Gabriela Sabatini lost matches on purpose to avoid reporters

Last Updated: Sat, Oct 19, 2013 09:32 hrs

Retired Argentine tennis star Gabriela Sabatini has said that she had lost matches on purpose in her youth to avoid reporters.

According to Sport24, Sabatini, now 43, revealed that her shyness was a major problem. She said that when she was younger and thought she had to talk after winning a tournament, she often lost in the semifinals to avoid it and it was that bad.

Sabatani added that she got very nervous at that point but at the same time she was very competitive and got frustrated when she did not win, adding that she gave up on the match after losing the first set when she was little because she was so angry and could not bear having lost the first set.

The winner of the 1990 US Open was widely regarded as one of the most talented and charismatic players of the 1980s and 1990s, the report said.

Although she was never world number one, she twice came close to the top spot sport and she kept up a solid rivalry with Steffi Graf, the report added.

Sabatini, who retired in 1996, lives in her native Buenos Aires, although she often travels to Europe and the United States for business, including her line of perfumes, according to the report.