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Given Name ("Short Version"): Arantxa (pronounced Ah-RAHN-cha)
Surname (Paternal Link): Sanchez
Surname (Maternal link): Vicario
Nickname: "The Barcelona Bumblebee" (courtesy of Bud
Collins of the Boston Globe )
Other Nicknames: All have to do with animals -- (Bunny) Rabbit, Lion(ess), Tiger
Birthdate: December 18, 1971
Birthsign: Sagittarius (a typical one, too!)
Birthplace: Barcelona, Spain
Family: Father: Emilio, Sr.; Mother: Marisa
Siblings: 1 sister (Marisa), 2 brothers (Emilio, Jr.; Javier)
Height: 1.7 m (5' 6 1/2'') ---hmm, maybe!
Weight: 56 kilos (c120 lbs)
First Love: Tennis (she 'loo-oo-oo-ves to play'--ask her!)
Other Loves: Her family, including her three most-cherished nieces
Her dogs, Roland Garros and Tinita
All animals and small children
Anything Disney, especially Disney World
Driving her own car ("veeeeery fast!")
Films: has seen all of Kevin Costner's movies; also likes Harrison Ford and Antonio Banderas
Books: loves to read and especially enjoys murder mysteries (esp. Agatha Christie!) and fashion magazines [her sister-in-law, Isabel, was a former high-fashion model in Barcelona]
Music: Spanish Music: Mecano with lead singer Ana Torroja, also Alejandro Sanz; Phil Collins, Bruce Springsteen, Gloria Estefan, and the Beatles
Collects: Refrigerator magnets (feel free to send her some!)
Other Favorite Sports: Soccer (both playing and watching local team, the Barcelona Barca), Water Skiing, Bicycling, Horseback riding, Jetskiing
Charity Work: In 1998, founded the Foundation Sanchez-Vicario ; is celebrity chairperson for Children's Cancer Research in Spain; fundraiser for Enriqueta Vilavecchia which raises money to help terminally-ill children in Spain. This work is very important to her.
Languages She Speaks: Spanish, French, German, English, Italian, and her native Catalan
Contact Address: Real Federación Española de Tenis; Avinguda Diagonal 6l8, #3-D; 08021 Barcelona
Tennis Facts: Plays right-handed with two-handed backhand
Currently using Yonex racquet, strung at 62#
Clothes/shoes endorsement with Reebok
Turned professional in June, 1985
Started playing tennis at age 4 (and wearing a ball-holder at age 8) by following her brothers to the court and playing against the wall with her first racquet (a Slazenger); also took her racquet to meals with her, it had its own chair, and she called it "her best friend"
Coaches, Past/Present: Juan Nunez, Mike Estep, Eduordo Osta, Carlos Kirmayr, Sven Groeneveld, Gabriel Urpi, David de Miguel Lapiedra, Mervyn Rose, Angel Gimenez;
Antonio Hernandez and Emilio ("Lo Mejor") Sanchez

  1. The name "Arantxa" is actually a derivation from the name of a Basque saint and appears in different forms throughout the Basque region (Pais Vasco) and elsewhere in Spain; including "Aranzazu", "Aransasu" and other spellings - the "txa" at the end of her name is because she uses a regional spelling (in Castillian Spanish, it is spelled "Arancha"; you sometimes will see this in Spanish periodicals)
  2. Her father is an engineer; her mother teaches when not traveling with Arantxa
    ..... Emilio Sr. and Marisa wrote a book in 1990 entitled "El Forgea de Campaones" ("The Forging of Champions") outlining their family's philosophy about sport and life
  3. The Sanchez siblings: Oldest sister, Marisa, graduated with MBA from and played NCAA tennis for Pepperdine University; ..... Older brothers Emilio and Javier competed on ATP Tour (in 1992, Emilio was named to People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People" List;. Javier was ranked #1 in Juniors 1986 and reached the quarterfinals of the US Open in 1991 and 1996)
  4. Sagittarius Key Words include: "looks on the bright side", "loves to travel", "resilient", "cheerful", "exuberant" "world citizen" -- is this not Arantxa to a "T"?
  5. Her newest dog is named "Tina", a chihuahua given to her by Martina Navratilova in 2001. Her other dogs, "Roland" and "Garros" (who was originally named "Crac" which means "bla-amm" in Spanish, but not wanting the slightest association with drugs, 'Crac' was renamed) are Yorkshire terriers and were given to her after her 1989 win in Paris. In his younger days, Roland frequently traveled with Arantxa and she called him her "mascot" and "good luck charm"). Now Tinita has taken up the slack.
  6. At the 1995 Lipton, chose "When the Bullet Bites the Bone" as her intro song.
  7. AWARDS:
    • was named Spain's Best Athlete in 1991, 1994 and 1998 by the newspaper El Mundo Deportivo
    • Was awarded Water's Edge Humanitarian Award for her charity work at the 2001 Bausch & Lomb Tournament

For you die-hard fans who still want MORE BIOGRAPHICAL DATA, go to Photoessay

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