Thu, 30 Aug 2001

Sanchez-Vicario to play in 2001 Bali Wismilak

JAKARTA (JP): Former world women's singles number one tennis player Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario of Spain will head the draw at the Wismilak International 2001 Sanex WTA Tour to be held from Sept. 22 to Sept. 30 in Bali.

"We have just received confirmation on Monday from Sanchez- Vicario, who said she would take part in the tournament using gold player facilities," Wismilak promotion manager Stefanus Handoyo Kusumo told Antara in Surabaya on Wednesday.

"The national tennis community as well as people from Bali can be proud of her presence in the tournament because they can directly watch and enjoy her world-class performance."

Stefanus was also sure that despite her waning career, the world 19th ranked Sanchez-Vicario had the skills and abilities left to display before the tennis enthusiasts.

"Her level of persistence and mobility remains excellent, not to mention her stylish play on court. Tennis enthusiasts will be able to see her matured forehand heavy spin, backhand drive and heavy spin, which have long been her lethal weapons," he said.

During her illustrious career, Sanchez-Vicario won the French Open title three times in 1989, 1994 and 1998. She also captured another major title at the U.S. Open in 1994. The Spaniard briefly topped the world rankings in 1995.

She collected her grand slam titles at the expense of Steffi Graf of Germany, Mary Pierce of France, Martina Hingis of Switzerland and Monica Seles of the United States.

Led by Sanchez-Vicario, Spain won the Federation Cup, the women's tennis team championship, four times in 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1998.

Born in Barcelona on Dec. 18, 1971, Vicario-Sanchez is known for her persistence and excellent footwork to support her energetic movement on the court.

Vicario-Sanchez started her ascension in tennis stardom at the age of 16 when she reached the Spanish Open semifinals in 1987 and took her first Grand Slam title at the 1987 French Open, defeating the then Queen of Tennis, Steffi Graf. (nvn)