After 11 years on the women's tour, Gabriela Sabatini announced she was retiring from professional tennis in October 1996. She was 26 at the time. "My ranking or how well I was playing didn't enter into my decision," she insisted. Gaby turned pro on January 1, 1985. "Gabriela definitely has the potential to be No. 1," Martina Navratilova made the observation at the time. "I knew that the first time I saw her play in January (1985) in Washington. I thought then she's got it all and it's just a matter of keeping it up – bringing it to its fruition. She's got the shots and the mind. I just hope she can deal with pressure at such a young age." Juan Nunez believed, "She becomes a star at a very young age."
Playing against Gaby, Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere expressed, "I knew it would be difficult with all the people cheering for Sabatini." Natasha Zvereva added, "I know how big Gaby is in New York." Conchita Martinez emphasized, "It was important to get off to a fast start, especially with the crowd behind her." On reflection, Martina made known, "If I were advising her, I’d say take your time. The circuit will be there in 1995, and there is no reason to try to do it all in 1985. If you take your time now, you will be around longer and realize there is life outside of tennis."
"She definitely could have won more Grand Slams, for sure," Monica Seles maintained. "I don't know why she didn’t; she had so much talent. Some of the volleys she could hit were unbelievable. It was just pure talent and great touch." Lindsay Davenport remarked, "She has so much variety."
At the 1995 U.S. Open championships, Gaby played Steffi Graf for the 40th and last time. Steffi recalled, "She definitely is the one person that I have my longest record with, her and Mary Joe Fernandez. We go back to playing the - I don't know - the 12-and-unders at the Orange Bowl. And we have had so many incredible matches over our careers." However Gaby "never quite reached the pinnacle of tennis." But in marketing term, Gaby was one of the sport's most marketable star. She had a rose, a doll and a perfume named after her. Juan acknowledged, "She's so talented, it's just incredible. The scary part is to see that Gaby is not even close to her peak. It just blows your mind." Patricio Apey cautioned, "The more matches you lose, the more you learn. Sometimes it's a little more expensive lesson than the regular lessons."
"Steffi just has it," Billie Jean King declared in 1987, "like Martina and Chris (Evert) have it. Champions just have it. She loves to be out there and she loves the pressure. And the best part is that she's at a great time of her life. She hadn’t had time to learn how to choke yet; she's still too young...Sabatini is probably the young player nearest Graf, but right now she isn't close to her. That shows when the pressure is on." At the time Chris foretold, "I don’t want to say there's a changing of the guard, but it sure looks that way. If not now, then in the near future." Martina theorized, "I have felt threatened by the young kids coming up and maybe I felt once that they are better than I am. Now I know that all I can do is give everything I have. If I do and still lose, then I know for sure it's time to go."