Monica Seles officially announced her retirement from professional tennis on Thursday. Even though she hasn’t played competitive matches for five years, the 34-year-old Seles considered a comeback two months ago, after witnessing Lindsay Davenport's successful return. However, Seles eventually decided not to follow Davenport's footsteps. Still, she announced that she will always be involved in tennis in one way or another.
During her successful career, Monica Seles won 53 singles and six doubles tournaments, earning nine Grand Slam titles along the way. She first became No.1 in the world in March 1991 and held the top ranking for 178 weeks over the next two years – the youngest No.1 ever at the time.
When we talk about Seles’ career we have to mention the tragedy that struck her in April 1993, at the height of her career, when she was stabbed in the back by a spectator during a match in Hamburg, Germany. This incident sidelined Seles for more than two years, but after she recovered (at least physically) she captured the hearts of fans even more with a comeback win at the Canadian Open, US Open final and the 1996 Australian Open title, her last Grand Slam title.
The native Yugoslav, who became a U.S. citizen in 1994, aims to stay connected to the sport: "Tennis has been and will always be a huge part of my life. I have for some time considered a return to professional play, but I have now decided not to pursue that. I will continue to play exhibitions, participate in charity events, promote the sport, but will no longer plan my schedule around the tour."
And of course, Seles thanked her fans: "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." (photos AP via Yahoo)