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The NY Times on Gabriela Sabatini

Sabatini_1 The NY Times has a nice piece on recent Hall of Fame inductee (along with Pat Rafter), aka Roger Federer's first tennis crush, Argentine Gabriela Sabatini.

Read 'Off the Court, Sabatini Is Still in Her Prime'. Here's an article about the Hall of Fame honorees.

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From a ZDF radio Interview with Roger in May:

INTERVIEWER-did you have a crush on anyone growing up?
FEDERER –I’m not saying
INTERVIEWER – why
FEDERER – because it’d be embarrassing when I meet them.
INTERVIEWER –c’mon one name
FEDERER – Gabriella Sabatini
INTERVIEWER –I liked her too, our producer is shaking he head, he liked her too

Here's the full interview:

INTERVIEWER Do you think Nadal has a hold over you now?

ROGER FEDERER - I’m playing against one of the best clay players, and I’m getting closer to him on his favourite surface. I read one article before the (Rome) final which predicted I would lose 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 they thought it would be a walk for nadal. The number of unforced errors was ridiculous on my part and my serve was weak. But I know nadal is the kind of player who takes his opportunity and punishes you when you make mistakes, that’s to his credit.

INTERVIEWER -You made the point about nadal’s uncle Toni coaching him during play, is you pointing it out a mental game?

ROGER FEDERER - Mental game?

INTERVIEWER- A psychological tactic?

ROGER FEDERER - No I said what I saw. I wasn’t the only person who noticed it a linesman and physio noticed it to. I looked up three times from my chair and saw toni talking and making hand gestures towards nadal. Whether or not nadal was paying attention is besides the point. I wasn’t accusing nadal of cheating. My frustration was directed more at toni. I don’t know if the camera’s picked it up.

INTERVIEWER- nadal said you are closer to winning the French open than he is to winning Wimbledon do you agree?

ROGER FEDERER - I don’t know how much preparation he’s done for the grass and hard court season. But it’s not about me and him there are so many guys out.

INTERVIEWER – do you regret saying his game is one-dimensional?

ROGER FEDERER - No, I was analysing the depth not effectiveness of his style. It’s effective it gets the job done but not layered if you know what I mean.

INTERVIEWER – who has a layered game?

ROGER FEDERER - Agassi, Safin, Haas they’re the sort of guys they’re have an even distribution of strength in parts of the game, they also happen to be the most entertaining to watch, even when they don’t win. I don’t think you can call Sampras three dimensional, but he’s great at what he did.

INTERVIEWER – what do you think of the people who say your victories in the slams are down to weak competition?

ROGER FEDERER - Well to those people I say pick up a racquet and play against Nalbandian, Ljubici, Safin or Moya. Domination isn’t down to poor competition, it’s about making the difficult look easy, that’s why people say the competition is not fierce enough.

INTERVIEWER – so you think the argument that Sampras had stronger competition is wrong?

ROGER FEDERER - I think there were so many people saying the same about Sampras when he was playing. That he’s beatable but the competition is weak.

INTERVIEWER – you now against Sampras at his prime at the Wimbledon final who would win?

ROGER FEDERER-Well that wouldn’t be fair

INTERVIEWER – why?

ROGER FEDERER-Because I haven’t hit my prime, yes I’m winning but there is room for improvement.

INTERVIEWER – so this isn’t your prime?

ROGER FEDERER - No your prime is when you have reached the best of your ability. This is not the best of my ability; I’ve not reached my personal perfection, if you like.

INTERVIEWER – do you get tired of being compared to Sampras, or laver?
It’s an irrational human nature to compare. Tennis is a sport that changes annually so it’s bizarre when you compare someone from the 1990s to someone now.

INTERVIEWER – who is the greatest player of all time?

ROGER FEDERER - (Laughing) You want me to contradict my last answer don’t you! MY favourite was Rod Laver. He’s my idol.

INTERVIEWER –is that why you cried at the Laver arena when he handed you the cup?

ROGER FEDERER - Well- yes and no, I felt relief because I had to fight for it, but yes him being there was important. I actually met him two days before, the first thing I said was ‘oh my god rod laver, you’re rod laver’’, then I felt really stupid because of course he knew who he was.

(this bit is funny c’ause you can see the interviewer was trying to get him to talk about martina hingis)

INTERVIEWER -Your compatriot Martina won the Rome Open do you think she can win the French Open?

ROGER FEDERER - “If you asked me a few months ago if thought she would win it I would have said no. but she continues to surprise me and everybody else with her comeback. She incredibly strong willed, when we were younger playing doubles she would have 3 or 4 strategies for us to win.”

INTERVIEWER –how long have you known her?

ROGER FEDERER - A long time she’s a good friend

INTERVIEWER –she’s like a sister

ROGER FEDERER - No I have sister

INTERVIEWER – just a friend?

ROGER FEDERER - Yes! (Giggling) stop it I have a girlfriend

INTERVIEWER –do players gossip about each other?

ROGER FEDERER - we actually don’t hang around each other that much, but once in a while we talk about each others game, we don’t talk about personal life.

INTERVIEWER –should women get paid the same as men in Wimbledon?

ROGER FEDERER - Other major tournament organisers are saying yes

INTERVIEWER- Who’s your favourite designer?
FEDERER - Prada
INTERVIEWER- Your favourite colour?
FEDERER - You mean in clothes
INTERVIEWER- Yes
FEDERER - I don’t know it depends on the mood.
INTERVIEWER- How was your childhood like?
FEDERER - It was fun.
INTERVIEWER- did you have pushy parents
FEDERER – no because I was a pushy child, I was self-critical enough for the three of us
INTERVIEWER- What language do you speak at home?
FEDERER - I speak Swiss German to my dad, English to my Mum and French to my physio and some of my friends. My first words were in English though.
INTERVIEWER- Where you ever bullied?
FEDERER - Bullied?
INTERVIEWER- Did other children pick on you?
FEDERER - Only when I moved to the French part of Switzerland to go to tennis school, I spoke only German, I was quite because I didn’t want to make mistakes and children ignore you when you don’t talk. And I was so emotional when I played that I became the volcano nobody came near. I was a bit of a loner. Once I learned French it was easy.
INTERVIEWER- You met the pope in Rome how was that like?
FEDERER - It was great an honour
INTERVIEWER- What did you talk about?
FEDERER - He said he was happy to see me
INTERVIEWER- How did that feel like?
FEDERER - Surreal
INTERVIEWER- You’re catholic?
FEDERER - Yes
INTERVIEWER- Are you religious?
FEDERER - I guess I am in the spiritual way not in practising way, but I use to go to mass when I was younger.
INTERVIEWER- Do people stop you in the street back home a lot?
FEDERER - Well Switzerland isn’t a celebrity obsessed place, they get on with life, but because I’m getting global fame, they pay more attention to me. We don’t have the papprazi hiding in the bush thank god.
INTERVIEWER- What do you spend a lot of money on?
FEDERER - Hair products, not that you can tell
INTERVIEWER- What’s your worst haircut then?
FEDERER - When I dyed my hair blonde, I wanted a change I think
INTERVIEWER- So it didn’t get the girls?
FEDERER - No, (sarcastically) I don’t know why
INTERVIEWER- What music wouldn’t you want to be stuck in a lift listening to?
FEDERER - Céline Dion,
INTERVIEWER- Who wouldn’t you want to be stuck in the lift with?
FEDERER - Well after that answer, Céline Dion. (Interviewer laugh)
INTERVIEWER- what’s in your MP3 player?
FEDERER - Just a second I’ll take it out,
INTERVIEWER goes through it and reads some of it AC/DC, Bocelli, Chopin, Jimi Hendrix, Mozart, Pink Floyd and The Who,
INTERVIEWER- So its rock and classical
FEDERER - Laughing Yes I like to give myself a headache then sooth my head.
INTERVIEWER- you’re now a UNICEF amabassador and you have your own charity and visit so many countries to raise poverty awareness, what wouldn’t you do for charity?
FEDERER - What wouldn’t I do?
INTERVIEWER- like would you pose nude?
FEDERER –I think people would pay for me to keep my clothes on
INTERVIEWER- but you were featured in People’s magazine sexist list
FEDERER – I don’t now how I got in there, they people mixed my name with someone else.
INTERVIEWER-did you have a crush on anyone growing up?
FEDERER –I’m not saying
INTERVIEWER – why
FEDERER – because it’d be embarrassing when I meet them.
INTERVIEWER –c’mon one name
FEDERER – Gabriella Sabatini
INTERVIEWER –I liked her too, our producer is shaking he head, he liked her too

Part 1:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=100868

Part 2:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbfivelive/...thread=3042229

Posted by: federated | Jul 17, 2006 1:27:58 PM

That Roger interview is very entertaining.

I remember seeing Sabatini at one of the year ending championships in New York, and the woman in front of us said to her daughter: "She's 17 and she's supporting her family. You're 17 and I'm still supporting you."

LOL!

Posted by: Rosemary | Jul 17, 2006 2:56:19 PM

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