Monica Seles announced her retirement from professional tennis today. For several years, Seles considered making a comeback to the tour, but she has now determined that it is time for her to call it quits.
Seles, whose two-handed-on-both-sides racquet style and trademark grunt distinguished her from her peers, was known for her on-court intensity, uncanny return of serve, and her laser-like ball-striking into wicked court angles. She won nine Grand Slam titles, 53 singles titles, 6 doubles titles, and an Olympic bronze medal. She was number 1 in the world for an extended period of time, and was part of an exciting rivalry with Steffi Graf.
In 1993, Seles was stabbed in the back during a match in Hamburg by a man who has never served a day in prison. She could not play tennis for two years, but upon her return, she won the Australian Open. Five years ago, Seles had to leave the tour because of a stress fracture in her foot, and foot pain has prevented her from returning to competitive tennis.
Had Seles not been stabbed, and had she not sustained the foot injury, there is no telling how many Grand Slams and other tournaments she would have won. She is surely one of the most gifted players in the history of pro tennis, and she inspired some of the biggest names in tennis today.
Seles was born in Yugoslavia, and became a U.S. citizen in 1994.