Seles retires from tennis


St. Petersburg (US) : Former world No.1 American Monica Seles announced retirement from the competitive tennis, bringing down curtains to an illustrious career.

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Seles so far had not officially retired, even though she had not played since May 2003, when she lost in the first round of Roland Garros.

“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,” Seles, 34, said after confirming her retirement here Thursday.

Seles, winner of nine Grand Slam titles, first became No 1 in the world in March 1991 and held the top ranking for 178 weeks over the next two years.

Her glorious streak was halted in April 1993 when a fanatical Steffi Graf fan stabbed her in the back during a tournament in Hamburg, Germany. Seles could not play tennis for two years and three months.

She, however, made a remarkable comeback, winning Canadian Open in August 2005 when she beat Amanda Coetzer in the final, and reaching US Open final in the following month. Seles won her fourth Australian Open, her last grand slam, in January 1999.

In the spring of 2003, Seles sustained a foot injury that sidelined her from the WTA Tour.

Seles announcing her retirement said that though she would no longer be planning her schedule around the WTA tour, she however would continue to promote the sport by playing in the exhibitions and the charity events

“I look forward to pursuing other opportunities with the same passion and energy that fuelled my dedication to 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. I will miss them all as much as I will miss competing in the game of tennis,” she said.