Gabriela Sabatini shone in her debut at Roland Garros and left several plays for the ovation: “It was a huge emotion”

This was the premiere of Gabriela Sabatini and Gisela Dulko at Roland Garros

With a smile in the face, Gabriela Sabatini he returned to playing tennis at the age of 52. And she did it with a great friend like Gisela Dulko. At the premiere of the Roland Garros Legend tournament, The Argentine duo defeated the couple made up of Lindsay Davenport and Mary Joe Fernandezfrom United States, for a double 6-3.

It was quite an attraction for the public that occupied the seats in the Suzanne Lenglen to see the best tennis player in Argentine history. And Gaby, like her partner and friend, enjoyed her return. This time to the brick dust of one of the most important tournaments in the world. “There were nerves”was one of the first words that Sabatini said after the victory against the couple from the United States.

“It’s all new. It is the first time I play on this court. When we got warm it was special. It was a huge emotion”followed the player who knew how to be the Argentine flag bearer at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and won a silver medal in her only Olympic experience.

Sabatini and Dulko showed their full category in Paris. Visibly happy to be able to play in an iconic setting for the sport that led them to represent their country around the world, they played the game as if it were one of their careers. They got 35 winning shots, against the seven that the American couple reached. What’s more, they made only 16 unforced errors with Gisela.

Sabatini’s happiness at playing again at Roland Garros (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Although the duo Davenport (45)/Fernández (50) broke Gabriela’s serve on her first two serve occasions, it was the 52-year-old former professional tennis player herself who gave herself the pleasure of closing the first set with a spectacular volley into the net. “The serve was always a less strong point. We feel pretty good today. Now we are going to be calmer”Sabatini commented in dialogue with ESPN at the end of the duel.

“We volleyed well, we made nice points”added the winner of the US Open in 1990, in addition to 26 other titles as a professional.

That was one of the reasons for the victory for the Argentine duo in the duel for the Group of the tennis legends contest at Roland Garros. His hits at the net set the pace of the game. But in addition, there were other pearls, how the slide from almost the bottom of the court in the fifth game of the second quarter in the hands of Sabatini. Another thing to highlight about the Argentines is that they were lethal in taking advantage of their break chances. In that aspect, they finished with a high ERA (7/9), which allowed them to take advantage.

Gaby showed her entire category on the net (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Gaby showed her entire category on the net (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Once the meeting was over and the protocol greeting with Davenport and Fernández passed, Gabriela and Gisela relaxed and took the opportunity to highlight how the preparation for the tournament was, which even included similar clothing for both. “We had to come with all the attire, there is production behind. We are twins”They both said with a smile.

“Playing alongside Gaby is a dream for me, on this court, with these people. It’s all new, coming back after so many years, they were 10 without playing in a stadium like this, but it’s incredible “recognized Dulko, 37, who returned to what was his specialty at a stage in his career, where he became number 1 in the world in doubles.

Before he could even hydrate himself, Sabatini had to go to the area behind his chair to greet several Argentine fans who asked for an autograph or a selfie.. And as was the case when Gaby was a star on the WTA circuit, an Argentine flag that read “Gabylandia”. “I think that from now on we will be calmer. Let’s go step by step. What fills us the most is having all the people behind”, concluded the best Argentine female racket of all time.

“That is incredible, it is what reaches us the most. All supporting us”, added Dulko, who also succumbed to the request of the fans.

The word of Sabatini and Dulko after their victory

It must be remembered that this special contest is divided into two zones. The Argentine duo is in Group A, of which the French are also part Tatiana Golovin (34 years old), tournament champion in doubles in 2004, and the former top 3 Nathalie Tauziat (54 years). In addition, there are the Croatian Iva Majoli (44), who won in Paris in 1997, with another local, Mary Pierce (47), who won the trophy in 2000.

Group B includes the historic Martina Navratilova (65), former number one and two-time champion at Roland Garros, the Italians Schiavone (41), winner in Paris in 2010, and Flavia Pennetta (40), former No. 1 in doubles. They will also play Rennae Stubbs (51) y Chanda Rubin (46), from the USA; the slovak Daniela Hantuchova (39), the Bulgarian Magdalena Maleeva (47) and the French Sandrine Testud (50).

The winning couples from each zone will advance to the grand final, which will be played next Saturday.


The ovation of the fans, the move that drew applause from his rival and the best shot of the match: three gems from Gabriela Sabatini’s return to Roland Garros
7 phrases by Gabriela Sabatini: why she was away from tennis for so long, her duels with Graf and the players she currently likes the most


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