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Vandals leave tennis player Gabriela Sabatini's statue empty-handed!

Racquet that was clasped in the hands of a newly unveiled statue of Argentine tennis star is stolen in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires: Perhaps it was meant as a backhanded compliment. Vandals have made off with the racket that was clasped in the hands of a newly unveiled statue of Argentine tennis star Gabriela Sabatini (44) in Buenos Aires.

The racquet-less statue of Gabriela Sabatini. Pic/AFP
The racquet-less statue of Gabriela Sabatini. Pic/AFP 

The miscreants left the artwork looking rather empty-handed just a few weeks after it was made public.

They severed the bronze-colored racket that was formerly clasped tightly in the statue's hands, leaving Sabatini sans racquet as she lines up for a backhand smash.

With other greats...
The statue is located among other tributes to Argentine sporting greats, such as tennis player Guillermo Vilas and basketball player Manu Ginobili.

Argentine tennis great Gabriela Sabatini. Pic/Getty Images
Argentine tennis great Gabriela Sabatini. Pic/Getty Images 

Officials are also planning statues of several other sporting stars including soccer gods Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona, and the golfer Roberto de Vicenzo.

The work by artist Carlos Benavidez was made with polyester resin and fiberglass, then reinforced with various paints.

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