Seles, Monica (1973—)

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Seles, Monica (1973—)

Yugoslavian-born Monica Seles burst onto the women's professional tennis scene in 1988 at the tender age of fifteen, and made it all the way to number one in the world in just two years. Easily recognizable because of her powerful two-handed groundstrokes and her loud grunting during points, Seles relished in her role as a young female sports celebrity and role model. In April, 1993, well on her way to becoming the most dominant women's tennis player of all time, a deranged Steffi Graf supporter stabbed her in the back during a match in Germany. This life-threatening incident focused public attention on the danger obsessed fans pose to pro athletes. Seles made a comeback in 1995, after an arduous twenty-seven month recuperation period. To the delight of her fans and the astonishment of her peers, she was a winner in her very first tournament back. An eighth Grand Slam victory soon followed.

—Steven Schneider

Further Reading:

Layden, Joseph. Return of a Champion: The Monica Seles Story. New York, St. Martin's Press, 1996.

Seles, Monica, and Nancy Ann Richardson. Monica: My Journey from Fear to Victory. New York, Harper Collins, 1996.