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Old Apr 16th, 2006, 09:23 PM   #136
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Old Nov 13th, 2007, 09:46 PM   #137
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Re: Monica Seles 1989-1993

One thing that we're forgeting is, after she came back she made 30 Finals winning 21 of those,she made 4 Grand Slam Finals winning one,and she was in the top ten ,until 2003 which was her last year playing so far.That's really remarkable that she was able to do so much after the stabbing,no other athlete in any other sport was #1 and had someone basically take it away from her.And she o handled herself so graciously.You have to love her,as Jim Corier once said "Monica she salt of the earth"
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Old Feb 24th, 2008, 02:59 PM   #138
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Re: Monica Seles 1989-1993

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Originally Posted by ttaM View Post
I found the article. Dated August 20th, 1988!


Sports Illustrated, Aug 22, 1988

Determined, but in no great hurry.
(14-year old tennis player Monica Seles)
Sarah Boxer.



When she was eight, Monica Seles of Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, visited Monte Carlo with her family. She put a coin in a slot machine, pulled the lever and shut her eyes. Three lemons. Coins rained upon her. Unlike the lever-happy men and women all around her, though, she didn't feed the machine her windfall. She pocketed it.

Curious restraint for a child. But not for Monica, who has resisted numerous temptations since then -- not from the slots but from her success at tennis, which seems to be beckoning her down the road to early stardom. Now 14, the 5 ft. 5 in., 100-pound Monica, who's known for her gauche on- court grunting and her mean two-fisted ground strokes, played her first two pro tournaments in March. Alhough she is still an amateur, she turned heads at both.

At the Virginia Slims tournament, in Boca Raton, Fla., Monica beat 35th-ranked Helen Kelesi, 7-6, 6-3, while Steffi Graf and Chris Evert looked on. Then Monica took on Evert, who is 19 years her senior. Monica lost 6-2, 6-1, but Evert conceded the score could easily have been a lot closer. A week later, at the Lipton championships in Key Biscayne, Fla., Monica defeated 140th-ranked Louise Field 6-0, 6-3. In her next match she held three set points against Gabriela Sabatini before succumbing 7-6, 6-3.

True, Monica suffered losses in both events, but what seductive losses they were -- like coins from the slots, crying out, ''Play harder. Gamble more.'' However, she refuses to give in to temptation. She says she won't turn professional until she finishes high school, and she won't have played another tournament until the U.S. Open this month. In the meantime she is practicing her serve and volley so they'll be as strong as her ground strokes. ''Many people want to be the youngest to do this, the youngest to do that,'' she says. ''I don't want to set records. You can hurt yourself. I just want to be good when I'm 19.''

For all her humble talk, Monica is already a lot more than good. Since 1982, when she picked up her first tennis racket, put on a headband and tried to imitate Bjorn Borg, Monica has never lost to anyone her age or younger. At nine, just a year after she started playing, she competed in the Yugoslav 12-and-under girls championships. ''She didn't know the rules,'' says Zoltan, 23, her older brother, co-coach and a former Yugoslav 18-and-under champion. ''She was playing the points and not counting. She was always asking me whether she was winning or losing.'' Monica was winning. She pocketed her victory and returned home to hit more balls against the wall.

Monica reemerged at age 10 in 1984, winning the 12-and-under European championships, in Paris. In 1985 she was named Sportswoman of the Year in Yugoslavia, the first person under the age of 18 ever to be so honored. That same year, as she was winning the Orange Bowl 12-and-under crown in Miami, she was spotted by Nick Bollettieri, coach to such promising players as Andre Agassi.

''I saw this little pip-squeak, no bigger than a tennis racket,'' says Bollettieri, ''and she was beating the heck out of everyone.'' Well, that sealed it. Nothing would do but for Monica to enroll at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Fla., on scholarship.

In 1986, Monica moved from Novi Sad to Bradenton, accompanied by Zoltan, who was fresh out of the army. Homesick and missing yogurt, cevapci ci (a dish made of ground lamb and beef) and snow, the two awaited their parents' arrival. Monica and Zoltan lived at the academy.

Six months later their mother, Ester, took a two-year leave from her job as a computer programmer, and their father, Karolj, once a triple jump champ in Yugoslavia, put down his work as a cartoonist and documentary filmmaker. They closed their three houses -- two in Novi Sad and a vacation home in the country -- and moved into a two-bedroom apartment in Bradenton without knowing a syllable of English. Of life in Florida, where tiny lizards slither underfoot, rich children play tennis all day and summer never leaves, Karolj, whose English is coming along, says, ''I am on the moon.''

But the strange surroundings haven't deterred the Seleses from their mission to make Monica into a great player. ''Rarely have I seen a family so focused,'' says Ted Meekma, executive director of Bollettieri's academy. ''They are very dedicated, very ritualistic in the way they train, and very patient.''

While Monica grunts away on the court, Karolj, Zoltan and Ester observe. When she's finished, the multilingual family holds solemn little tete-a-tetes in Hungarian. Monica, who also speaks Serbo- Croatian, English and French, listens and absorbs.

''Her concentration is unbelievable,'' says Bollettieri. It has to be, because Monica has three coaches: Karolj, who does drills and sprints with her; Zoltan, who hits with her; and Bollettieri, who works on Monica's strategy and strokes, and every now and then slaps Karolj fraternally on the back.

Early on, Karolj and Zoltan saw in Monica a very small, very aggressive player with a very odd style. A lefty, she throws all her weight at the ball, swinging at it with short, two-handed backhands and forehands. The grip -- right hand over left -- never changes. That means her backhand is almost normal, but her forehand is downright twisted; she has to turn her wrist over during the follow-through. ''My father wanted her to play that way, and she accepted it,'' says Zoltan. ''She likes it that way.''

That eccentricity affects other aspects of Monica's game. In particular, the double-fisted strokes cut down on her reach. ''It's harder to get around with two hands,'' Zoltan says. To compensate, Monica has to run a lot more than players who have one-handed strokes. Her shots appear as forceful punctuations in her never-ending sprint around the court. And because she doesn't have much time to place shots carefully, ''she goes more for the big shots,'' says Zoltan. ''She doesn't have any choice.'' Indeed, Monica hits so hard that Zoltan restrings four rackets a week for her.

Right now, says Zoltan, Monica is like someone who drives a car fast before she has learned to control it. ''It's dangerous,'' he says. ''And it's also unbelievably noisy.'' That's because every time she pounds the ball, she lets out an obscene grunt that sounds like a monstrous unfinished sneeze -- haaa-ahhh, haaa-ahhh, haaa-ahhh.

''When I played Sabatini, I was almost heard in the grandstand,'' says Monica with a touch of pride. ''People came up and asked is something wrong with me. It's not nice, they say. But it's O.K. with me. It's neat and interesting in one way.'' Why? Because ''it's the same same kind of noise Jimmy Connors makes,'' she says. ''He goes for every single ball and attacks it so fast.''

Though she spends some time with her dog, Astro, and some time at malls and movies with her friends, she devotes most of her time to playing tennis and studying. She is an A student at Bradenton Academy. Not only does she want to be No. 1 in tennis, but she's also angling to be a lawyer -- ''the kind that goes in front of the judge all the time,'' she says. Of course, that too must wait.

For now the whole family is involved in her career because ''Monica's success is our success,'' says Zoltan. He means it. ''Look,'' he says, pointing at a magazine article about Monica. ''They spelled my sister's name S-e-l-a-s.'' The misspelled name was his, too, but that apparently wasn't the point. Seles is Monica and Monica is Seles.

The longer the Seleses stay in the U.S., the greater the chances become that they will be taken for immigrants, which they say they're not. They're caught in the delicate position of wanting to show Bollettieri that they are grateful and happy to be at his academy, while showing that they are not too grateful or too happy; that they plan to return to Yugoslavia one day.

In January, Monica played in Portland, Ore., as a guest of the U.S. team in an exhibition between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. When she beat Natalie Zvereva, runner-up in this year's French Open, 6-2, 6-1, USA Today reported that Monica had played for the U.S. rather than as a guest. A Yugoslav journalist picked up the story, and it appeared in a newspaper back home. ''People there thought that she had become an American,'' says Zoltan. But eventually the whole thing was straightened out.

Now everyone knows that ''Monica is here because of her tennis,'' says Zoltan. ''We don't want to force her too much, and we don't say she has to be Number 1. We just want to make her a good tennis player.''

That may sound like a rather flimsy reason for a whole family to uproot itself, give up jobs and a home, move to a strange land and risk looking like it has deserted its country for good. Then again, you've probably never seen Monica Seles play
This was just happened like yesterday. After 19 years, Monica retires now.

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Old Feb 24th, 2008, 03:29 PM   #139
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Re: Monica Seles 1989-1993

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Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
Give daddy Seles credit-he raised a monster of a tennis player, protected her by not running her into the ground (like Papas Sabatini, Sanchez, and every East European parent so far-especially Dokic)
I know I'm replying to you nearly 5 years later Rollo but I never got the impression Arantxa's family ran her into the ground. Her father especially was always in the background compared to Marisa Sanchez. Mr Seles was more in the foreground compared to Monica's mother but you're right, he was as far away from the fathers from hell as you could get.

There's a video on YouTube from the Zina/Monica match at the French Open where she handed out the flowers - http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Iec4Sx2tcAU

Sadly you don't get to see her do it but it's quite funny listening to Sue Barker commentating about it as if it was a major scandal
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Old Feb 24th, 2008, 03:45 PM   #140
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Re: Monica Seles 1989-1993

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Originally Posted by Robert1 View Post
As for that US Open 1989 match: Back then I thought Seles would trash Evert, cause 1) Seles had won their last meeting 2) I thought hardcourt would be even more advantageous for Seles when those 2 play each other.

Monica gives a good describtion of that match in her book: She was overwhelmed by the situation, the crowd was like 20.000 vs. 100 in Evert's favor. Even when Monica won her first game in the middle of the 2nd set she got almost no support. Also, she seemed over eager to me.

Someone wrote she was hitting harder and harder, which is not true. In fact, she was pretty much only playing moonballs in the 2nd set, which was the right tactic, but at some points, when she had to hit the winner, she hit them out.

It was an important experience for Seles with the crowd, the attention, the media and the pressure.

Chris Evert played a very good match, she hardly made an unforced error, I think she made 1 or 2 unforced errors in the first set! She should have beaten Garrison as well...
I saw some of this match on YouTube as well. Monica really was moonballing a lot. Big moonballs at that but they did seem quite effective when she did it. If Monica had maybe went into that match more positively rather than not wanting to beat Chris in her last event, she maybe could have pulled off a win. The crowd were really pro-Chris though. I read that someone in a previous round led Chris 4-1 or something and was actually getting booed
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Old Feb 24th, 2008, 11:55 PM   #141
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Re: Monica Seles 1989-1993

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Originally Posted by raquel View Post
I know I'm replying to you nearly 5 years later Rollo but I never got the impression Arantxa's family ran her into the ground. Her father especially was always in the background compared to Marisa Sanchez. Mr Seles was more in the foreground compared to Monica's mother but you're right, he was as far away from the fathers from hell as you could get.

There's a video on YouTube from the Zina/Monica match at the French Open where she handed out the flowers - http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Iec4Sx2tcAU

Sadly you don't get to see her do it but it's quite funny listening to Sue Barker commentating about it as if it was a major scandal
thanks, still not too late!!!

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Old Oct 29th, 2010, 02:19 AM   #142
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Re: Monica Seles 1989-1993

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Originally Posted by Supermonica View Post
Seles didn't dominate in 1990. Graf had a huge advantage in ranking points at the end of the year.
Seles lost her first three majors, was even thrashed 0-6 1-6 in one.
There are no rumour out there that Graf was behind the Seles stabbing.
It is a far stretch to suggest that Seles would have shattered Navratilova's and Graf's record when we consider that those two greats had tons years when they lost only one, two or three matches a year; Seles lost between 5 and 8 annually in 1990-92.

As much as I like Monica, crazy fanatics like you give Seles fans a bad image ....
While Steffi may have amassed more ranking points, Monica was CLEARLY the best player on tour from March forward. She had one minor stumble at the US Open but otherwise was cleaning up.
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Old Oct 29th, 2010, 02:39 AM   #143
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Re: Monica Seles 1989-1993

Yeah losing in the 3rd round of the U.S Open to Linda Ferrando is not a disaesterous showing, merely a minor stumble. And losing in the quarters of Wimbledon is a great result too. And the part of the year before March where Seles didnt even play the Autralian and lost matches to Fairbank Nidifier, Gildemeister, and 6-0, 6-3 to Navratilova means nothing. And she would be unbeatable in the 2nd half of the year as losses to Frazier, Garrison, and Ferrando all prove. And bumping an almost 3 year old thread just to try and pump Monica's non-#1 worthy year in 1990 is so kewl too. Great stuff.
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Old Oct 29th, 2010, 02:52 AM   #144
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Re: Monica Seles 1989-1993

Seles was killing the sport. She was a bad image with her grunting and anti tennis grounstrokes, trying to crush the ball at every opportunity with zero style and many other things. I am SO glad great Steffi Graf recovered from her slump to deny her grand slam titles. Even with bad back and personal problems, Steffi had no problem obliterating this pretender at Wimbledon. Steffi Graf had biting slice, maginificent one handed backhand, piercing forehand and amazing footwork, which left Seles gasping for breath. She was a maestro on court, unmatched and unrivaled, gliding and floating around the court, leaving Seles amazed and confused. Steffi had amazing body, she could control herself and did not put butter on everything, that was the key to her sexiness and desireability. Even during her matches the fans could not contain themselves offering their hand to Steffi for marriage. She was a humble champion who crushed overrated Seles like a bug in the temple of tennis (Wimbledon) and claimed 22 grand slam titles, something Seles cannot even dream of.
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Old Oct 29th, 2010, 02:57 AM   #145
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Re: Monica Seles 1989-1993

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Originally Posted by Claycourter View Post
Seles was killing the sport. She was a bad image with her grunting and anti tennis grounstrokes, trying to crush the ball at every opportunity with zero style and many other things. I am SO glad great Steffi Graf recovered from her slump to deny her grand slam titles. Even with bad back and personal problems, Steffi had no problem obliterating this pretender at Wimbledon. Steffi Graf had biting slice, maginificent one handed backhand, piercing forehand and amazing footwork, which left Seles gasping for breath. She was a maestro on court, unmatched and unrivaled, gliding and floating around the court, leaving Seles amazed and confused. Steffi had amazing body, she could control herself and did not put butter on everything, that was the key to her sexiness and desireability. Even during her matches the fans could not contain themselves offering their hand to Steffi for marriage. She was a humble champion who crushed overrated Seles like a bug in the temple of tennis (Wimbledon) and claimed 22 grand slam titles, something Seles cannot even dream of.
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Old Oct 29th, 2010, 03:35 AM   #146
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Re: Monica Seles 1989-1993

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Originally Posted by disposablehero View Post
While Steffi may have amassed more ranking points, Monica was CLEARLY the best player on tour from March forward. She had one minor stumble at the US Open but otherwise was cleaning up.
Resurrecting 7 year old threads now?! Please get help for your Monica Seles fixation! Professional help!
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Old Oct 29th, 2010, 03:36 AM   #147
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Re: Monica Seles 1989-1993

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Originally Posted by Claycourter View Post
Seles was killing the sport. She was a bad image with her grunting and anti tennis grounstrokes, trying to crush the ball at every opportunity with zero style and many other things. I am SO glad great Steffi Graf recovered from her slump to deny her grand slam titles. Even with bad back and personal problems, Steffi had no problem obliterating this pretender at Wimbledon. Steffi Graf had biting slice, maginificent one handed backhand, piercing forehand and amazing footwork, which left Seles gasping for breath. She was a maestro on court, unmatched and unrivaled, gliding and floating around the court, leaving Seles amazed and confused. Steffi had amazing body, she could control herself and did not put butter on everything, that was the key to her sexiness and desireability. Even during her matches the fans could not contain themselves offering their hand to Steffi for marriage. She was a humble champion who crushed overrated Seles like a bug in the temple of tennis (Wimbledon) and claimed 22 grand slam titles, something Seles cannot even dream of.
This slayed me.

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Old Oct 29th, 2010, 05:36 AM   #148
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Re: Monica Seles 1989-1993

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Originally Posted by justineheninfan View Post
Yeah losing in the 3rd round of the U.S Open to Linda Ferrando is not a disaesterous showing, merely a minor stumble. And losing in the quarters of Wimbledon is a great result too. And the part of the year before March where Seles didnt even play the Autralian and lost matches to Fairbank Nidifier, Gildemeister, and 6-0, 6-3 to Navratilova means nothing. And she would be unbeatable in the 2nd half of the year as losses to Frazier, Garrison, and Ferrando all prove. And bumping an almost 3 year old thread just to try and pump Monica's non-#1 worthy year in 1990 is so kewl too. Great stuff.
If she had done it at her best event when she was 25 and the 2 time defending champion, it would have been a disastrous showing. When it happens at age 16, and is the last time she fails to make the Finals of a Slam for nearly 6 years, it is a minor stumble.
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Old Oct 29th, 2010, 05:37 AM   #149
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Re: Monica Seles 1989-1993

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Originally Posted by Belmont Lad View Post
Resurrecting 7 year old threads now?! Please get help for your Monica Seles fixation! Professional help!
Excuse me for reading some of the material that was discussed on this board during my long absence.
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Old Oct 29th, 2010, 09:47 AM   #150
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Re: Monica Seles 1989-1993

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Yeah, Zina talked about that incident in her bio. She felt that it was a cheap ploy (thought up by Nick Bolletieri) to get applause. Zina clearly didn't like Monica at all for a while (Zina also mentioned that she was working with the same fitness coach as Monica, then Monica asked the coach not to work with any other top-20 players), but she went on to say that Monica had matured a lot over the years.
Lol
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