Monica Seles (in Serbian Monika Seleš) was born in Novi Sad, Vojvodina, Serbia (then Yugoslavia, now Serbia and Montenegro) in 1973. She is an ethnic Hungarian (her name is spelled Szeles Mónika in the Hungarian language, using the Hungarian convention of family name first).
Seles began playing tennis at the age of six, coached by her father Karolj Seleš. She won her first tournament at the age of nine (despite not fully understanding the scoring system of the game and having only a vague idea of whether she was leading or trailing her opponents during her matches). In 1985 at the age of 11, she won the prestigious Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, and caught the attention of tennis coach Nick Bollettieri. In 1986, the Seleš family moved from Yugoslavia to the United States, and Monica enrolled in the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, where she trained for two years.
Seles played her first professional tournament in 1988 at the age of 14. The following year she joined the professional tour full-time and won her first career title at Houston in May 1989, where she beat Chris Evert in the final. A month later, Seles reached the semifinals in her first Grand Slam appearance at the French Open, where she lost to World No. 1 Steff Graf. Seles finished her first year on the tour ranked World No. 6.
With punishing two-fisted forehand and backhand shots and a strong return of serve, Seles is considered by many to be the first "power player" in the women's game (paving the way for subsequent stars like Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova). She was also well-known for grunting loudly on court as she blasted balls over the net. On a few occassions this led to complaints from opponents (who claimed that it was distracting and prevented them from hearing the ball make contact with her racquet), and warnings from umpires to keep the noise down.
Seles won her first Grand Slam title at the French Open in 1990. Facing World No. 1 Graf in the final, Seles saved four set-points in a first-set tie-breaker (which she won 8-6), and went on to take the match in straight-sets. In doing so, she became the youngest-ever French Open champion at the age of 16 years, 6 months.
In many people's mind, Seles's achievements during her career make her one of the all-time great woman tennis players. However there will always be the question of how much more she might have achieved had she not been stabbed in 1993. The quality of tennis displayed by Graf during her forced retirement seems to suggest Seles could have actually implemented the gap between her and the German player and definitely take over, and possibly go on to win the 1994 Championships in Wimbledon (a lackluster edition won by clay court-specialist Conchita Martinez, where Graf showed up in poor shape and lost in the first round). As it is though, there is no way to tell what could've been.
Monica Seles Nude: