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Old Feb 15th, 2008, 05:34 PM   #1
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Seles Calls Time On Tennis Career

This from the BBC News Website today:

Seles calls time on tennis career

Former world number one Monica Seles has announced her official retirement from tennis.

The 34-year-old won nine Grand Slam singles titles in her career, but has not played competitively since June 2003 because of a foot injury.

Seles won her first Grand Slam title in 1990 at the age of just 16 and topped the world rankings the following year.

In a horrifying event in April 1993 she was stabbed on court in Germany and spent 28 months away from the sport.

After returning in 1995 Seles managed to win one final Grand Slam title, the Australian Open in 1996, finishing with a major haul of four Australian, three French and two US Open titles.

"Tennis has been and will always be a huge part of my life," said Seles.

"I have for some time considered a return to professional play, but I have now decided not to pursue that."

She added: "I will continue to play exhibitions, participate in charity events, promote the sport, but will no longer plan my schedule around the tour.

"I look forward to pursuing other opportunities with the same passion and energy that fuelled my dedication to tennis and to devote more time to two of my passions - children and animals.

"I especially want to thank all my wonderful, loyal fans for all of their support for me over the years.

"They have inspired me throughout my career in the good times and comforted me in the bad times.

"I will miss them all as much as I will miss competing in the game of tennis."

Larry Scott, chief executive of the WTA Tour, said: "Monica Seles is one of the great champions in the history of the WTA Tour.

"She is an inspiration and role model for millions of fans throughout the world."

The native Yugoslav became an American citizen in 1994 and talked of a comeback just last year after spending over four years out of the sport.

"I certainly would not ever be able to do a full schedule again, because of the foot," she said in 2007.

"But I'm thinking about the Slams and about some of the better tournaments that lead into them."
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Old Feb 15th, 2008, 08:00 PM   #2
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Re: Seles Calls Time On Tennis Career



I love this picture. She looks so innocent.
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Old Feb 15th, 2008, 08:03 PM   #3
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Re: Seles Calls Time On Tennis Career





The last one being the most recent as a CBS contributor.
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Old Feb 15th, 2008, 09:34 PM   #4
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Re: Seles Calls Time On Tennis Career

I can't deny that when I saw the headline for this story, I just thought "So?" She hasn't competed for over five years now, so it came as a shock to discover that she wasn't already retired! I half expect tomorrow to log on and see a new headline "Louise Brough To Quit Tennis".
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Old Feb 15th, 2008, 10:48 PM   #5
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Re: Seles Calls Time On Tennis Career

Actually I was very dissapointed to read the news as I had my hopes up that she may play a few farewell tournaments this season based on a few reports I had been reading in recent months. Alas, I never had high expectations anyway but it is still a little sad ... hopefully she may play some WTT or more exhibitions that we may get to see.
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Old Feb 16th, 2008, 06:53 AM   #6
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Re: Seles Calls Time On Tennis Career

So, let's make this a fun thread.

- Your memories of Monica?
- What do you think she contributed to tennis?
- What were her greatest weapons in enabling her to dominate during her greatest years?
- Her rivalry and almost biblical relationship with Steffi Graf.

I'd love to read everyone's thoughts, especially since all of you are such a knowledgable crowd here.
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Old Feb 16th, 2008, 08:32 AM   #7
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Re: Seles Calls Time On Tennis Career

Quote:
Originally Posted by hingis-seles View Post
So, let's make this a fun thread.

- Your memories of Monica?
- What do you think she contributed to tennis?
- What were her greatest weapons in enabling her to dominate during her greatest years?
- Her rivalry and almost biblical relationship with Steffi Graf.

I'd love to read everyone's thoughts, especially since all of you are such a knowledgable crowd here.
Memories:
A special player. I first remembered her RG 89 appearance, where she wanted to give Zina Garrison flowers. Didn't like her her early style of play with the moonballing. Later on I likek the power and angles she created. Her never-say-die attitude.

Contribution:
As great a player as she was, IMO she was a foil to Steffi Graf and forced Graf to rethink her game. She set standards for many players mental and power wise. She was a nice person, but not as natural and as Gaby. Having said that Monica was a greater champion.

Greatest weapons:
Return of serve, power and angles (the new generation have only picked up on the power), but als she was tactically very strong. Very good feel for the court. Backhand was a killer.

Dominate:
Youth and bravoure, she was strong mentally and that overwhelmed all players including Graf in the beginning.

Relation to Steffi Graf:


People make more out of the rivalry than there really was. I personally didn't like the match up. Graf played very one dimensional against Seles. They haven't met enough (even before the stabbing), to create the same ooomph, whenever Graf faced Navratilova or Sabatini.

Monica Seles: A special player and person, one of the great players, I wish her well!!!

Last edited by Warriorroger : Feb 16th, 2008 at 08:40 AM.
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Old Feb 16th, 2008, 09:08 AM   #8
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Re: Seles Calls Time On Tennis Career

I have to admit my thoughts on Monica Seles have always been neutral and realistically the fact that she hasn't played in so many years means the effect on today's game is minimal.

Other than this I do wish her every success in the future and perhaps "you say it best when you say nothing at all".
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Old Feb 16th, 2008, 03:03 PM   #9
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Re: Seles Calls Time On Tennis Career

I'll weigh in on Monica. She was always one of my favorites, though I thought she was a little over-dramatic in the Madonna years when she talked about being a famous actress.

I saw her in New Orleans '88 as I've discussed in other threads. First memory is when 14 year old Monica played 15 year old Amy Frazier in brutal winds. The placards hanging from the rails in the stands were blowing horizontally. Both girls slugged balls harder than I'd ever seen from both sides. I was a very cold October evening. Seles won 7-6 in the third late in the night with few fans around to see the finish. Seles made the semis in this, her 2nd event I think. Other memories would be the USO battle with Capriati, the USO final in '95 with Graf, and the '98 run to the French final though I was devasted by the result. Also loved her Aussie win over Venus in one of her last good tournament runs.

Contributions - She set the standard for the power game. Graf had the powerful forehand, but Seles matched power off both sides.

Best Qualities - I don't think anyone has every created the angles with power that Monica did. She was a tremendous fighter.

Rivalry with Graf - Sorry, but it was a letdown. They didn't play enough and left us wanting. There was great potential for a lengthy rivalry at the top, but like everything else, the stabbing eliminated that. They managed great matches for years though.

I think that Monica was so natural with people - the media, fans and even other players once she matured. She always seemed happy talk with people. What I'll miss more than anything is the joy that she brought. She always seemed happy to be on the court.
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Old Feb 17th, 2008, 01:43 PM   #10
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Re: Seles Calls Time On Tennis Career

- Your memories of Monica?
At her best at the Slims Championships 1991, she killed everyone, Sabatini, Navratilova, and as Chris Evert said: "Monica has a game that has never been seen before, she can hit winners from any point of the court to any corner on the other side".

- What do you think she contributed to tennis?
The generation Williams, Sharapova, the young Serbian players, they are all in Seles' footsteps, she founded the power game and her attitude on court as well as off court was very professional.

- What were her greatest weapons in enabling her to dominate during her greatest years?

The speed (before the stabbing), her determination, her intelligence.

- Her rivalry and almost biblical relationship with Steffi Graf.
Seles passed Graf way before the stabbing, this relationship was an issue made up by the media after the stabbing.
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Old Feb 17th, 2008, 04:34 PM   #11
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Re: Seles Calls Time On Tennis Career

Seles completely changed the face of women's tennis. I would say that a majority of the women playing on the tour today have a heavy Seles influence in their style. Favorite Monica moments would have to include her French Open victories in '90 and '92, her U.S. Open victory over Navratilova. I love her approach to the game and the sheer relentlessness of her attack, similar to Austin, Connors, Serena and Sharapova in her junkyard dog approach to every point.
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Old Feb 18th, 2008, 02:20 PM   #12
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Re: Seles Calls Time On Tennis Career

I'm more of a fan of classical tennis played with classical strokes so I'm probably not the best person to weigh in here. But I will because I do appreciate Monica. Even if her game wasn't my favorite, she definitely became a sentimental favorite of mine. Yeah, she was a little over the top at first. But she grew into a young woman that I really admired for overcoming her adversity.

She was different because of her game. But she was also different from most other champions in that from a very young age, she had to take care of and be responsible for so many things besides playing the game. Her parents were wonderful people. But Monica had to take care of things like hotels, planes, and money while still a teenager. These are all things that most others have people to take care of for them. But Monica was very mature in this way.

I didn't enjoy her rivalry with Steffi. There wasn't as much contrast in styles as I normally like and too many errors. However, the 1992 French final was exceptional. Though I did enjoy her matches with Martina and Jana much better.

And if I were to choose an instance where I appreciated Monica's game the most, it might be from the second set of the 91 US Open final. She really took the match away from Martina in what had been a close match.

I also enjoyed her wins over Martina in the 1991 and 1992 Virginia Slims finals. In 91 Martina pushed her. But in 1992 Monica was simply too good. Her first slims final in 90 over Gaby was fun. And the third set of the win over Martina at Wimbledon in 1992 was fun for me to watch too.

I wish Monica well, always...........
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Old Feb 18th, 2008, 07:01 PM   #13
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Re: Seles Calls Time On Tennis Career

I felt that Graf was the first to bring power into the game with her big forehand, but certainly Monica was amazing with power off of both wings, and Capriati was no slouch. I have a lot of respect for Monica's fight and temperament.

That said, the reason that I stopped watching tennis from about 1990 to 2006 (other than the GSs) was because of Monica Seles and Steffi Graf. I disliked Monica's screech and Graf has zero personality until she got with Andre. They were almost "too" professional and not human enough with their serious natures. So, the Seles-Graf era was not my favorite. But I still respected both players.

As for them playing each other, I always appreciated when two players with more of a contrast in styles and personality played. I couldn't appreciate enough contrast in either from these two.

The only player that really caught my fancy during that era was Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario -- she always seemed like a little bumblebee to me -- I liked her for her personality.

I wish Monica well. The announcement is a letdown considering that she's not played in so long, but still my best wishes for a happy future post tennis go out to her.
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Old Feb 18th, 2008, 09:49 PM   #14
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Re: Seles Calls Time On Tennis Career

Quote:
Originally Posted by HanaFanGA View Post
I'm more of a fan of classical tennis played with classical strokes so I'm probably not the best person to weigh in here. But I will because I do appreciate Monica. Even if her game wasn't my favorite, she definitely became a sentimental favorite of mine. Yeah, she was a little over the top at first. But she grew into a young woman that I really admired for overcoming her adversity.

She was different because of her game. But she was also different from most other champions in that from a very young age, she had to take care of and be responsible for so many things besides playing the game. Her parents were wonderful people. But Monica had to take care of things like hotels, planes, and money while still a teenager. These are all things that most others have people to take care of for them. But Monica was very mature in this way.

I didn't enjoy her rivalry with Steffi. There wasn't as much contrast in styles as I normally like and too many errors. However, the 1992 French final was exceptional. Though I did enjoy her matches with Martina and Jana much better.

And if I were to choose an instance where I appreciated Monica's game the most, it might be from the second set of the 91 US Open final. She really took the match away from Martina in what had been a close match.

I also enjoyed her wins over Martina in the 1991 and 1992 Virginia Slims finals. In 91 Martina pushed her. But in 1992 Monica was simply too good. Her first slims final in 90 over Gaby was fun. And the third set of the win over Martina at Wimbledon in 1992 was fun for me to watch too.

I wish Monica well, always...........
HEY- glad to see you back in here, HanaFanGA.
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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 02:50 AM   #15
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Re: Seles Calls Time On Tennis Career

Quote:
Originally Posted by hingis-seles View Post
So, let's make this a fun thread.

- Your memories of Monica?
The 1992 French Open final is my favorite memory. She would not be denied and made Steffi blink first.
Her QF against Zina, Wimbledon '90. It could've gone either way but Garrison's relentless forays to the net got the best of Seles.
Her return to tennis in Toronto '95 and the warmth she displayed towards Sabatini in the final.

Quote:
- What do you think she contributed to tennis?
She paved the way for power tennis and angles galore.

Quote:
- What were her greatest weapons in enabling her to dominate during her greatest years?
Both wings but the backhand in particular was topnotch.

Quote:
- Her rivalry and almost biblical relationship with Steffi Graf.
Their '95 US Open was interesting for the mere fact that the pressure was all on Steffi. As even Carillo pointed out "Steffi has to prove that all those she Slams she won while Seles was out of the game wasn't a fluke". Amen.

I've missed Monica but I'm happy that she is in a good place. I don't like the show but I'll watch "Dancing With The Stars" just to see her.
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