Sabatini: I lost matches to avoid media attention

by: Matt Cronin October 20, 2013

AP Photo

Former U.S. Open champion Gabriela Sabatini tells La Nacion that she was so overwhelmed by media attention when she was young that she deliberately lost matches to avoid talking to the press.

"When I was younger and thought that I had to talk after winning a tournament, I often lost in the semifinals so I did not have to. It was that bad!" Sabatini said. "I was very introverted. I had some issues at school because I was very inward-looking."

The 43-year-old Sabatini, who never eclipsed the No. 3 ranking and lost numerous matches late in Grand Slams, said her high public profile often became too much to handle.

"I think my fame and my public profile had something to do with the fact that I did not become No. 1,” she said. “To be so famous would also have been a problem if I had been No. 1.”

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