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Monica Seles

Mónika/Seleš Szeles
Monica Seles is a former No. 1-ranked women's tennis player with nine Grand Slam titles. She is also an author and speaker, and competed on Dancing with the Stars in 2008.

Background

  • Monica Seles was born in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, on December 2, 1973. After moving to the United States to play tennis at age 13, Seles became the youngest player to take over the world's No. 1 ranking in 1991. She dominated the sport until 1993, when a fan of rival Steffi Graf stabbed her during a match in Germany. Following her official retirement in 2008, Seles became a successful author.

  • Career

    • By the age of 13, Seles was the No. 1 junior tennis player in the world. At 16, she beat Steffi Graf in the French Open, becoming the youngest person to win the tournament. The following year, the 17-year-old made history again as the youngest player to take over the world's No. 1 ranking.

      At the time, Seles was virtually unbeatable. From January 1991 through February 1993, she won 33 of the 34 tournaments she entered, including six Grand Slam singles titles.

    Major achievements

    • The 17-year-old made history again as the youngest player to take over the world's No. 1 ranking.
    • At the age of 19, Seles was stabbed in the back by a crazed Steffi Graf fan during a tournament in Hamburg, Germany
    • By the time she retired, Seles had claimed nine Grand Slam championships among her 53 career singles titles. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009.

    Views

    Quotations: "I remember sitting there, toweling off, and then I leaned forward to take a sip of water, our time was almost up and my mouth was dry. The cup had barely touched my lips when I felt a horrible pain in my back," Seles would later write in her 2009 autobiography "Getting a Grip." "My head whipped around towards where it hurt and I saw a man wearing a baseball cap, a sneer across his face. His arms were raised above his head and his hands were clutching a long knife. He started to lunge at me again. I didn't understand what was happening."

    Personality

    Seles became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1994.

    Outside of tennis, Seles works with animal charities. A resident of Sarasota, Florida, she began dating businessman and politician Tom Golisano—who is 30 years her senior—in 2009. They announced their engagement in June 2014.

    On April 21, 2009, Seles released her memoir Getting A Grip: On My Body, My Mind, My Self which chronicles her bout with depression and food addiction after her stabbing, her father's cancer diagnosis and eventual death, her journey back to the game and a life beyond tennis.

    Monica Seles
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    Born December 2, 1972
    (age 44)
    Nationality
    • 1985 - 2008
      Tennis player, Tennis team
      USA

    Official Titles