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Gabriela Sabatini

Gabriela Sabatini, pictured contra jour in Miami.

On the main stadium courts at tennis tournaments, everything is staged and everyone is clambering for the same shots (and these days independent photographers would struggle to even get a credential… agencies are the new cartels).
But sometimes you are gifted pictures out of the blue.

Gabriela Sabatini with a Miami halo.

I don’t think the tournament proper had started and Sabatini was practicing on an outside court, far from prying. I was heading for the exit but I know a unique picture opportunity when I see one.
The setting Miami sun gave Sabatini a halo and defined her features, and the hairs on the back of my neck stood to attention. Unless you are of a certain age, you wouldn’t remember how massively popular Sabatini was when her star was at its zenith, particularly in places with a large South American or Hispanic population (and Miami has both in abundance). This opp was not to be sniffed at.

Gabriela Sabatini, contra jour with halo
Gabriela Sabatini, contra jour with nature’s halo

So I hung around putting film through the camera (and trying to look unconcerned) until either the sun or Gabby left the scene.
Or did I go when a TV crew got wind of her presence and turned up with the full entourage?
Can’t remember which. But I got my pictures and, for me, Sabatini never looked quite so good again! (but then she wouldn’t, would she?)

Gabriela Sabatini, with halo and smile.