Gabriela Sabatini has spoken of her admiration for Roger Federer, revealing a chance encounter she had with the tennis legend and wife Mirka.
Sabatini, who Federer actually admitted he had a crush on when he first burst onto the pro tennis circuit as a teenager, says the Swiss Maestro is her favourite player.
“Obviously I admire Roger Federer. It is a pleasure to see him play,” the former World No.2 and 1990 US Open champion told Argentine newspaper La Nacion recently.
The Argentinian player now resides in Zurich and said she bumped into Federer with his family.
“When we met once in the streets of downtown Zurich, it was a total coincidence,” Sabatini said.
“But it happened. I happened to be walking along Bahnhofstrasse, the city’s main street, and he was there with his wife and daughters.
It was pure coincidence, although we are always in contact.
“When he came to Buenos Aires, he visited me. I really admire him very much.”
When Federer was first making his name in tennis, he was actually coerced by the press into admitting Sabatini was his childhood crush, according to Sportskeeda.
“I had the chance to get to know you,” Sabatini said to Federer in a video message during his recent tour of South America.
“We are very lucky in the tennis world to have you for all the good that you represent. And as a person you are the best.”
And the admiration goes both ways, with Federer also heaping praise on Sabatini.
“Gabriela Sabatini for me was like one of my favourite players growing up,” Federer said previously.
“I watched her rivalry with Steffi Graf and then Martina Hingis came.
“Gaby’s been fantastic. She invited me last time to her apartment here in Buenos Aires. I remember she did dinner for us.”