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Arantxa Sánchez Vicario1 (b. December 18 1971 in Barcelona, Spain) is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player from Spain. During her career, she won four Grand Slam singles titles and six Grand Slam doubles titles.

She started playing tennis at age four, when she would follow her older brothers Emilio Sánchez and Javier Sánchez (both of whom went on to become top male players) to the court and hit balls against the wall with her first racquet.

Sánchez Vicario shocked the tennis world in 1989 when, as a virtually unknown 17-year-old, she defeated World No. 1 Steffi Graf in the final to become the youngest-ever winner of the women's singles title at the French Open. (The record was broken the following year by Monica Seles, who won the title at age 16.)

Sánchez Vicario quickly developed a reputation on the tour for her tenacious fighting spirit and willingness to scamper around the court, refusing to concede a point. Affectionately known as the "Barcelona Bumblebee", she "stung" all the major competitors of her era.

Sánchez Vicario's most successful year as a singles player was 1994, when she won both the French Open and US Open titles. (She won a total of eight tournaments that year.)

Her fourth Grand Slam title was won in 1998 at the French Open.

She was a singles finalist in all four the Grand Slams at least twice. She was a Grand Slam singles runner-up eight times in addition to her four wins.

Sánchez Vicario became the World No. 1 singles player in 1995 (for 12 weeks) and, in doing so, became the first woman since Martina Navratilova in 1987 to simultaneously hold the No. 1 ranking in both singles and doubles.

Sánchez Vicario won the women's doubles titles at the US Open in 1993 (with Conchita Martinez), and at Wimbledon in 1995 (with Jana Novotna). She also won four Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.

In 1991, Sánchez Vicario helped Spain win its first-ever Fed Cup title, defeating the United States in the final. She was a member of Spanish teams which won the Fed Cup four further times in 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1998. Sánchez Vicario holds the record for the most singles and doubles wins by any player in Fed Cup competition, with 72 victories. She also holds the records for most ties played (58), and most years played (16).

Sánchez Vicario was a also member of the Spanish teams which won the Hopman Cup in 1990 and 2002.

She represented Spain at the Olympic Games five times, and won two silver and two bronze medals.

Over the course of her career, Sánchez Vicario won 29 singles titles and 69 doubles titles. Sánchez Vicario got married in 2002, and announced her retirement from the game shortly after. However she made a return in 2004, playing in selected doubles events.


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Note

1 Vicario is not her married name. It is her mother's maiden name. In the Spanish naming system, the mother's maiden name follows the family name. When she started her professional career, she was known as Sánchez, but later requested that her mother's maiden name be added.


Grand Slam titles

Wins (4)

Year     Championship            Opponent in Final          Score in Final
1989     French Open             Steffi Graf                7-6, 3-6, 7-5 
1994     French Open             Mary Pierce                6-4, 6-4
1994     US Open                 Steffi Graf                1-6, 7-6, 6-4 
1998     French Open             Monica Seles               7-6, 0-6, 6-2

Runner-ups (8)

Year     Championship            Opponent in Final          Score in Final
1991     French Open             Monica Seles               6-3, 6-4 
1992     US Open                 Monica Seles               6-3, 6-3
1994     Australian Open         Steffi Graf                6-0, 6-2
1995     Australian Open         Mary Pierce                6-3, 6-2
1995     French Open             Steffi Graf                7-5, 4-6, 6-0
1995     Wimbledon               Steffi Graf                4-6, 6-1, 7-5
1996     French Open             Steffi Graf                6-3, 6-7, 10-8
1996     Wimbledon               Steffi Graf                6-3, 7-5


External Links

de:Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario es:Arantxa Sánchez Vicario nl:Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario pt:Arantxa Sánchez Vicario

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