Sabatini receives HoF ring
February 24, 2012
NEWPORT, R.I. — One of the most popular women’s tennis players of her time, Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina was also one of the most successful, being ranked within the world top-10 every year from 1986-1995, capturing a major title in singles and doubles and earning an Olympic medal. In 2006, Sabatini received the highest honor in the sport of tennis-induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. In a special ceremony on at the Copa Claro tennis tournament in Buenos Aires, this achievement was celebrated once again when Sabatini was presented with her official Hall of Fame ring, a one-of-a-kind piece that is being presented to Hall of Famers at tennis events around the world over the next several years.
“A top world ranked player, consistent fan favorite and Grand Slam champion, Gabriela Sabatini is a true legend of tennis,” said Christopher Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. “As a Hall of Famer, Gaby is already among an elite group of tennis legends. We are pleased to be able to recognize this achievement with this special ring, which only the most successful and influential individuals in tennis will have the honor of wearing.”
Hall of Famer Gabriela Sabatini received her official Hall of Fame ring in a special ceremony on center court at the Copa Claro.
Clouser presented the ring to Sabatini on Center Court at the Copa Claro tournament in Buenos Aires, an ATP World Tour event. Also participating in the ring ceremony was fellow Argentine tennis champion Martin Jaite, who serves as Tournament Director and Davis Cup Captain; Gustavo Herrero, former vice-president of the Argentina Tennis Association and a member of the International Committee of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum; and Eduardo Puppo, tennis journalist.
Gabriela Sabatini first picked up a tennis racquet at age 6, and from that point on, she didn’t slow down her game for two decades. She won her first tournament at age 8, and at age 13, she became the youngest person to win the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. She went on to win six major international junior titles, including the French Open girls’ singles.
At age 15 years and 3 weeks old, Sabatini became the youngest-ever player to reach the semifinals at the French Open at that time, where she lost to Chris Evert. She continued to make her presence known at the Grand Slams, advancing to many semifinals, and in 1990, she captured the US Open title, defeating world No. 1 Stefanie Graf. The two stars won the Wimbledon doubles title together in 1988. Ranked world No. 3 in 1989 and within the world top-10 for ten consecutive years (1986-1995), Sabatini also held the No. 1 ranking in South America and Argentina for that entire span. She was a member of the Argentine Olympic team in 1988 and 1996, and won the silver medal in 1988. In addition, Sabatini won two WTA World Championships titles, in 1988 and 1994.
An attacker with powerful groundstrokes and incredible topspin, Sabatini completed her career in 1996 with an extraordinary singles win-loss record of 632-189. Sabatini’s graceful style on court and personable nature made her a hit with fans, and she remains one of the game’s most adored players today. Since retiring, she has focused on a variety of business ventures, including her namesake perfume line which includes more than 15 scents. In 2006 she was presented the International Olympic Committee Woman and Sport Worldwide Award in recognition of her work to develop junior tennis in Argentina. Sabatini has been active with numerous charitable causes including Special Olympics, UNICEF, UNESCO, World Health Organization and Laureus.
Hall of Fame ring ceremonies have already occurred in Houston, Barcelona, Los Angeles, and during the annual Hall of Fame Induction Weekend in Newport, R.I. Additional International Tennis Hall of Fame rings will be presented at tennis events around the world in the coming months, including Indian Wells and Monte-Carlo. The personalized rings bear a green stone set in gold, to complement the Hall of Fame’s brand colors. In addition, the rings are etched with each honoree’s name and the Hall of Fame logo crest. The rings have been generously underwritten by The Bruce T. Halle Family of Scottsdale, Arizona. Bruce, founder of Discount Tire, and his wife Diane, a philanthropist, are tennis enthusiasts and they have generously supported communities in the areas where Discount Tire is located, and beyond, for many years.
Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis and honoring the game’s greatest heroes. The Museum is a remarkable tennis landmark, featuring a great collection of historic memorabilia, art, fashion, photos, videos and more. Each year, this Museum honors several additional individuals. Being honored in this Museum is based on the sum of an individual’s success – such as the number of victories or rankings, or based on their great contributions as coaches and administrators. Since 1955, the Hall of Fame has honored 220 individuals from 19 different countries – a testament to the global popularity of tennis. In addition, the Hall of Fame provides a landmark for tennis enthusiasts, offering an extensive museum that chronicles the history of the sport and its stars, historic grass tennis courts that date back to 1880 and are open to the public, an ATP World Tour tournament and the annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in July, and numerous public events year-round.
To learn more about the International Tennis Hall of Fame, visit tennisfame.com.