.

These were the rankings at the beginning of the year 1991:

At January 7th this was the Top 5:
1- Graf – 278 Points.
2- Seles – 203.
3- Navratilova – 199.
4- Fernández – 147.
5- Sabatini – 137.


At January 14th and 21th (same points) this was the Top 5:
1- Graf – 278 Points.
2- Seles – 203.
3- Navratilova – 199.
4- Fernández – 140.
5- Sabatini – 137.


At January 28th (week of the tournament) this was the Top 5:
1- Graf – 256 Points.
2- Seles – 217.
3- Navratilova – 199.
4- Sabatini – 141.
5- Fernández – 132.

At February 4th (the week before the tournament) this was the Top 5:
1- Graf – 241 Points.
2- Seles – 217.
3- Navratilova – 196.
4- Sabatini – 153.
5- Fernández – 129.
 

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Where do you get all of this ranking old info?
 

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You can see all tha old rankins in the WTA site. Just look at "Ranking" and there's a space where you can search day, month and year.

Is really interesting.
 

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Yes, it is VERY interesting, yet it's still agonizing to me to see Gabriela so close in the rankings to both Graf and Seles and yet couldn't even reach Nº2... not meant to be...
BTW, I don't know if it were posted before but I found it now and it deserves to be enjoyed many times :lol:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8YRNnXYk68
 

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ROOKIES COURTING TENNIS FAME
The Miami Herald
Friday, January 24, 1986
JOSE DE CORDOBA

Off the court, she walks with a bit of a swagger, like a tough guy.

On the court, the toughness shows. She smashes tennis balls with a fast, fluid motion, and after making an especially difficult shot, takes a mock victory half-lap, fist outlined against the clear blue sky of Key Biscayne.

It is 11:30 a.m. Sweat stains 15-year-old Argentine prodigy Gabriela Sabatini's light pink T-shirt. The world's No. 12- ranked female tennis player has been hard at work in the hot sun for two hours.

Standing in the shade, leaning against the wire mesh fence dividing the tennis courts at the Sheraton Royal Biscayne, Patricio Apey, Sabatini's coach and self-described mentor, keeps up a steady murmur of encouragement and advice.

"Hit it there, hit it there," the round-faced Apey, a slight paunch hanging over blue shorts, murmurs in Spanish. "Open yourself more, open more. Come back with the ball, come back." Aside from the constant bop-bop of racket hitting ball, the only sounds are the fierce grunts with which Sabatini punctuates her shots.

Sabatini is the hottest -- and the youngest -- of about a half-dozen aspiring tennis stars, most of them from Argentina, who live and train in a tennis academy run by Apey on Key Biscayne.

Just back from a holiday vacation with her family in her native Buenos Aires, Sabatini is training for the Virginia Slims of Florida tournament that begins Monday on Key Biscayne. The Virginia Slims, with its $40,000 first-prize purse, is the first of about 19 tournaments Apey expects her to play in this year.

The winner of the 1985 Japan Open, Sabatini has taken the tennis world by storm. Last week, along with Wimbledon winner Boris Becker, she was named rookie of the year by Tennis magazine.

"Gabriela is a very special case," Apey said of his long-legged protege, who began her career at 6, hitting a tennis ball against a wall of her family's country club as her father, an automobile executive, and older brother played on center court.

"She is a Martian. She is not normal. That dedication and spirit of sacrifice is unimaginable," Apey said. "She has been called a steel trap."

When she's not on the road, Sabatini lives with her best friend, Mercedes Paz, a 19-year-old Argentine from the provincial city of Tocuman, and three other young women players in an unassuming Key Biscayne house.

It's a little bit of Buenos Aires in South Florida.

A blue and white-striped Argentine flag sticks out of a tennis trophy in the house's sparsely furnished living room. Betina Fulco, 17, laments that it's impossible to pick up her favorite Mar de Plata FM station on the big radio sitting on the dresser. She has tried.

But home for Sabatini and the girls is neither Key Biscayne nor Argentina. It is really on the tennis court. Between tournaments and the constant practices, there is barely time to eat a pizza and little room for formal education, romance or anything else, Apey said.

The girls are up about 8:30 a.m. and at the courts by 9:30 or 10. They practice until 12:30, go off for a big lunch, and resume practice again about 2:30 p.m. They quit tennis at sundown, but then jog and do exercises for about another hour before heading home to a shower and dinner.

Apey tries to keep training informal and fun. "I do not believe in a military regimen," he says. "Whoever is here is here because she wants to be here and make a career. People here like what they do."

On Key Biscayne, evenings are quiet. The girls watch television, listen to American pop music, tape cassettes, read mystery novels or go out to an occasional movie and dinner. Their favorite food might well be pizza. "They are under contract to Domino Pizza," Apey joked as he sat down with them for dinner.

None of the girls attends school. "It is something I can do later on," said Sabatini, who has completed ninth grade and is taking correspondence courses in English. "Right now, I want to play tennis."

Even as they jet to one tournament after another, the girls lead sheltered, monastic lives wholly dedicated to the sport, said Apey, who usually travels with them.

"There's a lot of room service during the tournament. Tennis players tend to be introverted," he said. "The girls do not dare to go out by themselves."

While the money is good, life on the circuit, and especially separation from parents and kin, can be tough on the girls, many of whom come from tight-knit Latin families.

"I miss them, but I am getting used to it," said Sabatini. To keep up family ties, her parents visit her on Key Biscayne or meet up with her on the tour a number of times a year and Sabatini crams vacation visits to Buenos Aires into her busy tournament schedule.

"What they are doing is living life backward," said Apey of his young charges. "They become adults at 15 and 16. On the court, one is alone."

That loneliness sometimes can be tough to bear. This is the second time around at the camp for Gabriela Mosca, a pixieish, delicately-boned 16-year-old from a small provincial city in Argentina.

Last year, Apey saw Mosca play and persuaded her to join his team. She went to London for a tournament, started to miss her family and left.

Apey sweet-talked Mosca into giving it another shot. To assuage the homesickness, he arranged for her mother, Olga, to accompany her for a few months. "She couldn't adapt to wandering around the world," Olga Mosca said, watching her daughter volley with another girl.

This time around, Mosca is doing better and her mother, who has become a sort of den mother for all the girls, feels she will stay the course.

Mosca agreed. "If one gets along well, and sees one's family from time to time, then life is not that difficult."

The financial rewards for sticking to it are substantial. Since turning pro Jan. 1, 1985, Sabatini has played in 17 tournaments and won purses totaling $152,203.

She also raked in "a lot of money, in the six figures," for endorsing Fuji films, Ebel watches, Sergio Tacchini tennis clothes, Prince rackets and, in Argentina, Topper shoes, according to Dick Dell, her agent at the sports marketing firm of ProServ.

Already, Sabatini has received film offers, which, under Apey's guidance, she has turned down. "I am a tennis player, not an actress."

But in Buenos Aires, she is treated like a film goddess and mobbed by admirers when she ventures into the street.

The other girls say they feel no envy toward Sabatini, who is clearly the star of the group. "It's an honor to play with her," said her friend, Paz. "She does the group good and gives us motivation to get better."

What distinguishes Sabatini from his other players, aside from the quickness of her hands, is her mind for the game, her coolness in the heat of competition, Apey said.

"I tell her to work as if she had her head in a refrigerator."

Sabatini is in her element on a tennis court. Off court, where she must deal with constant requests for interviews, sponsors, dozens of fan letters, movie offers -- that's where the pressure starts and where Gabi, as she is called, turns taciturn.

"We have done two commercials, which with the shooting, take eight or nine hours," said Apey. "Then I have to waste a lot of time to keep her smiling."
 

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Any news about Gaby apart from the new perfum?
No, no news about Gabriela. It seems she has disappeared from the public attention. She probably enjoys herself in Miami or in Europe, who knows. In 2013, it was the first time in 15 years she didn't attend any tennis tournament (Buenos Aires/Miami/Davis Cup), hope to have some news soon. Even her family doesn't see her, Cathy hasn't talked about her for a while now :confused:
 

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It`s Graf Vs. Sabatini In An Open Reunion
September 09, 1990|By Melissa Isaacson, Chicago Tribune.

NEW YORK — It was late in the second set of her U.S. Open semifinal match when Steffi Graf walked to the baseline to serve. For 30 seconds or so, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario remained seated, as technically the changeover was not over. But it appeared she was merely prolonging the inevitable.

You had that same feeling during Friday`s second women`s semifinal, that as Gabriela Sabatini and Mary Joe Fernandez toiled for 2 hours 43 minutes toward a conclusion, they, too, were merely prolonging the inevitable.

Graf`s 6-1, 6-2 flattening of Sanchez was a painful 54 minutes for the

`89 French Open champion, and may very well be a bad omen for Sabatini.

For now at least, it is 1988 all over again.

Graf is healthy, reasonably happy and fiercely determined. In the past-and her grand-slam year of `88 comes immediately to mind-that has always equated to unbeatable tennis.

She will meet Sabatini in Saturday`s afternoon final, sandwiched between the two men`s semifinals.

Sabatini, seeded fifth, outlasted eighth-seeded Fernandez 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 in an entertaining, though not superbly played, match that got better as it went along.

Going in, their head-to-head record was 5-5, and it was easy to see why. Both players are primarily baseliners, though both chose to attack the other`s second serve and come to the net. Sabatini was particularly aggressive in the third set, repeatedly chip-and-charging and effectively using her drop volley. ``I thought I had it and I let it slip away,`` said Fernandez, who lost a 5-2 lead in the first set.

Playing under a new coach, Brazil`s Carlos Kirmayr, Sabatini is better utilizing her natural athletic ability, which was more than evident on a diving backhand volley to set up match point.

``One of the biggest points I ever hit,`` Sabatini called it.

She has also improved her physical conditioning, for a long time a weak link in her game. It is perhaps fitting that she will play Graf for the Open title, a repeat of the final of `88, which Graf won 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.

Graf-Sabatini was supposed to be the rivalry of the late `80s and beyond. Sabatini was one of the few players who seemed unintimidated by her sometime doubles partner, and three times in a 13-month span in `88 and `89 she defeated Graf in tournament finals.

It is also interesting that during a time when the depth of women`s tennis is stronger than it has been in years, Graf`s opponent is a player whose game has slipped in the eyes of tennis observers.

``I`ve worked very hard before coming here, and tomorrow I think I`ll be in good shape,`` said Sabatini, who is 3-18 lifetime against Graf. ``I think I`m ready to beat Steffi.``

If she does, she indeed will have to earn it. Against Sanchez, Graf`s game was nearly flawless.

``She`s serving unbelievably, she`s not missing any balls and she has a lot of confidence,`` Sanchez said of Graf. ``She`s playing a lot better now than she did in Paris or Wimbledon. Maybe she has the confidence again. I think she is going to win the tournament.``

The confidence. Graf`s self-assurance used to be taken for granted. It used to be a given, carrying her to nine grand slam titles, including the Australian Open in January.

But a broken thumb, sinus problems and a six-month haul through the murky depths of the European press left Graf with runner-up and semifinal finishes at the French Open and Wimbledon, a bitterness toward the media and a disenchantment with a game that was no longer fun.

A victory Saturday, she said, would go a long way toward erasing that pain.

``It would be something major for me,`` Graf said. ``Now being in the final and playing so well, it is already a big step for me.

``Nothing means that much to me for a long, long time.``
 

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U.S. Handsome, Sabatini Stunning : Women:
Argentine plays a more aggressive game and shocks top-seeded Graf in straight sets for her first title in a Grand Slam event.
September 09, 1990|THOMAS BONK | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NEW YORK — Gabriela Sabatini, a 20-year-old Argentine with a loser's image, who in recent months lost her coach, her boyfriend and her old style of tennis, won the U.S. Open Saturday and immediately announced party plans.

"I'm going to get drunk on orange juice," Sabatini said.

Sabatini squeezed out her first Grand Slam title, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4), at the expense of two-time defending champion Steffi Graf, who explained her untimely defeat this way: "She was playing very well and I don't think I was playing well at all."

That analysis aside, Sabatini's first major title in six years of trying seemed to surprise just about everyone except Sabatini.

Fifth-seeded, Sabatini is the lowest-seeded female player to win the U.S. Open in 22 years, since sixth-seeded Virginia Wade defeated Billie Jean King in the 1968 final.

"Nobody was expecting me to win the tournament," Sabatini said. "The way I was playing, I was so confident.

"But I think that really helped a little bit. I didn't feel any pressure. I was just playing my game."

However, her game was barely recognizable.

Sabatini moved sluggishly through the draw, yet watched with interest as Martina Navratilova and Monica Seles were beaten. Then Sabatini underwent a startling transformation of her game in a semifinal victory against Mary Joe Fernandez.

From the consummate baseliner sending arcs of looping topspin forehands, across the net, Sabatini started hitting forehands with slice, the ball bouncing low as she approached the net.

Sabatini, who made 92 approaches to the net against Fernandez, came in 43 times against Graf, an aggressive tactic encouraged by Sabatini's coach of three months, Carlos Kirmayr.

A 39-year-old Brazilian, Kirmayr was hired the day after Sabatini lost to Jana Novotna in the fourth round of the French Open. She fired her coach of 3 1/2 years, Angel Gimenez, a former Davis Cup player from Spain.

"It was time for a change, new ideas," Sabatini said.

The early results were not spectacular. Sabatini reached the semifinals at Wimbledon, where a London tabloid ran a first-person story written by her former boyfriend about their love life, among other things. Then, on the court, Navratilova swamped her in straight sets.

Sabatini lost to Katerina Maleeva in the semifinals at the Canadian Open but was upset in the round of 16 in the Virginia Slims of Los Angeles by Stephanie Rehe, who was coming back from an injury and was playing only her second match in nearly two years.

Even then, Sabatini said she was happy with her tennis and reaffirmed her belief that she had a good chance to win the U.S. Open.

It was not always easy for Sabatini to keep a positive outlook. Several months ago, she sought out Jim Loehr, a sports psychologist with the U.S. Tennis Assn.

"He really helped me when I needed him," Sabatini said. "I was going through some not good moments at the beginning of the year. I was losing matches I should not have, and I needed someone to talk to."

She had a chance for a good moment Saturday. In the second set tiebreaker, after Graf blew a 3-1 lead and her forehand clipped the net cord, hopped over and landed on the line, Sabatini wound up for the shot of her life.

She looked straight across the net and down the line, which is exactly where she hit the ball. As it bounced away toward the stands, Sabatini jumped, an airborne celebration.

Graf kept her back to Sabatini. She put her hands on hips and bowed her head.

She might have been thinking about the first two games she served. Graf lost them both, trailed 0-3, and stayed back on her heels the rest of the match.

Sabatini out-Steffied Steffi in the first set, closing it out in 32 minutes when Graf guided an errant forehand into the net.

It was a near-perfect display by Sabatini, who recognized it as such: "I didn't do any mistakes. It was an exciting set."

Graf and Sabatini exchanged breaks in the first two games of the second set, then continued on until the ninth game, when Graf served at 4-4. She led, 40-15, but wound up losing the game on back-to-back errors--a volley wide and a backhand slice that sailed too far.

Sabatini served for the match at 5-4 and won only two points with a conservative slow-paced serve that Graf ate up. At 5-6, Sabatini needed to hold serve to force a tiebreaker and twice saved set points to do it.

As she entered the tiebreaker, Sabatini was tiring, so she wanted to avoid a third set, which she thought would favor Graf.

Perhaps Sabatini was remembering her 3-11 record in three-set matches with Graf. Never before had Sabatini beaten Graf in straight sets.

"I say I have to win here (in the tiebreaker). I have to win in two sets because it always happens, the same thing, when we go into the third set and I get tired," Sabatini said.

The same thing did not happen again. After making only one other appearance in a Grand Slam final, Sabatini made the most of her second chance.
 
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