The tennis prodigy, Monica Seles, is a former world no. 1 who represented Yugoslavia and the United States. The now-retired professional tennis player became the youngest-ever French Open champion when she was 16 years old and has won 9 Grand Slam singles titles. Named as one of the “30 Legends of Women’s Tennis Player: Past, Present and Future” by the Time, Seles has been regarded as one of the greatest tennis players (1). It is also stated by numerous historians and players that if Monica Seles had not been stabbed, she had the potential to become the most proficient player of all time.
Monica Seles Bio; Age, Early Life, Parents, Nationality, Ethnicity
Born in Yugoslavia on December 2, 1973, to an ethnic Hungarian family, Monica Seles is the youngest of the two children of Karolj and Ester Seles.
Monica Seles Body Measurements
She is 5 ft 10 inches tall and weighs 59 kg (130 lb).
Monica Seles Career Details
Seles started developing an interest in Tennis at the age of 6 when her older brother Zoltán started playing (2). She was coached by her father who, being a cartoonist, made Tennis joyous for Monica by drawing pictures. He would also drive to Italy to buy rackets for his children, as Tennis was not a famous sport in Yugoslavia at that time, and then made them practice their apartment’s parking lot. It is because of her father that Monica Seles developed her two-handed style for both the backhand and forehand. At the age of 11, Seles won the Junior Orange Bowl tournament in Florida where she caught the attention of tennis coach Nick Bollettieri. She, then, enrolled in Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in 1986 where she took training for 2 years and practiced until March 1990. At the age of 14, in 1988, Seles played her first professional tournament, and the next year she won her first career title at Houston by joining the professional tour full-time (2). She also entered the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) ranking at number 88 when she was 15 years old and finished the year by becoming the #6 ranked player in the world.
Monica Seles started slowly at the beginning of the 1990 season but boosted up to winning 6 tournaments, initiating in the “Lipton Player’s Championship” at Miami. During her 36-match winning streak, Seles had won the “Lufthansa Cup” in Berlin, the “Italian Open”, the “Eckerd Open” and the “US Hard Court Championships.” (3) In the 1990 French Open, she won her first Grand Slams singles titles, becoming the youngest-ever French Opens singles Champion. Winning the Virginia Slims of Los Angeles title and Virginia Slims Championship at the end of the year, Seles became the youngest-ever season-ending champion. She crowned the year as the #2 ranked player in the world (3).
1991 became the first of the two blessed years for Monica Seles in which she dominated the women’s tour and commenced by winning the “Australian Open” followed by defending her French Open title. She, then, took a break due to her shin splints but made a comeback by winning the US Open. Moreover, for the second consecutive time, Seles won the 1991 year-end Virginia Slims Championship, wrapping up the year as the #1 ranked player in the world with a 74-6 win/loss record for the year (4). The following year was equally dominant for Seles in which she defended her US Open, French Open, and Australian Open titles and made her preliminary final at Wimbledon (5). Once again, Seles ended the world as the number 1 ranked player with a 70-5 win/loss record and became the youngest player to have won 30 titles before she turned 19.
Heading into 1993, Monica Seles defeated Steffi Graf for the fourth time in the Grand Slam finals and also won the Virginia Slims of Chicago which became the last title for her before getting stabbed in Hamburg, Germany while playing a match. The stab in the back by a deranged Graf fan prevented the 19-year-old Monica Seles from playing Tennis for two years. She could never play the same way again but won a final Grand Slam title in 1996 and an Olympic Bronze medal in 2000. On February 14, 2008, Seles ended her career as #8 ranked in the Grand Slams winners list and announced her retirement from professional Tennis. She was also elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in January 2009.
Monica Seles Net Worth
After her retirement, Monica Seles spent time teaching Tennis and wrote a book named “Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind” in 2009. Before that, in 2008, she competed in ABC’s hit dance competition show. She has net worth of $20 million.
Monica Seles Dating History And Marriage Details
A resident of Florida, Monica Seles started dating Tom Golisano, a businessman, in 2009 and is currently married to him. Furthermore, she does not have any children.