One of the finest Tennis players of all time, Monica Seles turns 47 on Wednesday (December 2) and wishes are pouring in for her from all around the world. Hailing from Yugoslavia, Seles dominated Women's Tennis in the early 90's and her feats are nothing less than jaw-dropping. The Serbian star was predominantly a baseline player who relied on her power to get the better of her oppositions. Seles had one of the most unorthodox techniques as she took big cuts at the ball with both hands from either wing. Although she was left-handed naturally, her forehand and backhand looked almost identical while playing. Iga Swiatek Quick Facts: Here's All You Need to Know About the 19-Year-Old French Open 2020 Winner.
Seles was already Yugoslovakia's best junior tennis player by the time she turned professional in 1989. A year later, she went on to become the youngest ever French Open champion when she beat Steffi Graf at the 1990 French Open. She also went on to beat Graf on several more occasions. Monica's dominance over the German star didn't go down well with one of Graf's obsessed fan who stabbed her in 1993. That tragic incident indeed dented the then 20-year-old's career with Seles forced to stay out of the game for many years. Although she never became the player she once used to be, Seles made a comeback – making the sporting world hail her spirit. As the Tennis legend turns a year older, let's look at some of her lesser-known facts.
- Monica Seles was born on December 02, 1973, in Novi Sad, Serbia.
- Seles Became The Youngest French Open champion at 16 years and six months after beating then World No 1 Steffi Graf in 1990 French Open.
- By the time of her 20th birthday, Seles had already won eight Grand Slams including three French Open and Australian Open titles.
- Seles was stabbed at the back by a deranged Steffi Graf fan during a quarter-final match against Magdalena Maleeva on April 30, 1993.
- She made a comeback two years later and also won the Australian Open in 1996.
- She remains the youngest player to be ranked World No 1 in Women's Tennis.
- Seles forayed into the entertainment industry by appearing in the TV sitcom 'The Nanny' and reality show 'Dancing With The Stars.'
- Seles has also authored books like "Getting A Grip: On My Body, My Mind, My Self" And "The Academy."
Notably, the stabbing episode led to a dramatic improvement in security arrangements at all tennis tournaments. Although Seles never regained her form fully after the attack, she went on to win the Australian Open in 1996. The Yugoslavia star eventually bid farewell to the game in 2008.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 02, 2020 08:00 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).