Arantxa Sanchez Vicario Is Back In Hamburg: “The Tournament Has A Special Place In My Heart!”

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario has returned to the Rothenbaum Tennis Complex in Hamburg for the first time in more than 20 years. On Friday morning, the 51-year-old Spanish Hall of Fame great met the media ahead of Saturday’s celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).

Sanchez Vicario captured three singles titles in Hamburg, lifting the trophy in Northern Germany in 1993, 1994 and 1996. She was also crowned a three-time doubles champion, winning in 1994, 1996 and 1999.

“It’s great to have you here. You are one of the tennis legends. You have a strong relationship with the tournament here in Hamburg and as the WTA celebrates its 50th anniversary, we came up with the idea to invite some special guests and we are very honoured to welcome you here,” Hamburg European Open tournament director Sandra Reichel said.

“Thank you for the invitation. It’s nice to be back. The tournament has a special place in my heart. I felt like home here. I am trying to speak my German and the people love it,” Sanchez Vicario said with a big smile on her face.

“It was one of my favourite tournaments on the tour and a great preparation for the French Open. I remember a couple of great battles with Steffi here in front of a passionate crowd. It was always a pleasure,” she added about her matches in Hamburg with fellow Hall of Famer Steffi Graf of Germany.

“Steffi was the best at that moment and I needed to play my best tennis. Winning the tournament here three times is amazing. The 1994 final was very close, and I remember that I had a to run a lot. I won the important points, which made me win the title in the end. Nice memories to go back.”

Today, Sanchez Vicario lives in Florida with her two kids, Arantxa (14) and Leo (12): “They are both soccer players. So, I am not a tennis mum, I am a soccer mum,” she explained and laughed. “Every weekend, I support my daughter and my son during their games. It’s great to see that they are having fun with sports. I enjoy my time as a mother. I follow tennis a little bit but in a different, more relaxed way. My full-time job is being a mum, so that’s why you don’t see me that often.”

However, her name resonates deeply within the world of tennis. Born on December 18, 1971, in Barcelona, Sanchez Vicario would go on to become one of the most celebrated and accomplished tennis players of her time. Her incredible career and indomitable spirit have left an enduring legacy in the sport.

Sanchez Vicario captured 14 Grand Slam titles: four in singles, six in women’s doubles, and four in mixed doubles. She also won four Olympic medals and five Fed Cup titles representing Spain. In 1994, Sanchez Vicario reached the pinnacle of the tennis world when she became the World No. 1 of the WTA Rankings, a testament to her consistent excellence and unwavering commitment to the game. Her determined and relentless approach on the court earned her the nickname “Barcelona Bumblebee,” as she buzzed around the court with boundless energy.

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