Tennis

Sanchez Vicario slams parents

2012-02-08 18:10
Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (File)

Madrid - Spanish tennis great Arantxa Sanchez Vicario has accused her parents of losing through poor management the estimated €45 million ($60 million) she earned in her career.

The 40-year-old Sanchez Vicario let loose against her whole family in a book of memoirs published on Tuesday. She says she does not speak to her parents or her three siblings.

She says her parents were obsessed with her succeeding in a career which netted four Grand Slam singles titles, and even tried to interfere in her love life.

Sanchez Vicario's mother, Marisa, responded in an open letter to Spanish media that she and her husband Emilio were devastated by their daughter's accusations that they mismanaged her tournament winnings and endorsement money disastrously.

In the book, Sanchez Vicario says her parents, her father in particular, exercised tight control over who would train her and other aspects of her career, and her winnings.

She got a monthly payment from her father and trusted him to invest the rest.

"I never doubted that my father would manage my assets in the most efficient and beneficial way," she wrote.

She retired in 2002, and after "breaking free" of her parents' influence. "The surprise came, then the disappointment. The surprise of finding myself without resources after a career full of successes and therefore winnings."

She added: "They left me with nothing and I owe the tax authorities.

"How can it be that everything I achieved has vanished, that it does not exist?"

Her mother's letter was published on Monday, before the book came out. Lengthy excerpts of it ran in the newspaper El Mundo over the weekend.

Marisa Vicario Rubio said she would reserve comment on specifics until she read the book and consulted with her lawyers.

But she insisted "we never took advantage of Arantxa and under no circumstances is she broke."

She said 75-year-old Emilio has a weak heart, was diagnosed two years ago with intestinal cancer, and has Alzheimer's disease.

But the daughter's accusations were worse than all the illnesses, she said. "That really is tough," she wrote.

Sanchez Vicario won the French Open three times, the US Open once and made the final of Wimbledon and the Australian Open. She added 10 more doubles or mixed doubles titles from Grand Slams. She also helped Spain win the Fed Cup five times, and was the first Spanish woman elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2007.

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