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Former number-one world professional tennis player Monica Seles shares her personal journey, battling depression and coming into her own after a career on the court. This excerpt from "Getting A Grip: On My Body, My Mind, My Self" was provided by the publisher to ABC News. Her book will be released on April 21.

For twenty-eight years, I was known as a tennis player. It had been a long time since I played a professional match, but the thought of giving up the security of that label had terrified me. Tennis player. A short, easy description that everyone is familiar with. It's who I was to the outside world and it's what I'd been calling myself for as long as I could remember. But it was time to move forward. I was ready to leave the past behind.


On February 14, 2008, I announced my official retirement from tennis. I'd been playing in exhibitions here and there, but I was tired of waking up every morning wondering if today was the day my foot was going to self-destruct again. When it felt good, I could play the way I had when I was at the top of my game, but when it felt bad, I couldn't walk on it. I spent years debating back and forth in my head whether I had it in me to make another run for the top. I didn't want to do it anymore. I was tired of the debate. I waited so long to make it official because I wanted to be absolutely sure it was the right decision. I wanted it to be on my timetable and I wanted to claim complete ownership over the choice to close that chapter of my life. All the what-ifs about whether I could regain my former glory and win another Grand Slam began to fade away. My life was filling up with things other than tennis; I was feeling more content than ever before and the fear had left me. It took a long time to get to this point, but I knew that I didn't need tennis to define who I was anymore.


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Thanks for posting this. I didnt know Monica was going to release a book. Cant wait to buy it.
 

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I heard on XM/Sirius radio a few morning ago that she's getting her own talk-show on the XM Stars station. I don't know if it's temporary to hype the book or something more long term. From the clips they played, it's about women talking about their issues and overcoming fears and doubts and Monica getting these callers to talk and sharing experiences. It's not Monica talking about her tennis career.
 

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I'm excited. Only because I don't expect it to be as disappointing as "From Fear to Victory".
I didn't read "from fear to victory" but what was disappointing in it?
 

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I didn't read "from fear to victory" but what was disappointing in it?
I expected more insight from her, with regards to the tennis matches and her great victories. She just skimmed through those, which was disappointing. It was one of those books, which when you finished reading, seemed to be lacking.
 

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I really liked From Fear to Victory :shrug: I was thirteen when I read it though :haha:

This better not be a piece of shit - it's expensive, even on amazon.
 

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I heard on XM/Sirius radio a few morning ago that she's getting her own talk-show on the XM Stars station. I don't know if it's temporary to hype the book or something more long term. From the clips they played, it's about women talking about their issues and overcoming fears and doubts and Monica getting these callers to talk and sharing experiences. It's not Monica talking about her tennis career.
Yes and once again Monica Seles will return to SIRIUS XM Radio to host a five-week series on which she will share her personal experiences of success, struggle and triumph and inspire listeners to live happy and healthy lives—mentally, physically and emotionally.

The Monica Seles Challenge: 5 Weeks to Jump Start Your Life launches Wednesday, April 15 at 6 p.m. Eastern time and will air every Wednesday through May 13 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on SIRIUS XM Stars, SIRIUS channel 102 and XM channel 155. Seles will host the show from SIRIUS XM Radio’s New York City studios. The Monica Seles Challenge marks the second time Seles has hosted a series on SIRIUS XM Radio.
 

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Just read that article and I so see myself in Monica when her book comes out in Australia I am going to buy it. Thanks for posting the article and other stuff. :)
 

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There is a big extract from her new book in today's Sunday Times (UK) - can't find a link, but she talks at length about the stabbing and her food binges. It is all extremely well written.
 

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I've read a bit of the book and she has had problems with stress, and dealing with that stress with food, since she was a child, which the stabbing and her fathers death seem to exacerbate. Still, it's staggering how much she was eating.
 

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I expected more insight from her, with regards to the tennis matches and her great victories. She just skimmed through those, which was disappointing. It was one of those books, which when you finished reading, seemed to be lacking.
I think in hindsight, maybe. But I bought it when I was about 14, and I have to say it was one of the books I read over and over for the next few years. So I'm not going to slag it off now.

You have to remember that when it was written she was fully expected to return to the top. Slagging off Steffi Graf explicitly, or indeed any other player was not going to do her any favours from a PR point of view. Monica was always famously good at running rings around even the most skillful of journalists, knowing their agendas and how to be ambiguous.

It was also cathartic. I think at that point Monica wanted to talk about her years out of the limelight after the stabbing (she was only 21, and like I was at that age, possibly a bit emotionally incontinent), and at that time those issues were of the greatest interest on both a personal and public level. Today, of course, we want to know about her memories of those great matches. It wasn't like that at the time: the title was From Fear to Victory.
 
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