Former women’s World No. 1 tennis player Arantxa Sanchez Vicario was on Wednesday announced as the international event ambassador for IAAF Gold Label Tata Consultancy Services World 10K in Bengaluru. The Spanish legend who accumulated 14 Grand Slam titles – four singles, six doubles, and four mixed doubles is considered to be one of the most decorated Olympians in Spanish history winning four medals (two silver, two bronze). At just 17, she reached the 1989 French Open final facing world No. 1 and two-time defending champion Steffi Graf. But she stunned one and all, and announced her arrival on the pro circuit, beating the German to win her first ever Grand Slam, becoming the youngest player ever to win the French Open.
She was the first Spanish player to simultaneously be ranked as the world’s No. 1 player in both singles and doubles during her career. For her sheer tenacity and refusal to concede a point, Arantxa was nicknamed as the ‘Barcelona Bumblebee’. A stellar 17-year career saw her becoming the first Spanish woman player to be inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame. When she arrives for the event, she will encourage the 25,000 runners of Tata Consultancy Services World 10K Bengaluru through her story of determination and never-say-die-attitude.
“Running has played an important part in my career and I think it is the easiest way to keep your mind and body sound. Sport has the ability to connect communities beyond the competitive spirit, and instill a sense of pride amongst all and celebrate accomplishments.
“Running has managed to do just that. It is exciting that my association with India begins with the TCS World 10K in Bengaluru. I am glad to be there on the start line with all the runners and enjoy the infectious energy on race day,” she said in a statement.
After retiring from competitive tennis in 2002, Arantxa has been involved in multiple causes including her role as a Celebrity Chairperson of Children’s Cancer Research in Spain and Foundation Sanchez-Vicario.