Wimbledon Re-Lived 1991: Sabatini’s moment, Graf’s title

Going into Wimbledon in 1991, Steffi Graf’s supremacy was under threat. She hadn’t won a Grand Slam title for 18 months, she’d lost her No.1 ranking to Monica Seles, her father’s scandalous private life meant she was being hounded by the tabloids, and Gabriela Sabatini had emerged as a real rival.

But Graf rose above everything, dominating the draw before winning a classic final 8-6 in the third set against Sabatini.

How did Seles’ withdrawal pave the way for Graf? In what way did Sabatini revolutionise her game during her run to the 1990 US Open title to try to combat Graf? What made Graf such a formidable player? And does her career get the credit it deserves?

Finally, we hear from Christopher Clarey and Mary Carillo about why they loved watching Sabatini play and the reasons why they think she only won one Grand Slam title.

The Tennis Podcast is presented by Catherine Whitaker and David Law, and features Matt Roberts. It is produced weekly year-round, and daily during the Grand Slam tournaments. It is crowdfunded by listeners each December.  

* TENNIS RE-LIVED *

We will be doing daily shows throughout the original Wimbledon dates, looking back on some of the tournament’s best matches and most important stories. The 1991 final between Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini is split into parts 12 & 3 on YouTube, while tomorrow’s match, Andre Agassi vs. Goran Ivanisevic from 1992, is available in full.

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