Gabriela Sabatini fills us with pride once again , on this occasion to receive the highest distinction from the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the Philippe Chatrier Award, awarded since 1996 to individuals and organizations for their significant contribution to tennis on and off the court.
The best Argentine tennis player in history , former number 3 in the world and winner of the silver medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, received her recognition at the traditional Champions Dinner, as part of the tournament Roland Garros , whose main stadium is named Philippe Chatrier, in honor of the former ITF president who died in 2000.
“ Tennis gave me wings,” Gaby said in his speech to the greatest tennis figures present, both present and past. During the dinner, Sabatini was accompanied by AAT Vice President Mariano Zabaleta , the captain of the Fed Cup team, Mercedes Paz, and Davis Cup team captain Gaston Gaudio .
The Olympic medalist represented Argentina in 15 Fed Cup series, with a record of 24-6, and won 27 singles titles and 14 in WTA doubles, including the 1990 US Open title (singles) and 1988 Wimbledon doubles alongside Steffi Graf. Finally, he retired from professional sports in 1996 .
Sabatini moved away from the courts but not from the sport and, since then, she became an ambassador of the values of tennis in every place where she performs. In addition, she actively collaborates with organizations that care for children around the world , in campaigns with UNICEF , UNESCO and, recently, as a Model Athlete at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, held in October of 2018 in our country.
Sabatini spoke this Monday at a press conference in Roland Garros: “ I am very grateful to receive this award. When you look back, she realizes everything tennis is. It's a sport that gave me a lot more than I gave it. I feel like everything I am, and what I can do today, is because of tennis. It was what opened my head, which gave me the opportunity to travel, which is what I like most. All those things that I did and do, often in private, is because I feel that way, because I feel very grateful for all the years I lived with tennis , “said the tennis player in front of hundreds of journalists around the world.
This is the first time that a representative of our country has received the distinction . In Latin America only Brazilian Gustavo “Guga” Kuerten, in 2010, had until today the honor of receiving him.
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