MIAMI, FL — Monica Seles today announced her official retirement from professional tennis, ending one of the most storied careers in sports.
Seles issued the following statement through Tony Godsick, her longtime manager at IMG.
“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 said today from Miami, Florida. “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 fueled 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 have always been so proud to have such a special group of precious fans to call my very own and felt they were the best an athlete could ever hope to have. I will miss them all as much as I will miss competing in the game of tennis.”
Seles, 34, earned nine Grand Slam titles, and won 53 singles and six doubles tournaments. She first became No. 1 in the world in March 1991. She was No. 1 for 178 weeks during the next two years — the youngest No. 1 ever at the time — until tragedy struck in April 1993, when she was stabbed in the back during a match in Hamburg, Germany. She was not able to play again for more than two years. When she did return, she won even more hearts with her comeback win at the Canadian Open, then reached the U.S. Open final the following month. Remarkably, she then won her ninth Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January 1996.