In February 2008, Monica Seles announced her retirement from professional tennis, closing the book on one of the most dramatic stories in the sport. Over her extraordinary career, she earned nine Grand Slam titles and won 53 singles and six doubles tournaments. Her first French Open title was won at the age of 16 and she first became #1 in the world in March 1991. Seles was #1 for 178 weeks during the next two years—the youngest #1 ever at the time–until tragedy struck in April 1993, when she was stabbed in the back by a deranged fan 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, and 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.
Since her retirement, Seles has been focusing on her work in the area of health and lifestyle. Her new book Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind, My Self was released in April 2009. In this inspiring and revealing memoir, Seles shares her remarkable journey of brilliant tennis, fame, tragedy, loss and self-discovery. She chronicles her success on the tennis circuit as well as her journey back after being stabbed by a deranged fan, her battle with depression and binge-eating and much more.
After an excruciating injury forced her to take time off from tennis in 2003, Seles embarked on her own journey. She abandoned the arduous workouts and the punitive diets. As she uncovered the painful emotional reasons that had been the trigger for her binge-eating, she finally found the peace and balance she had been searching for. After years of having every aspect of her training, diet and life dictated and scrutinized by others, Monica took control, deciding what she wanted from life and set out to obtain it.
Monica Seles’ determination, amazing talent and touching vulnerability make her story both incredibly human and inspiring. Cutting through the fog of sadness, fear and frustration that made her overweight and unhappy, today she looks and feels better than ever and has created a life in balance. By sharing her story, she hopes to motivate other people to take control of their lives and their own happiness.
Seles has been working for years on her Little Champs program to fight childhood obesity and has created and produced a live stage show motivating kids to get involved with sports and outdoor activities, making little champs into big champs.
In October 2007, she was appointed a goodwill ambassador/ spokesperson for the UN’s Global Sports for Peace and Development Program Initiative. Seles is a contributing lifestyle correspondent to Self magazine and CBS' The Early Show and was a contestant on season six of Dancing With The Stars. In 2009 she was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame and also the Rogers Cup Hall of Fame in Canada.