The USTA has announced that Monica Seles, a two-time U.S. Open Champion, has been named the 2013 inductee into the U.S. Open Court of Champions, a U.S. Open and USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center attraction honoring the greatest singles champions in the history of the U.S. Championships/U.S. Open. Seles will be inducted during an on-court ceremony in Arthur Ashe Stadium prior to the Women’s Singles Championship on Sunday, Sept. 8. Mary Joe Fernandez will host the ceremony.
The U.S. Open Court of Champions salutes the tournament’s all-time greatest champions with an individual permanent monument that serves as a lasting tribute. Seles will join prior inductees Andre Agassi, Arthur Ashe, Don Budge, Maureen Connolly, Jimmy Connors, Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Althea Gibson, Richard “Pancho” Gonzalez, Steffi Graf, Billie Jean King, Jack Kramer, Rod Laver, Ivan Lendl, Molla Bjurstedt Mallory, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Margaret Osborne duPont, Ken Rosewall, Pete Sampras, Bill Tilden and Helen Wills. A panel of international print and broadcast journalists selected the 2013 inductee from the roster of U.S. champions based on their performances at the tournament and their impact on the growth of the event.
“Monica Seles is not only a great champion, but a graceful competitor who inspired us all,” said Dave Haggerty, chairman, CEO and president of the USTA. “Her captivating talent was surpassed only by a dignified courage that remains an inspiration for our sport. She truly deserves to be honored among the greatest of U.S. Open champions.”
Seles is one of the most decorated women’s tennis players of all-time, winning nine Grand Slam singles titles, including back-to-back U.S. Open championships in 1991-1992. She captured eight Grand Slam titles before she turned 20 and is still the youngest woman ever to win the French Open at 16-years-old. Seles was the world number one for 178 non-consecutive weeks, ranking fifth-most in history, and won 53 singles titles on the WTA tour. Born in Yugoslavia, she began representing the United States in 1994, winning Fed Cup titles with the U.S. in 1996, 1999 and 2000 and an Olympic bronze medal in 2000. She officially retired in 2008.
The U.S. Open Court of Champions is a 9,000-square foot outdoor pavilion bounded by the South Entry Gate and the Arthur Ashe Commemorative Garden and Sculpture that celebrates the event’s greatest champions with an individual permanent monument to serve as a lasting tribute. The attraction also features a complete listing of all U.S. singles champions since the competition began in 1881.