AKA Monika Sele
Birthplace: Novi Sad, Yugoslavia
Race or Ethnicity: White
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Winner of 9 Majors
Monica Seles was a tennis wunderkind of the 1990s, and at the time was the youngest singles player ever to rank number one in the world (she was 17). Some fans have argued that she was the best tennis player ever, male or female, and she was considered the first female "power player". At 5'10" and playing with both powerful fists, backhand and forehand, another Seles' trademark was that she grunted when her racquet hit the ball with full force.
At 19, she was attacked by Günter Parche, a deranged fan of rival Steffi Graf. Parche stabbed her in the back with a boning knife during a changeover in a match against Bulgarian Maggie Maleena. Although it was captured on video, Parche was never sent to prison. Seles' physical recovery was tough, but the psychological effects were crippling. She was treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by a sports psychologist. She remains one of the best players in the world, but has never regained the dominating form of her earlier game.
In 1998, Seles had further psychological problems when her father and first coach, Karolj, died of cancer. In 2003 a foot injury sidelined her until an exhibit match in February 2005 against Martina Navratilova.
Several opposing players have complained about Seles' grunts, and during the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 1992, French player Nathalie Tauziat asked that Seles not be allowed to make noises. She remained silent, and won the match.
Father: Karolj Seles (d. 1998)
Brother: Zoltan (older)
Boyfriend: Tom Golisano (billionaire, b. 1942, together 2011-)
Winner, French Open (women's singles) 1990
Winner, Australian Open (women's singles) 1991
Winner, French Open (women's singles) 1991
Winner, US Open (women's singles) 1991
Winner, Australian Open (women's singles) 1992
Winner, French Open (women's singles) 1992
Winner, US Open (women's singles) 1992
Winner, Australian Open (women's singles) 1993
Winner, Australian Open (women's singles) 1996
Olympic Bronze Medal 2002 (tennis)
Associated Press Athlete of the Year (female) 1991
Associated Press Athlete of the Year (female) 1992
Endorsement of Nike
Naturalized US Citizen 17-May-1994
Wedding: Paul McCartney and Heather Mills (2002)
Risk Factors: Depression
Dancing with the Stars Contestant (2008)
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