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Lloyd Finally Snaps String of Upset Wins by Sabatini

April 15, 1985| Associated Press

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Veteran Chris Evert Lloyd turned back 14-year-old Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina in straight sets, 6-4, 6-0, Sunday to defend her title in the $200,000 Family Circle Magazine Cup tennis tournament.

But the young Argentine, even in defeat, captured the hearts of the 5,000 fans at the Sea Pines Racquet Club and served notice she's a force to be reckoned with in women's tennis.

Sabatini, who turned professional in January, stormed into the final by defeating fourth-seeded Pam Shriver, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4, and second-seeded Manuela Maleeva of Bulgaria, 6-1, 7-6, earlier in the day. Her quarterfinal victory over Shriver was a continuation of a match that was suspended by rain on Friday. Earlier in the tournament, the unseeded Sabatini had beaten fifth-seeded Zina Garrison.

All three were ranked among the top ten women's players in the world going into the tourney.

Lloyd won $34,000, raising her earnings for the year to more than $253,000. She defeated West Germany's Steffi Graf, 6-2, 6-1, in the semifinals earlier Sunday.

Sabatini, a native of Buenos Aires, speaks only a little English and responded to questions after the match through her coach, Patricio Apey.

"She feels that this week gave her a lot of confidence and now she believes she can be top 10," Apey said. "She's been working very hard to get what she did today. She's very, very happy. It's like a dream come true for her."

Sabatini, ranked 33rd in the world in the Women's Tennis Assn. rankings going into the tournament, improved to No. 18. Last year, she was the youngest player in history to win a round at the U.S. Open.

For the 30-year-old Lloyd, it was her eighth Family Circle Magazine Cup win in the 13 years the tournament has been held.

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