With her characteristic two-handed forehand, fierce backhand and a strong return of serve, Seles shocked the tennis world when she beat Steffi Graf in straight sets in the final of the French Open at the age of 16. In her career Seles won nine Grand Slam titles – the Australian Open four times, the French Open three times and the US Open twice.
She would have won even more, but in 1993 she was attacked on court by a spectator and did not play again for over two years. Although she had some further success when she returned to full-time competition, winning the 1996 Australian Open, she was never again able to consistently reproduce her best form.
Born in Novi Sad, Serbia (then Yugoslavia), she began playing tennis at the age of six, coached by her father Karolj Seles. She won the prestigious Orange Bowl junior tournament in Miami, Florida, where she caught the attention of tennis coach Nick Bollettieri and in 1986 the Seles family moved from Yugoslavia to the United States and Monica enrolled in the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, where she trained for two years.
Seles would go on to become a US citizen, helping the United States to win the Federation Cup in 1996 and 2000 and she also won a Bronze Medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. After winning 53 career titles up to 2003, Seles sustained a foot injury side-lining her from the Women’s Tour and effectively ending her career.