Great article about Seles -
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 2002, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,295
Great article about Seles

Seles brushes off talk of retirement

AP Sports Writer
September 3, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) -- Trapped in her hotel room by the rain, Monica Seles broke her own rule about not looking back.

There on the TV screen she saw herself, for the first time, in the 1991 U.S. Open semifinals match against Jennifer Capriati that changed their lives and women's tennis.

Seles was a lanky 17-year-old with pipe-stem arms, short hair and a fearless face. Capriati was ponytailed at 15, equally intrepid and just as strong, drumming groundstrokes down the lines.

Now Seles crinkled her nose and gave a thumbs-down to the hairstyles and dresses. The tennis made her happier as she watched herself win in a third-set tiebreaker. How good was she back then?

``I was very good,'' she said, laughing.

Seles rarely revisits the past or gives herself credit. That she was able to do both says a lot about how she is coming to terms with the downslope of her career.

Moments after thumping Martina Hingis 6-4, 6-2 in Tuesday's sunshine to reach the quarterfinals against Venus Williams, Seles quashed rumors of her imminent retirement and spoke about her undiminished love of the game.

Some great athletes walk away when they can't win anymore. Seles can handle it. She's handled a lot more in her life and has her own priorities.

``Each time I say it, people just roll their eyes,'' she said. ``I really never played tennis for winning the Grand Slam or to be No. 1 and stuff like that. Maybe it was a very naive thought. But truly, it's really not the driving force in me today.

``I love to play tennis. I said it many times. I wish we didn't have to go out there and win and lose, because that part is very tough emotionally. If you win a tournament, next week you have to play again and you never get time to enjoy it.''

All the people pestering Seles about whether she's about to retire ought to take a rest from their own jobs. They harp on the same refrain day after day, on television and in post-match interview sessions, eliciting from her the same weary sighs and denials.

Enough already.

No one who appreciates tennis should want to see Seles retire. Not after what she went through with her lost years, the prime of her career, after her stabbing. So what if she can't beat Venus or Serena Williams. So what if she's 28 and hasn't won a Grand Slam title in six years. She's still grunting on every shot, going for winners, playing with passion.

That's how she played 11 years ago against Capriati, only then Seles was slimmer and quicker and squeakier in her grunts.

It was the first Grand Slam women's match to feature the kind of two-fisted power shots from both players that is so common now. Capriati had come into the Open expecting to win her first major and when she lost, feeling the match was in her hands and had slipped away, she fell into the tailspin that would drive her from the tour for several years.

For Seles, it was the match that showed, perhaps more than any other, the stubborn refusal to be beaten that would mark her reign as No. 1.

Seles watched virtually the whole match during Monday's rainout, experiencing a sense of nostalgia and perspective. She also saw her late father and coach, Karolj, at courtside.

``It was fun to see that, just to see even my dad's reaction to certain points,'' she said. ``During a match you never realize it. ... It just brought back some great memories.''

Seles has had one of the most dramatic careers in sports history. From her early rise to fame as a teenage phenom to the stabbing in Germany in 1993 that sidelined her for two years, Seles has known more than her share of highs and lows.

That anyone would urge her to retire, or even ask her about while she's still playing at the level she's at, seeded No. 6 at the Open, seems thoughtless and rude. Why not savor the time she has left rather than pushing her out?

``It's been a question every time,'' Seles said. ``I've seen it with Agassi and I've seen it with Pete. I do believe tennis is a young game. But you look at other sports, you can peak later on in your life.

``I'm just going to play it competitively as long as I enjoy it, as long as my body lets me play it. I do know one thing, that I'll play forever, really. It's a sport that I love.''

She just loves hitting the ball, not necessarily competing, and when she's done playing on the tour, Seles said, she'll slip into club tennis. Imagine her posting her name on the tennis ladder at her club, taking on challengers.

``I'd be playing right-handed, I think,'' she said.

Considering that she's ambidextrous, that her backhand mirrors her forehand, that probably won't be much help to the rest of her club.

Steve Wilstein is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at swilstein(at)
mishar is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 2002, 02:03 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 2,935
great article
2284 is offline  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 2002, 02:10 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: On the tennis court
Posts: 1,562
seles is simply the best personality person in the world.


selesadmirer is offline  
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 2002, 02:16 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 7,927
How can you not love Monica?!?! Thanks for the article!
xcrtbckhnd is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 2002, 03:28 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 519
great article. brings a tear in my eye.
oggie is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 2002, 03:44 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: PANIC ROOM
Posts: 752
awwwwwwwwww we love you Monica!!!

Monica Seles forever in my heart!

I love Jodie Foster and Lucy Lawless
Loyal Selesian is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome