Seles was born in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia (now Vojvodina, Serbia and Montenegro). She is an ethnic Hungarian (her name is spelled Szeles Mónika in that language).
Seles was initially coached by her father Karolj Seles. In 1986, she left Yugoslavia for the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida. She trained there for two years before joining the professional tour.
She won the Australian Open in 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1996; the French Open in 1990, 1991, and 1992; and the US Open in 1991 and 1992).
On April 30, 1993, during a match against Magdalena Maleeva in Hamburg, Germany, Seles was stabbed on court by Günter Parche, a 38-year-old German who was a deranged fan of her principal rival at that time, Steffi Graf. Seles, who was ranked No. 1 in the world at the time of the attack, did not play competitively again for more than two years. During her layoff, she became a United States citizen. Although she won the 1995 Canadian Open in her first tournament back and the Australian Open within months of her return, and has remained a consistent Top 10 performer, she struggled psychologically with the death of her father in 1998 and physically with a series of nagging injuries.
She represented the USA and won a bronze medal in tennis at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
The 5' 9" Seles plays left-handed, and uses two hands on both her forehand and backhand. Even more unusually, she does not change her grip when switching sides; she actually hits her forehand cross-handed.
One of the trademarks of Seles' play was her grunt when she hit the ball. The grunt was part of a controversy when an opponent Katerina Maleeva of Bulgaria officially complained and asked Seles not to grunt during a game.
Monica Seles Facts
|Birthday||December 2, 1973 (43)|
|Birthplace||Novi Sad, Yugoslavia|