Old Interview of 1991...
Despite being old stuff, I hope you find it somewhat interesting, even while some statements of her maybe now dated. But the good aspect of it is, that it was during her career high in early 1991, when it was taken. At that time she lead the price money ranking for half an year, and only the unfair ranking system and bad luck denied her to take the lead in the WTA ranking - the best score and lowest distance in points ever a place 3 player had (shortly after Wimbledon)! And a comment in the tennis magazine, in which this interview appeared, demonstrated belief, that she could become number one, after this was just one year ago not accepted by most experts...

This is again a translation from a German magazine (Tennis Revue 6/1991) into English, I hope I don't twisted any statements... (keep in mind, that it was originally taken in English or Spanish and then first translated into German).

A Girl from Argentina...

"I've set myself only one goal for the next twelve months: I want to become the world best (female) tennis player. I don't care about anything else. I don't want a man, no expensive sports car, no house, no jewels. I want the computer print, which proves: I am the number one!"

Gaby from interview shooting
You are often titled as "most beautiful player on the court". How do you find yourself, looking into the mirror?

GS: "Phantastic. Thrilling. I am the most beautiful, my mirror images proves it! I kiss every single morning myself and say: I love me! - But taken seriously: I am quite satisfied with myself. There are surely more ugly girls. What I don't like of myself, are my eyes. They are too small. And then I have skin problems. The cause may be, that I like to eat spicy. I know, that it is no good for my skin, but I can't let it be. It's too tempting. Especially the tiny green pepper cods of Thailand style."

Are you weak, do you have problems, to keep intentions alive?

GS: "Yes, therein I'm lazy. If it has no immediate relation with tennis, I often take it easy."

What else?

GS: "Sometimes I have ravenous hunger for sweets. Than I go through. Without mercy. Bitter chocolate from Switzerland, champagne truffles, with these I can lose control."

And then you have a bad conscience?

GS: "Exactly. Than I exaggerate it into the other direction and fast. My mother rails, I know, how irrational it is, but I can't change it. So I am anyway."

Do you tell us your worst habit?

GS: "I am moody. Suddenly all things annoy me without any reason. Than I munch, give short or no answers, curse. That sounds no good in my own language. Especially not for a girl."

Your best feature?

GS: "I am ambitious. I am vain."

Is vanity not more a bad one?

GS: "It's a question of opinion. I'm vain in the quest to be the best. In every respect. You should remember mine positive. Not only in sports, but generally. I don't like to disappoint my parents, friends, humans, who are important to me. I stand up for this."

Do you have a lover?

GS: "No time for this. At the moment even no interest. I've only one target locked, you know which - for love there remains no space."

What about Frank Unkelbach from Germany?

GS: "We met. We have talked nice. We ate together. Nothing more."

From whom you last year every single day 24 white roses got send into Londons "Gloucester Hotel"?

GS: "From a worshipper, who wanted not to comprehend, that I had no interest in him. Always I have put the box with flowers before the door. Unopened."

Were you never tempted, to fall in love - eventually to a sports colleague?

GS: "Truly not! The players I meet are mostly of my age. I even prefer older men."

Is father Osvaldo your prototype as man?

GS: "I've no father complex, if you mean this. But in terms of charm, goodness, kindness, experience - yes, the man I wish should have much in common with my father. Of course not the age."

Your life contains a lot of voyages - do you feel sometimes lonely?

GS: "Of course. The loneliness of th sports(wo)man, which is connected with my job, is the most negative of this. I live in the finest hotels, can go to the most expensive restaurants. But basically I'm alone. I call it the 'first class loneliness'. You don't give way to it. Otherwise it would depress to much. You begin to drink or to divert in another way."

Sometimes I ask myself, if the victories and price monies are really worth the isolation. I'm now not even 21 and feel sometimes ancient. It can't be all in life, to strike onto a round felt ball.

What do you do at evening, lying alone in your hotel bed?

GS: "I look TV, hear CDs of my favorite bands Chicago and Air Supply, write diary."

You keep a diary?

GS: "Since I'm 13. I write all down, what is in my mind. This helps me, to overcome problems quickly and to get over my sadness."

What are your reasons, to be sad?

GS: "Homesickness after Argentina. Loneliness. Sometimes I ask myself, if the victories and price monies are really worth the isolation. I'm now not even 21 and feel sometimes ancient. It can't be all in life, to strike onto a round felt ball. ...these are thoughts, which make me sad."

Doesn't this question all? Your ambitious fight on the track for number one, the daily training, tennis as your lifes dedication?

GS: "Of course it does. But these are also only moments of doubt, which pass over. Moods."

To whom you have a good cry?

GS: "Nobody. I cope alone with it. I'm not of the type to peddle with my problems. If I'm sick, I draw back, like most to keep alone."

Has this something to do with being not happy to show weakness?

GS: "Maybe, yes. I imagine it as horrible, to be dependant, to need the help of others."

For a moment we speak about tennis - what are your strengths, what you try to improve?

GS: "My service and the volleys. I have to play even more aggressive, more at the net, more attacks. My baseline game is okay. With my weakness, the concentration, I've already improved considerably, I guess."

By what method?

GS: "I made a crash course in group therapy. You sit together with eleven others in a circle, train breathing, to concentrate on one topic with closed eyes. In addition I learned autogenic training. Every day two hours. Now I can sleep immediately, when I want. This is very helpful at long flights."

What you like most with yourself?

GS: "My humor. I've inherited it from my father."

What do you privately to relax?

GS: "I play pool billard, go shopping with my mother, this is a good way of diverting. When I'm in Florida, my second home, I rent a boat and drive through the Everglades and photograph alligators. Or I went into cinema. I love horror movies and cruel subjects. Jodie Fosters new movie 'The silence of lambs" I've seen even twice. It can't be cruel enough. That diverts me, putting total different thoughts into my mind."

Do you have no nightmares?

GS: "No. I sleep without problems. Restless, but well."

Which wish you would like to fulfill yourself?

GS: "One night flying with a police helicopter on patrol over New York and witness all. I imagine this as very exciting."

What means money to you?

GS: "My father deals with my finances. I know, that I've never to fear again about my future. I can buy all I want. But I want nothing. I'm not very demanding."

What would be the worst, what could happen to you?

GS: "If my parents would die. I'm very close with my family. Without it, I would feel lost. My parents and my brother Osvaldo means all for me."

If you had the chance to introduce one single new tennis regulation, after what the tournaments had to be played - what would it be?

GS: "O yes, that would I realize preferably today than tomorrow. No tournament would be allowed to start before dawn. Do you want to know, why? Because I would than win the most matches. I feel strongest at evening. I hate it, to rise and to play early."

What do you do before an important tournament - what is your personal ritual?

GS: "I go to bed early in the evening before. With a glass of hot milk with honey. I eat early, in every case before 18 o'clock, only one steak, with much garlic, and then a big portion of salad. Without oil. I look a video of my last fight with my rival, concentrate myself exactly on my and her weaknesses. And I pray for my victory."

Are you pious?

GS: "I'm catholic. I believe in God. But I don't walk every Sunday into church. I can believe without proving it that way, can't I?"

Suppose you have not become a tennis professional - what job would be possible else?

GS: "I guess, I would be already married and would have my first child. I would be mother and housewife. I can't imagine another job for me. Since I can reason, I play tennis. It was the most loved hobby besides school. Than I made it for my living, because I had success. I never want anything else."

Means this, that your future is an own family?

GS: "Yes. I want to be the world best player, run around a couple of years on the court and then found a family. I guarantee you, that I will not become a tennis grandma."

Is there anything you miss in your life?

GS: "No. I'm happy. I've no problems."

Are you a happy girl?

GS: "Sometimes. Happiness is always only for moments."

Who is Gabriela Sabatini?

GS: "A girl from Mar del Plata in Argentina, who has still much to learn."

By Pierre Morange.


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