Monica Seles was one of the most talented and graceful female tennis stars to pick up a racket. The left-hander born in Yugoslavia had a remarkable 19-year long tennis career that consistent highs and lows, agonies and ecstasies. She won a total of 53 singles career titles which also consisted of 9 Grand Slams. Seles was also victim to a knife attack at the height of her career in 1993. This took away more than 2 years of her career.
Monica Seles: A Great Grand Slam Performer
She won the Australian Open first time in 1991. She then lifted the title 3 back to back times till 1993. In 1994 the powerful baseliner was not able to defend her title in Melbourne because of the absence from the tour as a result of the knife attack in the Hamburg Open. The 1993 final between Graf and Seles was a spirited contest. The two female tennis stars fought for 3 epic sets. Monica came from a set down and won the match to defend her title.
The French Open was another slam that Monica Seles won 3 consecutive times from 1990 to 1992. She was one of the best female tennis stars on the slow clay. Seles beat Steffi Graf in 1990 and Arantxa Sanchez in 1991. Monica and Steffi then again fought heroically for the 1992 Roland Garros title. The final match between these two giants was ended in 3 sets with the deciding set score of 10-8. Seles was thus a 3 time French Open champion.
In 1991 and 1992 the left-handed starlet also won two back to back US Open titles. Monica Seles managed to reach all 4 major finals in the year 1992. She was able to win 3 of them except the Wimbledon Championships. The Yugoslav turned American was undoubtedly the best among female tennis stars on the tour in those 3 years. She dominated every opponent except on the grass courts.
The Knife Attack and Comeback
On the 30th of April in 1993, in the German city of Hamburg, one of the most horrific scenes on a tennis court was witnessed. Monica Seles was then regarded as the best among female tennis stars on the tour. She was playing in the quarter-final match of the Hamburg Open. During the changeovers, a self-obsessed Steffi Graf fan stabled Seles with a piercing knife attack just below the neck. This put a stop to Monica’s dream run on the tennis court. The tennis legend was forced to remain away from the court for more than 2 years. Seles was never the same player again when she returned to the tour in August 1995.
Monica Seles’s top rankings were put on freeze by the WTA till she returned to the tour. After her comeback, the left-hander reached the US Open finals in 1995. She however lost to Graf in the tournament decider. Seles soon tasted the Grand Slam success in 1996 Australian Open when she beat Germany’s Anke Huber in the final. Monica also won the Bronze Medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympics representing the United States as she was an American citizen now. With 595 singles wins, Monica retired as one of the most successful female tennis stars in the Open Era.