30 years after Gabriela Sabatini’s triumph at the US Open, a feat of Argentine sport

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The best national tennis player was consecrated with her triumph in the New York Grand Slam, on September 8, 1990, by defeating Steffi Graf. The memory of the special envoy of Clarion.

Although these are memories – and for her, the best ones -, she did not have the opportunity to celebrate them in a big way, as she wanted and deserved. Gabriela Sabatini achieved the most relevant title of his career, the US Open, on September 8, 1990, just three decades ago, and recently celebrated its 50 years in full.

But if the pandemic takes a world ahead, and thousands of lives, it also took away Sabatini the opportunity to celebrate with his family, which will be left for another opportunity. Today the concerns are others, especially the well-being of relatives and friends.

And neither does the United States Open, one of the four chapters of the Grand Slam, has the usual brilliance these days. It was organized as best it could, in the middle of the drama, and to save the tennis season, devastated – like the rest of the sports – by the health drama.

In any case, nobody will take away from Sabatini the pride of that conquest, when he broke the supremacy of Steffi Graf in the big events and affirmed himself as one of the best tennis players in the world.

Since that afternoon in Flushing Meadows, the Graf-Sabatini duels (the classic of her generation) went hand-in-hand and Gabriela herself came close to being crowned months later at Wimbledon, remaining at the gates of a number 1 that was eventually denied.

Sabatini’s victory at the US Open 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) is one of the greatest feats in the history of Argentine sports and, fundamentally, between our ladies.

And it came to Sabatini at a strange time, when he was just starting to work with his new coach, Kirmayr, and when I was sailing through a season of doubts.

But the confidence of that triumph projected her to a new tennis dimension, added power and security to her recognized talent. That would be the Sabatini for a couple more seasons on the track, until she felt mentally exhausted.

It is well worth in these hours of uncertainty to return the happiness of that moment, of those arms in the high in the court central, the endless hug with his brother and his coach, and a joy shared by all of us who always admire Gabriela Sabatini. For her tennis, her charisma and, fundamentally, her human qualities.

Not a single cloud loomed across the blue sky on a splendid afternoon at Queen’s, New York. On those concrete slabs of the Louis Armstrong Stadium in Flushing Meadow Park, Gabriela Beatriz Sabatini raised her arms to the same sky, lived the most glorious moment of his sporting life, exactly one hour and 39 minutes after the match started against the best tennis player in recent years, the German Steffi Graf.

“It is something that I cannot tell, an incredible feeling”, he told us right away, while 20,826 spectators they cheered her like never before. And what was – by presence and call – the most prestigious tournament in the world this season had a champion from Argentina, an heiress worthy of Guillermo Vilas. Now yes, as so many times it was one step away, Gabriela offered a demonstration of supreme technique and absolute courage to raise the cup it deserved.

The 1990 season had not looked good for Sabatini, perhaps listless and confused, navigating aimlessly around the European circuit. The change of coach arrived and, with Kirmayr, a renewed motivation. But the main thing we noticed here was his winning decision, his mentality to apply the immense technical baggage that was always recognized to him.

Without the pressure of the top favorites, Sabatini was able to calmly develop her tennis in the first week and then the mental strength to face a Grand Slam final did emerge, to defeat a player of Graf’s ability.

The German, obviously, was not in her year, after a string of injuries and personal problems.But Steffi played a lot at this Open: she needed to consolidate herself as number 1 (she has been leading the ranking for 160 consecutive weeks) and this was her chance.

In recent days she seemed recovered with deadly blows from both sides, a personality as firm as ever and overflowing speed. It wasn’t enough: the inspired Gabriela of Flushing Meadows took it upon herself to exact revenge for a few losses (including the ’88 Open final) and to prevent Steffi from a third consecutive title on these same courts.

“She has to analyze her matches, know her rivals. Before facing Steffi, she did it, ”said Kirmayr. We had found them in a serene training session on court 14, working every technical detail point by point while Agassi dispatched Becker on the court central.

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