News from 2008

Videos from the Bollettieri Gala

[11.13.2008]

Monica's Interview

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Tennis stars gather to honor Bollettieri

[11.09.2008] Tennis legend Monica Seles shares a laugh with her former coach Nick Bollettieri prior to a gala celebrating The Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy's 30th Anniversary at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota on Saturday. A photo of Monica Seles displayed at the gala celebrating The Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy's 30th Anniversary. Photo courtesy of Michael. Michael and Monica Seles at the gala celebrating The Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy's 30th Anniversary.  Photo courtesy of Michael.

They arrived from all parts of the globe. Japan, Belarus, Italy, Great Britain, and several points in between.

More than 300 strong, a horde of once-young tennis players who came here to take on the world returned to pay homage to the place where they honed their skills. And to honor the man who led them on their tennis quest.

They came to say hello again to Nick Bollettieri, the visionary whose dream paved the way to their success, whether it came on the tennis court or in life's other endeavors.

They returned to the place where Monica Seles' squeals took hold. They revisited the grounds where Andre Agassi first learned that image is everything, then discovered that he had much more than just flash to give the tennis world.

They came back to the place where Jim Courier, Pete Sampras, Boris Becker, Serena and Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Mary Pierce, Jelena Jankovic, and countless others learned the lessons that helped carry them to the pinnacle of success in the tennis world.

This weekend's 30th reunion of the Nick Bolletteiri Tennis Academy not only brought back alumni who are heavy hitters throughout the tennis world, but it also served as a gathering place for some of the big hitters throughout the business world. There was a college president, the youngest partner at Goldman Sachs. There were doctors, lawyers, bankers, politicians, entertainers.

"I believe the biggest thing, now that I look back, is the impact we have made on people's lives," Bollettieri said as he stood in the midst of academy alumni renewing friendships. "Winning at Wimbledon, winning the French Open ... that is a trophy. But here, my staff and I have made an impact on people's lives. And their children's lives."

Over the years, three decades of youths trooped through the grounds where champions were made and characters built. Many of those same students traveled back to Bradenton with their families to take part in Friday night's welcoming cocktail party. They stuck around Saturday for a day of golf and tennis before the reunion Gala Dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. Today there will be a Sunday brunch and farewells.

Among the former students on hand this weekend include Monica Seles, Mary Pierce, Kathleen Horvath, who broke Martina Navratilova's record 84-match win streak at the 1983 French Open, Brian Gottfried, Max Miryni, Carling Bassett-Seguso, David Wheaton.

Jim Courier, Aaron Krickstein and Jimmy Arias are all playing a senior event in Arizona. Maria Sharapova and Anna Kournikova had prior commitments but sent their regards. Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena, stopped by to congratulate the 77-year-old Bollettieri.

Coming back to where it all began, they visited an academy that is far different from the time most of them labored there under the sun, and under the strict discipline that made the place notorious in those early days.

As many of the alumni walked the grounds of the facility that has mushroomed to more than 300 acres and embraces a multitude of sports academies, they marveled at the changes. Yet more than a few took time to glance at the small garage that has stood the test of time.

The garage is where Bollettieri once parked his Corvette. It was also where two teens, with music as much as tennis in their souls, would meet nightly until they were forced to stop. One would bang on the drums. The other would work over a guitar.

The drummer, Courier, would go on to be the No. 1 tennis player in the world. The guitar player in those sessions, was much better on drums than he was on the tennis court. Lars Ulrich went on to form the heavy metal band Metallica and is the group's drummer.

Amazing is the core staff that has been with Bollettieri through the years.

Julio Moros was with Bollettieri when he arrived in 1977 from Dorado Beach to take a job at the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort. So was Carolina Murphy. Joining soon after was Ted Meekma and Greg Breunich. Those two are senior vice presidents of IMG Academies, the company that purchased the NBTA in 1987. Breunich is now Bollettieri's son-in-law.

Gabe Jaramillo, Chip Brooks and Jose Lambert have been mainstays of the tennis instruction throughout the years. They have seen three decades of students pass through the doors.

What began as a small group at the Colony, quickly outgrew its space. Within a year Bollettieri, with a loan from Louis Marx Jr., bought a rundown dormitory to house his growing student population. By 1979, Mike DePalmer Sr., who was instrumental in bringing Bollettieri to the area, joined him to buy a tennis club in Bradenton.

A year later Marx loaned more money to enable Bollettieri to build an academy on what was a field of tomatoes on 34th Street.

"I often think how close I came to not getting this place," Bolletteiri said about overcoming a bevy of obstacles.

It started by bringing together players from across the country, and eventually the world. Bollettieri recalls those early days when the best America had to offer came from one place.

In those early days, there were four students to a room. There was competition in the dining halls as well as the tennis courts.

Now there are 56 courts and hundreds of full-time students. Players who have played on the courts here have won more than 170 Grand Slam titles. Ten have been ranked No. 1 in the world. In addition to students like Tommy Haas, who grew up at the academy, players who have spent time at the facility to work on their games include Becker, Martina Hingis and the Williams sisters.

"There is no place like this to train," said Mary Pierce, who came here at the age of 13 and went on to win four (two singles, two doubles) Grand Slam titles. "You have everything you need -- tennis courts, competition, training facilities. It is very rare to have a place where everything is right there."

Many of the early students, including Bassett, Horvath and Arias, actually lived in Bollettieri's home. There were tales of cleaning floors with toothbrushes, standing at attention at mealtimes and lights out at 10 p.m.

"It was very disciplined on and off the courts," Horvath said. "I recall having to go around the grounds picking up cigarette butts. I wasn't done until I came back with a tennis ball can full of them.

"Nick was an incredible motivator. He also had a great eye for detail when it came to stroke production and technique. Even back then he had a sense for what was right and what didn't make sense."

Friday Horvath had her 9-year old son take a tennis lesson from Bollettieri.

It was just like old times.

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Tennis Players That Changed The Game: Monica Seles

[09.17.2008]

Monica Seles could have possibly won more Grand Slam singles titles than any other female player, had her career not been cut short. Born in Yugoslavia to Hungarian parents, she began playing tennis at the age of six. Her father, Karoly Seles, was her coach.

At the age of 14, she played her first professional tournament in 1988. She joined the professional tour full-time the following year and won her first career title at Houston where she beat Chris Evert in the final.

In April of 1989, she reached the semifinals of her first Grand Slam singles tournament at the French Open. She lost to World No. 1 Steffi Graf in a tough three-setter. She was only fifteen years old by then, and had already made it to the semis of a major in her first opportunity.

Even more impressive was the fact that she took a set off Graf in the semifinal match. Clearly, good things were to come for Seles and nothing was impossible to accomplish. She won her first Grand Slam singles title at the 1990 French Open, defeating Steffi Graf in straight sets.

This victory made her the youngest French Open winner at the age of 16 years, six months. Seles would finish 1990 as the World's No. 2 ranked player. Over the next two years (1991, 1992), the Hungarian would dominate the women's tour.

A victory at the Australian Open began her 1991 season in solid fashion. In March, she was the World's new No.1 ranked player, replacing Graf. The victory in Australia was followed up by a successful defense of her French Open title won the previous year.

Seles didn't participate at Wimbledon, taking a six week break instead due to shin splints. However, she returned for the U.S Open and defeated Martina Navratilova in the final to close out the year the same way she started it.

In 1992, she successfully defended her titles at the Australian Open, French Open and U.S Open. She reached the finals of Wimbledon but lost to Graf in straight sets. Many believed that she lost at Wimbledon for playing quietly. Normally, Seles would grunt when hitting the ball much like Maria Sharapova does today.

A few opponents had complained about the grunting and as a result she played silently in the final. From 1991 to 1993, Seles won 22 titles and reached 33 finals out of the 34 tournaments she played overall.

She compiled an amazing 55-1 record at Grand Slam tournaments during that time. In her first four years on the map (1989-1992), Seles had a record of 231-25 while collecting 30 titles.

Seles was the best woman's player heading into 1993, and continued it with a win at the Australian Open final against Steffi Graf. At the time, this was her third win in four Grand Slam finals with Graf.

On April 30, 1993, the world was shocked at what took place in a tournament in Hamburg. Seles was playing Magdalena Maleeva in the quarterfinals and leading 6-4, 4-3. During a break between games, a psycho fan of Graf ran on the court and stabbed Seles between the shoulder blades.

I won't mention his name because the piece of trash doesn't deserve to be remembered. Seles' physical injuries healed after a few weeks, but she was still affected psychology. How can you blame her? Imagine having to watch your back after every point is played in a match.

It took over two years for her to return to competitive action. She promised to never play tennis in Germany ever again - another decision that I'm sure none of us can argue. Just the fact that she returned to tennis alone is a great act of courage.

A band called Young Elders, sent a song called "Fly Monica Fly" to Seles while she was recovering in the hospital. Dan Bern also made a tribute to her, called Monica.

Seles returned to the tour in August of 1995 and won her first comeback tournament, the Canadian Open. She returned to the final of the U.S Open that year too, but lost to Graf in three sets.

In January of the following year, Seles won her fourth Australian Open defeating Anke Huber in the final. Sadly, this would be her last Grand Slam title. Struggling to regain her best form on a consistent basis, Seles would still make the finals of the 1996 U.S Open before losing to Graf again.

Her last Grand Slam final came in 1998 at the French Open where she lost to Arantxa Sanchez Vicario. Seles absolutely punished the ball when hitting it. Her main weapons were the two-fisted forehand, backhand shots and a dominating return of serve. Unsurprisingly, she had great speed too and was able to get to most of the balls.

She is considered by many to be the first power player in the women's game, inspiring players like Venus and Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport and others. As I mentioned earlier, she grunted constantly during matches, which is why Maria Sharapova is so similar to her with the power and screaming.

It's a tragedy that one of the finest tennis careers was ruined by a lunatic. Even still, she was able to pull off one more Australian Open title and a few finals before retiring. Seles was known as one of the best clutch performers, having tremendous composure during the biggest points.

She had eight Grand Slam singles titles at just the age of 20 and finished with nine in the end. Monica Seles had the potential to win as many titles as Steffi Graf or Martina Navratilova (if not more). Monica is the only woman to have won her first six Grand Slam singles finals.

People all over the world loved to watch this woman play. The career is over, but certainly not forgotten.

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Monica Seles on "Dancing" & "Entourage"

[09.04.2008]

Monica Seles has one word of advice for the new contestants of "Dancing With The Stars" - well, one word, repeated thrice - practice, practice, practice.

"Oh boy, be ready for lots of practice," she told Access Hollywood at the "Entourage" season five premiere in New York on Wednesday night. "And [a] crazy schedule. I was only on there for two weeks, so I really didn't get to experience the whole show, but even the little that I was on, it's a lot of work."

Seles competed on the ABC show's sixth cycle, pairing with professional dancer Jonathan Roberts.

The tennis champ says she's pulling for another athlete this season, Olympic beach volleyball repeat gold medalist Misty May-Treanor.

"Misty May is on this, [I'm] rooting for her," she said. "It should be very exciting."

Seles, a nine-time Grand Slam winner who announced her retirement from the sport this past February, has found plenty of life after tennis and "Dancing."

She kicked off her new Sirius Satellite Radio show, "The Monica Seles Challenge: 5 Weeks to Jump Start Your Life," on Thursday.

"I'm very excited about that," she said of the live five-week series. "You know, itss just going to be a lot of women sharing stories, crying, laughing."

As for her presence at the "Entourage" premiere, Seles said she had a lot in common with the HBO comedy.

"I'm a huge fan of the show," she said. "I mean, it's kind of similar to [the] tennis tour because we have our own entourage, but I think this is a much more fun entourage then I got to experience."

Source

Induction exciting for Seles

[09.04.2008]

Monica Seles never visited the International Tennis Hall of Fame until this past July, when she served as the presenter for the induction of IMG founder Mark McCormack.

Now that she knows her way there, Seles should have no trouble getting to the Newport, R.I., site next summer when she is inducted as part of the 2009 Hall of Fame class.

Though technically the list of inductees won't be official until January, Seles' inclusion was cemented this past week when she was placed on the ballot in an announcement during the U.S. Open.

"It is such a great honor," said Seles, who is among the greatest women champions of all time. "Obviously, at some point I knew I was going to get in but to get in this quickly ... that was a little bit of a surprise."

It shouldn't be. Seles clearly belongs in the Hall of Fame of a game she dominated at the height of her career.

The Sarasota resident transcended the sport to become an international celebrity during a career spiced with intrigue. Her Greta Garbo-like mystique off the court became legendary. Her shrieks when hitting the tennis ball were her calling card and are imitated by a host of players.

She will also forever be remembered as the victim of a stabbing on the court by a deranged tennis fan, an incident that robbed her of more than two years of her playing career.

It was her success on the court that paved her way to the Hall of Fame.

Seles, who remains the youngest player to win the French Open (16 years, 6 months), was ranked No. 1 for 178 weeks and won nine Grand Slam singles titles. She finished the year ranked No. 1 in the world in both 1991 and 1992 and was clearly the best player in the game when her career was interrupted in April 1993. She was stabbed just below her left shoulder blade while she sat in a chair during a changeover in a match played in Germany.

When Seles returned to the game, she won the first tournament she played, got to the semifinals of the U.S. Open and won her final Grand Slam event the following January in Australia. But she never dominated like she had before the stabbing.

She last played at the 2003 French Open, where she lost in the first round. Foot problems eventually ended her playing career.

"This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime things. It finishes the career I had," Seles said about the Hall of Fame.

She is currently at the U.S. Open, where she is attending various functions and preparing for a talk show she will host beginning today on Siruis radio. The show, called "The Monica Seles Challenge: Five Weeks to Jump Start Your Life," is designed to help inspire listeners to have a happier, healthier, more confident life.

"It is really about women's issues, about weight loss and mind and body connection," Seles said. "There won't be much sports, except that I can draw on my background. It is about women talking and sharing information. I am excited about that."

Seles is keeping a busy schedule, which includes writing a book, speaking engagements and her pet project of enticing children to exercise.

"Just to get them to move and get some fresh air in their little lungs," she says.

There had been a plan to play an exhibition match this week with Martina Navratilova but a torn labrum in her shoulder will keep Seles from picking up a tennis racket for several months.

Just because she isn't playing tennis doesn't mean that Seles is out of shape. She has completely remodeled her body, which she believes will help her relate to people in her new radio endeavor.

"I overcame my own weight loss and the emotional side that comes with it," she said. "I believe in it so much. My heart is in it."

Seles admits that her recent appearance on the "Dancing with the Stars" TV show was more difficult than she expected, yet she insists she has no regrets.

"When I signed up for it I thought it would be different," she said. "I didn't really think it through too much. I had never done any of those artistic things. I was always more sports oriented."

Though she was the first female dancer to be voted off this past season, she felt the time on the show gave America a chance to see a different side of her.

"Most people had only seen me in tennis outfits and I always had an aggressive look on my face because I was hitting a tennis ball," she said. "People got to see that there was a woman out there.

"It was an exciting experience and I am happy I did it."

And the tennis world should be happy she made a career out of playing the game.

Source

Tennis Superstar Monica Seles to Host Exclusive 5-Week Series on Sirius Satellite Radio

[09.03.2008]

SIRIUS XM Radio announced today that internationally acclaimed tennis superstar Monica Seles will host an exclusive live call-in show aimed at empowering women everywhere to lead their best life. The Monica Seles Challenge: 5 Weeks to Jump Start Your Life will air in five weekly installments airing every Thursday from September 4th through October 2nd from 1:00 - 3:00 pm ET on SIRIUS Stars channel 102. Seles will host the show from SIRIUS XM Radio's Rockefeller Center studios.

Seles has long been a role model for women and on SIRIUS she will have a forum to speak candidly about both the troubles and successes she faced in her own life and how these experiences made her stronger. With The Monica Seles Challenge, Seles encourages listeners to join her on a five-week journey toward feeling strong, beautiful, happy and healthy - on the inside and out. Seles' goal is to help women realize their best possible selves across all aspects of their lives, personal, professional, emotional and beyond.

Seles will welcome expert guests, athletes, celebrities and real women and will take calls from around the country.

"I love radio and the unique way it has to reach out to people with a real and personal exchange of ideas and stories," said Monica Seles. "SIRIUS has provided just such an opportunity for me, my studio guests and the SIRIUS audience to share our life experiences, learn from them, and hopefully forge ahead into a happier and healthier future."

"Monica Seles is an extraordinary person whose passion, determination and courage - both on and off the court - shaped her into the world-class athlete and woman she is today," said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SIRIUS XM Radio. "On SIRIUS, these qualities will translate into compelling radio as she empowers and inspires listeners across the country."

Over Seles' extraordinary tennis career, she earned nine Grand Slam titles and won 53 singles and six doubles tournaments. She first became No. 1 in the world in March 1991. Seles 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 by a deranged fan during a match in Germany. She wasn't able to play again for more than two years. When she returned to tennis, she won hearts with her comeback win at the Canadian Open and then reached the US Open Final the following month. Remarkably, she won her ninth Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January 1996. Seles joined the cast of ABC-TV's hit "Dancing with the Stars" in 2008. Seles is currently writing her memoir, Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind, My Self, in which she explores her remarkable journey of tennis, fame, tragedy, loss and self-discovery. Her book is scheduled for publication in March 2009 by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA).

Source

George Foreman Day at the 2008 US Open

[09.03.2008]

Tennis Great Monica Seles Guest Judges the George Foreman "Knock out the Fat" Cook-Off Challenge at the US Open

The George Foreman division of Applica Consumer Products, Inc., the company behind the popular web-based weight-loss reality show "Knock Out the Fat," will be taping part of an upcoming webisode at the US Open on September 4th, George Foreman Day at the tournament. The taping, focused on "The Knock Out the Fat Cook-off Challenge," was made possible through the company's sponsorship of the US Open and will feature tennis great Monica Seles as a guest judge.

The special webisode will air on September 5th and will "serve" up great tasting healthy meals cooked on the new George Foreman G-broil grill. To celebrate the occasion, four fans at the US Open that day will be able to win a new G-broil grill.

The four contestants from the web series have lost a total of 55 pounds during the two months of competition and are vying to lose the most weight in six-months for the Grand Prize of a trip for two to a luxury spa overseas. For the challenge, the contestants will be asked to cook a unique, healthy and tasty meal they developed in the past months from their experiences using the G-broil grill. Their grilling creations will be judged by Seles on taste, fitness expert and show host Michael Feigin on healthy approach, and Evanghela Hidalgo, President and General Manager of the Americas Division of Applica Consumer Products, Inc. on how the unique technology of the G-broil was used.

"We are excited to host this challenge and special episode of 'Knock Out the Fat' at the US Open," said Evanghela Hildago. "Eating healthy, along with exercise like tennis, is important when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The George Foreman G-broil grill is a great way to cook a tasty, healthy, convenient meal and to help reduce fat from your food."

The "Knock Out the Fat" monthly Web show consists of host and expert commentary, home footage, online blogs and video diaries of the contenders' experiences. Viewers can interact with contenders by commenting on their blog postings, rating and uploading recipes, and submitting videos that share their own grilling tips and healthy eating and dieting advice. (MORE)

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International Tennis Hall of Fame Announces Ballot Names for 2009 Induction

[08.29.2008]

NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND, USA -Tony Trabert, President of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, today announced the names of the five ballot nominees for possible Hall of Fame induction in July 2009. Nine-time Grand Slam Singles Champion and former World No. 1 Monica Seles heads the 2009 ballot nominations. Joining her on the ballot in the Master Player category is Andres Gimeno. He was one of Spain's most prominent tennis players of the 1960s, and who remains Roland Garros' oldest singles champion, winning the coveted clay court title in 1972.

"On behalf of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, I am honored to announce this year's ballot," said Tony Trabert, ITHF President and 1970 Hall of Famer. "Monica and Andres both had brilliant careers in tennis, while Donald, Dr. Johnson and Eiichi made important and historic contributions that have significantly impacted and shaped our sport."

Voting for the 2009 ballot will take place over the next several months leading to the announcement of the official 2009 induction class in January. The Class of 2009 Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, July 11 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island.

Recent Player Nominees (1) Eligibility criteria for the Recent Player category: Active as competitors in the sport within the last 20 years prior to consideration; not a significant factor on the ATP or WTA tour within five years prior to induction; a distinguished record of competitive achievement at the highest international level, with consideration given to integrity, sportsmanship and character.

Monica Seles, now 34, held the World No. 1 ranking for 178 weeks (non-consecutive) and captured nine Grand Slam singles titles - four Australian (1991-1993, 1996), three at Roland Garros (1990-1992) and two US Opens (1991-1992). Her win-loss record at the Grand Slams was a staggering 43-4 at the Australian, 54-8 at Roland Garros, 30-9 at Wimbledon and 53-10 at the US Open. In a career spanning 15 years, she captured 53 singles titles and six doubles titles and collected well over $14 million in prize money. She won three consecutive year-end WTA Championships (1990-1992) and finished as the world's No. 1 ranked player in both 1991 and 1992.

A natural lefty, wielding double-handed forehands and backhands, she was a determined competitor. Her footwork was impeccable, her groundstrokes powerful and aggressive, and she constantly attacked her opponents with an arsenal of remarkable weapons. Seles was also known for her "ball-impacting shriek", the grunt heard across the globe.

At age 19, Seles had already won eight of her nine singles slams and was at the top of her game. Then in April 1993, during a changeover of her quarterfinal match against Magdalena Maleeva in Hamburg, a man came out of nowhere, and stabbed her in the back, just below her left shoulder blade. The horror of this event sent shockwaves through the tennis community, and 27 months would pass before Seles played competitively again. When she returned to the courts, she was granted a co-No. 1 ranking (shared with Steffi Graf) and won her comeback event at the Canadian Open, reached the US Open final, and followed up with her ninth Grand Slam singles championship at the Australian Open (1996).

Born December 2, 1973 in Novi Sad, in what was then known as Yugoslavia, she moved with her family to the United States in 1986 at the age of 12 to train at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy. On March 16, 1994, she became a U.S. citizen. Seles would play on the United States Fed Cup team for five years (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002) posting a career 15-2 singles record and a 2-0 doubles record while helping the Americans capture the Cup in 1996, 1999 and 2000.

Seles remains the youngest champion in history to win at Roland Garros (16 years, 6 months) and was the youngest winner of the Tour Championships (16 years, 11 months) beating Gabriela Sabatini in the first women's match to extend to five sets since the 1901 U.S. National final. In addition, Seles won the Olympic bronze medal in 2000. Throughout her career, Seles won numerous awards, multiple Player and Athlete of the Year awards, and humanitarian awards. She is an Ambassador for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, and also has a monthly spot on CBS This Morning, where she talks about healthy living and lifestyle.

A panel of International Tennis Media will vote on the Recent Player nominees. A 75% favorable vote is required for induction. The International Masters Panel, which consists of Hall of Fame inductees and individuals who are highly knowledgeable of the sport and its history, vote on the Master Player and Contributor nominees. To be inducted as a Master Player or a Contributor, an affirmative vote of 75% is required.

The date for the Class of 2009 Induction Ceremony is slated for Saturday, July 11th, in conjunction with the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships (July 6-12) in Newport, Rhode Island. The International Tennis Hall of Fame has inducted 207 people representing 18 countries since its establishment in 1954. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of tennis and its champions. For more information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum call 401-849-3990 or visit online at www.tennisfame.com.

Source (Complete Article)

U.S. Open - 40 Years of Champions

[08.25.2008]


Part 01 / Part 02

U.S. Open festivities to include a full serving of champs

[08.25.2008]

John McEnroe, Billie Jean King, Rod Laver, Chris Evert and Jimmy Connors have all heard the cheers on center court, and they will again Monday night.

Those former champions will be on hand tonight to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Open tennis at the United States championships in what should be a special evening. Arlen Kantarian, the head of the USTA, boasted that it will be the "greatest collection of tennis players in one place," and he could be right.

Monica Seles, Ivan Lendl, Tracy Austin, Martina Navratilova, Stan Smith, Boris Becker, Gabriela Sabatini, John Newcombe, Ilie Nastase, Guillermo Vilas and Mats Wilander will be on parade, as will former champions who are still active, including Roger Federer, Lindsay Davenport, Venus and Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Marat Safin and Andy Roddick.

Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf are not expected to be there, but Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe and her daughter Camera Ashe, will be on hand representing their late husband and father, Arthur Ashe, who won the first U.S. Open men's title in 1968.

Virginia Wade, who was the first women's champ, will also be there. Since major tournaments were opened to professional players in 1968, there have been 40 champions --39 are still alive.

The evening will also include music by Earth Wind and Fire and the Jersey Boys. When it is all over, Coco Vandeweghe, the niece of Nets GM Kiki Vandeweghe, will play No. 2 Jelena Jankovic, and James Blake will follow against Donald Young. Originally the plan was to have two former champions play, but then it was decided to have them participate in the celebration instead.

Despite the fact he's the best player in the world -- and a growing matinee idol at that -- No. 1 Rafael Nadal is not playing his first match at night. His match against Bjorn Phau is in Arthur Ashe Stadium in the afternoon, after Davenport's match against Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada.

The USTA says that over the next two weeks it will use 72,000 balls, will have over 700,000 paying customers and 90 million viewers worldwide.

Source

Bid on a Hitting Session with Monica Seles

[08.22.2008]

The 2008 Legends Ball will take place on September 5 at Cipriani 42nd Street during the US Open.

In addition to rubbing elbows with more than a dozen tennis legends, those attending the Legends Ball will have the opportunity to support the International Tennis Hall of Fame by participating in a live and silent auction of nearly 50 unique items, exotic vacation packages and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, including hit sessions with legendary tennis players Andre Agassi, Jim Courier and Monica Seles.

The 600+ tennis aficionados in attendance will have the opportunity to participate in the live and silent bidding. All proceeds from the auction will support the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Tickets to the Legends Ball are still available. Here's a look at some of the items up for bid:

Hit with the Pros

Tennis fans can enjoy a private hit session with Andre Agassi in Las Vegas; hit with Monica Seles in Sarasota, Fla; if bidders prefer to stay in NY City, they can hit with Jim Courier at the River Club. For those looking for lessons from a legend, former Grand Slam champions Mats Wilander and Tracy Austin have donated tennis lessons. And, for fans who want to rub elbows with a legend without getting tennis elbow, they can enjoy dinner for two at Cipriani Wall Street in New York with Hall of Famer Tony Trabert.

Grand Slam Vacations

2009 Australian Open Experience including four nights at the Hilton on the Park, invitations to the President's Lounge for the men's and women's finals; two tickets (Saturday & Sunday) to the Lexus Hospitality Suite at the 2009 Men's US Open Golf Championships in Bethpage, NY; two tickets to the TENNIS Magazine suite with a former US Open Champion at the 2009 U.S. Open Tennis Championships; two tickets to the 2009 French Open Finals. There are also nearly a dozen vacation packages to such exotic locations as Aspen, the Bahamas, Cabo San Lucas, Doha, Karma Bay Jamaica, Knysna South Africa and more.

The event, held annually since 1980, brings the tennis world together to celebrate the history of the game and honor some of the sport's great contributors, all while raising money for the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. A legendary line-up of tennis greats will be in attendance, including more than a dozen Hall of Famers, tennis dignitaries, the event's Player Co-Chairs Jim Courier, Monica Seles and Owen Davidson, plus Co-Chairs Phil de Picciotto, President of Octagon Athletes & Personalities, Alexander M. Seaver, Managing Director of Stadium Capital Management LLC, and Peter Palandjian, Chairman and CEO of Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation and a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame Board of Directors.

A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the third annual Eugene L. Scott Award to Hall of Famer Billie Jean King. The award honors an individual who embodies Scott's commitment to communicating honestly and critically about the game, and who has had a significant impact on the tennis world. The event will also recognize Sony Ericsson for the company's ongoing contribution to tennis with the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award. Last year, Rolex was recognized with the Cullman Award and in 2006, the French company BNP Paribas received the inaugural award.

For tickets, sponsorship opportunities, or to learn more about the event, call 212-843-1740 or e-mail legendsball@hgnyc.com. The mission of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, based in Newport, RI, is to preserve the history of tennis, inspire and encourage junior tennis development, enshrine tennis heroes and heroines and provide a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide.

Source

Monica on Only at the Open

[07.27.2008]

Monica's appearance on The Tennis Channel's "Only at the Open" which aired July 27, 2008.

Monica on Inside Tennis With The Koz

[07.18.2008]

This is the TV interview, from December 2007, that was supposed to be aired on The Tennis Channel but was never shown. Click here to view the original article from our news archives.

Source

Tennis Channel Debuts 'Only at the Open'

[07.16.2008]

Tennis Channel will premiere original series "Only at the Open" July 20.

The half-hour weekly show chronicles the most dramatic champions and championship moments in U.S. Open history. The first installment will highlight John McEnroe, with Monica Seles, Arthur Ashe, Steffi Graf and Tracy Austin to be featured in future episodes.

Each episode will feature clips and images from the United States Tennis Association's film library, as well as interviews from players, coaches, contemporaries, past tennis greats and members of the media.

Tennis Channel personality Bill Macatee will narrate "Only at the Open."

"The U.S. Open is more than just America's largest and most popular tennis event - it is the stage of many of the game's greatest battles and most exhilarating performances. We will capture these moments, as well as the passions and personalities of the players, in 'Only at the Open,'" Victoria Quoss, executive vice president of programming and network strategy for Tennis Channel, said in a statement.

Source

Mark McCormack Inducted into International Tennis Hall of Fame

[07.15.2008]

Longtime friend and client Monica Seles presented the late Founder of IMG for induction.

Newport, R.I. - The International Tennis Hall of Fame inducted one of William and Mary's favorite sons, the late Mark McCormack (Class of 1951), among its inductees for the Class of 2008 on July 12. Along with McCormack, the induction Class of 2008 was represented by Michael Chang, one of only three American men to capture the French Open singles title in the last 53 years, and Eugene L. Scott, the founder and publisher of the national tennis magazine, Tennis Week. The official Induction Ceremony was held on Bill Talbert Center Court at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I.

The presenting contributor for McCormack's induction was nine-time Grand Slam singles champion Monica Seles. In addition to being a sports client of IMG, Seles was a longtime personal friend of McCormack and his wife, Betsy Nagelsen. Including the Class of 2008, the International Tennis Hall of Fame has 207 individuals inducted, representing 18 countries.

McCormack was a four-year member of the varsity golf team during his time at William and Mary and later was a successful player on the national tours, qualifying for the U.S. Open and several U.S. and British Amateur events. McCormack was inducted in the W&M Hall of Fame in 1969 and the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2006. McCormack's honors from the College included a Doctorate of Humane Letters in 1997, the College's School of Business Medallion in 2000 and the Alumni Medallion in 1981.

An avid supporter of William and Mary athletics, McCormack donated millions of dollars over the years. In 1994, he and his wife, Betsy Nagelsen, funded the construction of the College's indoor tennis facility, the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center. The state-of-the-art facility houses the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Women's Hall of Fame, in addition to serving as the home of William and Mary's nationally renowned tennis programs. McCormack endowed scholarships for women's tennis and for the French department, in honor of his favorite professor Marcel Reboussin. Along with his generosity, McCormack also served as a member of the College's Board of. In 1993, he also chaired the College's successful fund-raising campaign, which raised $153 million.

After graduating from W&M with a degree in French in 1951, McCormack made his legacy as the Founder, Chairman and CEO of International Management Group, Inc. - IMG, the largest sports agency firm in the world. In 1990, Sports Illustrated magazine named McCormack "the most powerful man in sports". In 1999, ESPN's Sports Century series chose him as one of the "10 Most Influential People in the Business of Sport." Business Age magazine in 1994 said, "McCormack invented the sports business."

McCormack passed in May of 2003, and, at the time, then W&M President Timothy J. Sullivan said, "Mark McCormack was truly an honored son of the College. Few individuals in the course of their lifetime have the chance to see and feel and know the influence they have had on the quality and character of an institution. Mark's influence on William and Mary can be seen not only in the physical buildings he made possible by his generosity, but in the highest level of excellence he expected from his alma mater, and from those of us fortunate enough to call him friend."

Source

Moments That Changed The Game

[06.28.2008]

Source

HSBC Outlines Wimbledon Sponsorship

[06.11.2008]

Wimbledon sponsor HSBC USA Bank is activating its sponsorship of Wimbledon in New York City by bringing the grass-court experience to HSBC locations. The grassroots campaign includes appearances by nine-time grand slam champion Monica Seles and former world No. 1-ranked player Jim Courier, who will show up at HSBC branch locations around New York City and play tennis.

Tennis pro Justin Gimelstob will emcee the events while serving as chair umpire. During Wimbledon, street teams in traditional Wimbledon attire will distribute the traditional strawberries and cream Wimbledon fare from HSBC-branded carts at branch locations.

During the tournament, which runs June 23 to July 6, in-store videos will show Wimbledon highlights and "greatest moments." The bank will also launch a sweepstakes promotion dangling a VIP trip to next year's Wimbledon tournament--airfare, luxury accommodations, merchandise, included.

Finally, the bank is running a clinic for underprivileged kids on June 24 from the City Parks Foundation hosted by Jim Courier at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, Queens.

Kevin Martin, EVP/personal financial services at HSBC, says this is the first of a multi-year global sponsorship deal.

"Previously, we have done [programs around] golf," he says, adding that the company's global footprint includes retail-banking operations in the UK, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, India, Turkey and France. He says that in addition to New York, there will be efforts in six other countries including the UK, India and countries in the Middle East.

He says the bank has by far its most branches--some 400--in New York State, including 114 retail stores in the five boroughs of New York City. He says the company will expand in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Martin says Wimbledon is popular in the U.S. "Roughly half of the activity on Wimbledon.org is from North American fans. The great thing about tennis is its appeal scales single people and families and all levels of affluence. From our perspective, tennis reflects well on diversity, competition, personal values, some intense competitive game playing and strong spirit overcoming the tension of the moment."

Source

Tours still feeling the effect of Seles stabbing 15 years later

[04.30.2008]

It was just another changeover at just another tournament.

Monica Seles and Magdalena Maleeva walked to their chairs with Seles leading 4-3 in the second set of their Citizen Cup quarterfinal in Hamburg 15 years ago Wednesday, something they'd done hundreds of times previously.

Then Gunter Parche, an unemployed lathe operator, altered the course of tennis history and irreparably damaged Seles' career by plunging a knife into her back, just below the left shoulder blade. Seles staggered to the net, officials rushing toward her, before collapsing to the clay.

"I had no idea what was going on,'' Maleeva recalled this week. She was 18 at the time, a year younger than Seles. "I just saw her falling to the ground, and I was scared. I didn't see any blood. If I would have seen blood, I would have been very, very scared. It was a terrible feeling for Monica because something unjust happened to her.''

The tournament continued with Seles in hospital, and Maleeva lost to Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario the following day.

"When I look back, I was very surprised that we all went on the court the next day and played our matches as if nothing happened,'' said Maleeva, the youngest of three tennis-playing sisters and a former world No. 4. "I would have thought we should have all stopped playing. I think this would have been the better thing to do.''

Seles' wound eventually healed, although the youthful exuberance was gone. Having won seven of eight Grand Slams she entered from 1991-93, she took two years off and claimed only one more major. Parche, a Steffi Graf fan who wanted her to reclaim the top ranking, received a two-year suspended sentence.

Seles, hampered by foot injuries, retired in February.

"Like 9/11 changed the world, the Monica Seles incident changed tennis,'' said Micky Lawler, a member of the WTA Tour's board of directors and managing director of tennis at Octagon. "Once everyone had the opportunity to step back and take a breath, things had to happen. Tournaments had to expect much stricter and a higher standard of security. There was an overhaul on the way security was done.''

In the immediate aftermath, among other actions taken, security officers hovered behind the chair umpire, and pros, male and female, faced the ump at changeovers.

Fast forward to 2008, and the improvements continue.

At the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, the unofficial fifth Grand Slam that drew a tournament-record 297,011 fans in March and April and houses singles fields of 96, a six-foot barrier separates the stands and court. Security watches the players during breaks, and all four corners of the court feature staffers or monitors.

Between 300 and 400 people are used for security, with the number not changing much in recent years, said tournament director Adam Barrett. The composition is different. All have picture identification.

"People you're hiring to do the jobs have to be better trained than ever before,'' Barrett said. "They have to know about security, so while we still have similar numbers of bodyguards or escorts, these people need to be better trained and need a higher level to work these important security positions.''

Coordinating simple autograph sessions or getting a player from one location to another requires ample planning. Then there's trying to balance player safety with fan accessibility.

Getting on a player guest list is hard work.

"The player guest list has always been there,'' Barrett said. "Now at the Sony Ericsson Open, only the player can put someone on their list in person. If they have to do it by phone for whatever reason, it has to be that player and we have to be pretty well-assured that that player is the one on the phone.''

In February, the WTA Tour announced that background checks would become standard practice for people wanting access to secure player locations at events. In the last year, several men's players admitted they were asked to throw matches, an issue that gained prominence after the Nikolay Davydenko saga. Online betting company Betfair reported unusual wagering patterns in an encounter involving Davydenko and underdog Martin Vassallo Arguello at the Orange Prokom Open in Poland last summer. Most of the money was on Vassallo Arguello, and Davydenko retired in the third set. The ATP is still investigating the circumstances around the match.

"Five years ago we didn't have a person within the tour responsible for player security in all forms and that the players could go to confidentially,'' said Larry Scott, the WTA Tour's chairman and CEO. "We didn't have a task force.''

The fans have to be protected, too.

Major sporting events and venues suddenly became possible targets post-9/11, so an unattended bag or briefcase raises suspicions. (Bag checks are routine, for instance, at Wimbledon.)

"Are there more left behind than before? No,'' said Barrett. "Higher focus? Absolutely.''

While tournaments are essentially responsible for their own security, the WTA Tour uses the services of Control Risks, an independent firm that allows companies to manage strategic and operational risks. They monitor places where tourneys take place and give the tour in-depth analysis when needed, Scott said.

No matter what's implemented, it still can't guarantee that scenarios such as the Seles stabbing won't happen again.

"When someone is so crazy, I don't know if anything can stop them,'' Maleeva said.

Source

Seles(tial) afternoon of tennis

[04.13.2008]

Monica Seles hits a return during the 14th annual Legends of Tennis at Alvernia.

There were easily more laughs and chuckles than grunts Saturday at the Alvernia Physical Education Center as Berks County was entertained by tennis professionals Monica Seles, Corina Morariu, John Isner and Johan Kriek at the 14th annual Legends of Tennis event.

Seles, fresh out of her dancing shoes from her recent appearance on Dancing with the Stars, and the other tennis stars made the afternoon exhibition a memorable one for eight local scholastic players who got the chance to play alongside and across the net from the pros.

Qualifiers Emily Broadbent and Shawn Bittinger of Exeter, Victoria Foanio and Ally Balaci of Holy Name, Michael Meyer of Conrad Weiser and Zach Simon of Wyomissing joined four-time Berks girls singles champion Martha Blakely and two-time boys singles champion Tommy Meyer in the exhibition.

The event, which benefits the Berks County Chapter of the American Red Cross, has raised more than $750,000 over its 14-year history.

Source

Legends coming to town

[04.10.2008]

Monica Seles is the headliner for the 14th annual event that benefits the Berks Chapter, American Red Cross.

Only a few weeks ago tennis great Monica Seles was "Dancing with the Stars."

This weekend Seles will be in town as the headliner for the 14th annual American Red Cross Legends of Tennis event, which features eight Berks scholastic players playing tennis with the stars.

John McEnroe, Chris Evert, Ivan Lendl, Martina Navratilova, Rod Laver, Tracy Austin, Ken Rosewall, Virginia Wade and Roy Emerson are among the many former greats who have come to Berks County for the event, which has raised more than $750,000 for the Berks chapter.

This weekend Seles will be joined by John Isner, Johan Kriek and Corina Morariu in the two-day event that culminates with an exhibition, featuring the scholastic players Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Alvernia College's Physical Education Center.

The event has been modified this year to a World Team Tennis format - women's and men's singles, women's and men's doubles and mixed doubles. That will allow four more scholastic players to participate than in the past.

Exeter's Shawn Bittinger, Conrad Weiser's Mike Meyer and Wyomissing's Zach Simon, who are currently involved in their spring season, earned spots for Saturday's event by gaining the most points out of eight boys competitors recently in a round-robin doubles event.

Simon defeated Spartans teammate Sean MacAusland in a 12-point tiebreaker after the two had tied for third.

Exeter's Emily Broadbent and Holy Name's Victoria Foanio and Ally Balaci qualified from their eight-player girls field.

"I've never experienced anything like this before, so I'm pretty excited," said Bittinger, a junior. "The fact that I'm going to actually be on the court playing with professionals and against them is exciting. It will be a great experience."

Berks singles champions Martha Blakely of Wyomissing and Tommy Meyer of Conrad Weiser will play singles in the event.

Blakely, the three-time state singles champion, gets the opportunity to hit with her idol.

"Monica Seles has always been my idol," said Blakely, a senior headed for Virginia Tech in the fall who is keeping in shape this spring by running on the track team. "I am uber-pumped to get the chance to play with her, just to meet her."

Blakely nearly missed out on the opportunity.

Soon after winning her third PIAA singles title, she had wrist surgery at Methodist Hospital in Philadelphia in December to shorten the ulna bone in her right arm.

The surgery has become more common for tennis players with two-handed strokes.

Blakely's surgeon, Dr. Randall Culp, who operated on Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley last season, gave her clearance to resume playing last week.

"I was a little scared, but knew I was in very good hands," said Blakely, who played with John Lloyd and McEnroe in the 2005 Legends event when she was 14. "I'm playing again. It feels great. I'm just getting back my strength."

Seles was just 16 when she won the French Open. When she was 17, she became the youngest player to be ranked No. 1 in the world.

She won 53 singles titles, six doubles titles and nine Grand Slam championships. Her last Grand Slam title, the Australian Open in 1996, came nearly three years after her career was interrupted by a deranged fan, who stabbed her in the back at a tournament in Germany.

Now 34, she officially announced her retirement from professional tennis earlier this year.

Tommy Meyer, who will attempt to win his third straight county singles title this month, will play singles against Isner, a 6-9 giant known for his booming serve. He reached his highest career ranking at No. 84 within the last week.

"It will be a rude awakening for me," said Meyer, who could make a decision on his college choice in the next few weeks. "I'm nervous and excited."

Joining Seles and Kriek as part of one team will be Broadbent, Balaci and the Meyer brothers. Teamed with Morariu and Isner will be Blakely, Foanio, Bittinger and Simon.

The other players from the qualifier - Fleetwood's Ashley Karli and Nick Desiderio, Gov. Mifflin's Alyssa Gleason, Reading High's Danielle White and Henry Ben, Schuylkill Valley's Jen Moll and Wyomissing's Kate Herman, Dan Malloy, Alex Grimm and MacAusland - will get the opportunity to play with the pros Friday in a high-performance clinic at Spring Valley.

Source

Monica Seles on GMA

[03.26.2008]

DWTS eliminates Jillette & Seles

[03.26.2008]

Magician Penn Jillette and his partner Kym Johnson and former professional tennis player Monica Seles and her partner Jonathan Roberts were revealed to be the first two couples eliminated from Dancing with the Stars' sixth season during last night's live results show broadcast on ABC.

Penn and Kym were eliminated because the Penn & Teller: Bullshit! magician had the lowest combined score among the six male celebrity participants based on the judges' scores from last Monday night's performance episode, this Monday night's performance episode and home viewer votes cast following both broadcasts.

"I want to make it very clear -- we are not giving up. We're going to rehearse all week and we're going to be back in the parking lot for those who can't get in," joked Penn after his ouster was revealed. "There's no way my dance career ends now... There's a whole world of dance outside of this."

"I'm going to miss so much about Penn. He's been such a joy to work with," added Kym. "He taught me some magic tricks, which has been great, and he's just been so much fun."

Monica and Jonathan were eliminated because the nine-time Grand Slam winning professional tennis player had the lowest combined score among the six female celebrity participants based on the judges' scores from last Tuesday night's performance episode, this Monday night's performance episode and home viewer votes cast following both broadcasts.

"I've never danced before and I'm a huge fan of dance now," said Monica after her elimination was revealed. "I look forward to continuing, and I want to thank Jonathan because he's made every single day for the past five weeks a lot of fun."

Penn and Kym performed a cha-cha-cha routine during Dancing with the Stars' premiere broadcast last Monday night and the judges scored it a 16 out of a possible 30 points -- placing them only one point ahead of radio personality Adam Carolla and his partner Julianne Hough, who had the lowest score of any of the six male couples who performed.

"I've got to say Penn, I thought you captured the flavor of the cha-cha-cha," commented judge Len Goodman. "It was fun. It was entertaining... Your problem is your feet -- that is a real big problem in a dance competition. You've got to try to work on the technique of your footwork."

Fellow judge Bruno Tonioli compared the routine to a trailer for the movie, Shrek Goes Cha-cha-cha.

"Unfortunately the footwork was very, very heavy and the hip action was more like replacement hip action," he added. "You've got to refine it. You've got to try to be lighter on your feet."

Dancing with the Stars third judge Carrie Ann Inaba agreed with Len and Bruno that Penn has a lot of energy and a great attitude, but also thought his footwork was lacking.

"The truth is you've got to work a little but on you footwork -- we do see your feet -- and you've got monstrous feet there," she said.

Penn and Kym then performed a quickstep routine during this Monday night's performance episode broadcast, and the Dancing with the Stars judges scored it a 17 out of 30 possible points, which was the lowest score of any of the six male couples.

"When you're doing illusions, you have to convince the public that what you're doing is the real thing," said Len. "By in large, I thought you convinced me that you were having a go at a proper quickstep... But Penn, you're feet are terrible."

Bruno commented Penn's tricks during the routine -- a tie that moved on its own -- wasn't enough to get him "out of this mess."

"The footwork was really, really, really bad," said Bruno.

"Three realies!" answered Penn. "You modified it three times!"

"Atrocious..." answered Bruno.

Carrie Ann once again agreed the footwork was "not so good," but said she enjoyed Penn as a performer.

"You are so entertaining!" she said. "I enjoy watching you."

Monica and Jonathan performed a foxtrot routine during last Tuesday night's performance episode broadcast, and the Dancing with the Stars judges scored it a 15 out of 30 possible points -- the lowest score of any of the six female couples who performed and tied with Adam and Julianne for lowest overall.

"Monica, I love the fact that you set off a beautiful, romantic tone for the dance -- which is absolutely right -- a Grace Kelly-like feel," said Bruno. "Unfortunately, as the dance progresses, it turned a little bit into Grace Adler."

Bruno suggested Monica "engage her core," which would help her technique. Len agreed with Bruno on both points -- he liked the romantic aspect of the routine but also noticed her core was lacking.

"I'm surprised, because as a tennis player I thought you'd have a really strong core," he said.

"I think it takes a lot of confidence for someone like you because this obviously doesn't come very easy for you," added Carrie Ann. "But you've gone out there and you went for it. There's a beautiful delicateness that I'd like to see develop with you."

Monica and Jonathan then performed a mambo routine during this Monday night's performance episode broadcast, and the Dancing with the Stars judges once again scored it a 15 out of 30 possible points -- the lowest score of any of the six female couples and lowest overall.

"Monica, you know I love you, but I have to tell the truth," said Bruno. "It seems to me sometimes you're running on alternating currents. Either you're on, or you're off, or you're on, of you're off. You have to connect to the music. You have to manage to feel it and be on it."

Carrie Ann said it's evident Monica was "struggling" with the routine but liked her attitude.

"You came out and you attacked it. You were really going for it," said Carrie Ann. "This is a huge step for you."

"I can see that you're really out of your comfort zone," said Len. "It is a real pressure for you... It was a good job, you tried your hardest, but there's just so many technical problems at the moment."

Penn and Kym and Monica and Jonathan were then revealed to be eliminated during last night's live results show broadcast -- Dancing with the Stars first ever double elimination.

Source

Monica Seles on Jimmy Kimmel Live

[03.25.2008]

Monica Off Dancing with the Stars

[03.25.2008]

Monica Seles & Jonathan Roberts Voted Off Dancing with the Stars

Monica & Jonathan have been voted off of Dancing with the Stars.

Monica & Jonathan's Second Performance

[03.24.2008]

Seles Interview on Access Hollywood

[03.24.2008]

Monica's SELF Magazine Blog

[03.24.2008]


Monica & Jonathan rehearsing for tonight's mambo.

I've been thinking a lot about my core. At the last judging panel, I was told to work on it. Over the past week, in between mambo sessions with Jonathan, I've been trying to figure out how to present my core in the best possible light on the dance floor. Is there enough time to noticeably strengthen it? Should I do extra sit-ups? Dozens of daily plank poses? Walk around my house with a book balanced on my head? What dramatic measures can I take in less than a week to show off my core? And just what, exactly, is my core in the first place?

I've noticed that "core" has become a buzzword in fitness. Whether you're into pilates, yoga or weight training, everything seems focused on working, building and strengthening your core. Covering your abs, hips and lower back, it's your base for executing powerful moves and achieving balance and stability. No wonder it's become the fitness word du jour. But I've always thought of my core in a different way. For me, it is an unshakable sense of who I am. It's that inner voice that tells me I am doing OK. I am making the right choices. I am taking care of myself. I am being the best version of me.

Some days my core is as strong as a bull and I feel like I can't be stopped. On other days, it is like a whispering mouse and I have to work a little harder to get in touch with it. But no matter what is going on in my life, that core is always there. I look at this inner core as an emotional version of the fitness core. It provides me with a strong base to make powerful decisions in life, and without it I certainly wouldn't feel grounded or balanced enough to live my life to its fullest potential. A strong inner core gives you the courage to take risks (like dancing in front of millions of people) and propels you to greater heights (like executing a killer mambo in a short dress and heels). For this competition, these two cores are inextricably linked. I have to be in top physical condition to withstand six hours of practice a day (the three hours of preshow hair and makeup are far more painful!) and a strong body core is an integral part of the twists, turns, flips and shakes that professional dancers make look so easy (they aren't). But more importantly, a rock-solid inner core is absolutely essential when you are taking yourself out of your comfort zone and subjecting yourself to the scrutiny of strangers. The stronger I make my inner core, the more confidence I will exude on the dance floor. I've been working on it all week, and right now my core is feeling more like a bull than a mouse. Tonight will be fun.

- Monica Seles

Source (Click the Source link for a few photos!)

Two Interviews from Good Day LA

[03.23.2008]

Monica Seles on Good Day LA

After conquering the tennis world, grand slam tennis champ and former number one player in the world, Monica Seles, has now taken up dancing on "Dancing With The Stars". She chats with Good Day LA about the show and the grueling rehearsals. Click here to view the video.

Monica Seles on Good Day LA

After her appearance on Good Day LA, the former tennis champ sat down to dish the dirt on "Dancing with the Star" just for MyFOXLA.com. Check out what she had to say about her chances. Click here to view the video.

Monica & Jonathan Rehearsing for Monday

[03.22.2008]

Here's a short video of Monica & Jonathan rehearsing for Monday's Dancing with the Stars show.

Pro Players Wish Monica Good Luck

[03.22.2008]

Here's a short video of current WTA & ATP players wishing Monica good luck on Dancing with the Stars.

Monica & Jonathan After the Show

[03.22.2008]

Here's a short video of Monica & Jonathan after dancing last Tuesday on Dancing with the Stars.

Monica Moves On To Mambo

[03.20.2008]

Monica Seles may have caught some criticism for her performance on the first round of Dancing With The Stars on Tuesday night, but she isn't letting that dampen her enthusiasm.

"The less than perfect scores from the judges couldn't dampen my mood," Seles said. "I'd done something I never thought I could do. Tennis and ballroom dancing may not be crossover sports but if there's one thing I've learned over the years it's how to stage a fierce comeback."

Seles said she's eager to get back to work with partner Jonathan Roberts.

"Thankfully I have the best mixed doubles partner a girl could get," Seles said. "Jonathan gives new meaning to the word patient and he doesn't let me stop until I get it right."

After her nerve-wracking debut she says: "The first thing I thought was, I can't wait to do this again. I practically skipped on my way backstage. I'm off to rehearsal now —there's a Mambo waiting to be nailed on Monday."

Source

Monica Seles working on memoir

[03.19.2008]

NEW YORK (AP) - Former tennis great Monica Seles is working on a memoir.

She said in a statement Wednesday that she hopes 'to share how I found balance, strength and happiness in my life after a rollercoaster ride of exhilarating accomplishment and sometimes overwhelming tragedy'.

The book, currently untitled, will be published in 2009 by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA).

Seles, 34, won nine Grand Slam tournaments and as a teenager was the top-ranked women's player for three years, in the early 1990s. But she is also known for one of the sport's most bizarre and terrifying incidents: In April 1993, at a tournament in Hamburg, Germany, she was stabbed in the back by a man who climbed out of the stands.

Seles returned to the game 27 months later and immediately reached the 1995 U.S. Open final. Her final Grand Slam title then came at the 1996 Australian Open. She did reach two more major finals but was hampered by a left foot injury. Her last match was a first-round loss at the 2003 French Open. She officially retired last month.

Seles, who has struggled with weight problems, is currently a contestant on the hit ABC series 'Dancing With the Stars.'

'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,' her publisher, Avery, said in a statement.

'Cutting through the fog of sadness, fear and frustration that made Seles overweight and unhappy, today she looks and feels better than ever and has created a life in balance.'

Source

Monica & Jonathan After Dancing

[03.19.2008]

Here's a short "behind the scenes" video of Monica Seles & Jonathan Roberts after dancing Tuesday night on Dancing with the Stars.

Cojo Scores 'Dancing' Stars

[03.19.2008]

Cojo gives Monica Seles Sexiest Dancer Award!

Cojo, from The Insider, was backstage with the 'Dancing' stars and gave out his own scores! He gave Monica the "sexiest dancer" award!

Source

Monica's 'Dancing with the Stars' Blog

[03.19.2008]

The first dancing steps of an amateur

By Monica Seles
Special to MSN TV

Hi everyone!

After four long grueling weeks of rehearsals, tonight I will make my "Dancing with the Stars" debut! My partner is the wonderful Jonathan Roberts who is such a gentleman and remarkable dancer. We are dancing the foxtrot and after rehearsing for 6 hours a day, every day, it's all I've been sleeping and dreaming.

The dance floor is completely foreign to me. I have no musical background and no dance experience, so learning the choreography has been a challenge. I'm using a whole new set of muscles and techniques. In tennis you wear a stoic face and don't let your opponent see any emotions, while dancing is opposite. It's all emotions and Jonathan's been trying to get that out of me.

There is so much for me to remember - the footwork, the posture, and smile. At first I didn't know my right foot from my left. But now I am ready to rise to the occasion.

Tonight is my night to be a girlie girl - I'll put on my heels, the fancy dress, the hair, the makeup and of course I will spray tan for the first time in my life! I am ready to be twirled around and shake body parts I never had to shake before.

I am having a great time and enjoying the process. As you can see from watching the men last night, everyone is really tough competition this season. But it would be really wonderful to see a female win. So be sure to watch tonight and VOTE! I know I'm going to have a blast!

-Monica

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Ladies Take the 'Dancing' Stage

[03.19.2008]

The women of "Dancing with the Stars" are stepping up the game! A graceful Priscilla Presley, leggy Shannon Elizabeth and perky Marissa Jaret Winkokur set the pace for the competition and totally rocked the stage. Then there's the natural; Olympic Gold Medalist Kristi Yamaguchi -- whose cool style was a perfect 10 -- making Kristi the clear frontrunner! "One of the best performances I've ever seen," judge Bruno Tonioli gushed.

Priscilla proved she's still got moves at age 62, and judge Carrie Ann Inaba told her, "You just proved to so many people that age is just a number."

Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin's passionate Cha Cha inspired the judges, who gave her 22 out of 30 points. Marlee's performance garnered the season's first standing ovation, with Bruno telling her, "You may not hear but the music is running through your blood." And it turns out all that dancing is doing her body good! "I've lost fifteen pounds," she told "Extra."

Tennis ace Monica Seles may be a pro on the court, but judges made it clear she needs to punch up her game on the dance floor. "This obviously does not come easy for you," Carrie Ann told her. Then Monica broke down in tears with "Extra" backstage and admitted, "It's just so harsh. I'm not used to it." Carrie Ann revealed exclusively to "Extra" that Monica may be the first to go, explaining she's in the bottom among the women - though she hopes she won't be. "She is what the show represents. It's people who don't dance at all coming out and trying something new."

As for the men, "Adam Carolla is in the bottom," Carrie Ann said. "Dancing" fans will know if she's right - on next week's double elimination night.

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Monica Pretty In Pink

[03.18.2008]

Seles Interview on Access Hollywood

[03.18.2008]

DWTS Monica Seles Montage

[03.18.2008]

We are so excited about Monica being on Dancing with the Stars! Here is a video montage of Monica's appearances on the first episode. There are a few cute clips of Monica in the opening of the show. Monica will be performing with her partner Jonathan Roberts tomorrow night. Good luck Monica & Jonathan!

Please excuse the audio/video being out of snyc.

Monica Seles Makes a Match on DWTS

[03.17.2008]

Jonathan Roberts & Monica Seles

MONICA SELES and JONATHAN ROBERTS are all geared up for their "Dancing with the Stars" foxtrot when the competition returns to the airwaves on Monday, March 17 on ABC.

"I need all the help I can get," Monica told "The Insider." "In three weeks, [it is hard] to learn something and go in front of America on national television."

The tennis champ says that when the show called and asked her to be a part of it, it only took her a few seconds to say yes.

"I haven't regretted it since then, except for the first two weeks -- every single day," she jokes.

This is the first time that Jonathan, who was partnered with MARIE OSMOND last season, has danced with an athlete -- and he says there is quite a difference.

"Where often the celebrities run out of energy and are too tired, Monica has no problem with stamina, but actually flexible moving and rhythm is a different challenge," he explains.

A self-professed tomboy, Monica acknowledges that Jonathan is accurate in his comments on her skills, but, even so, she is looking forward to her debut.

"For me as a tennis player, I never got to go to my prom, so this is my way to be girlie girlie, wear all the beautiful dresses and the makeup, and learn something so different from tennis that without the show I never would have learned," she says.

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Guttenberg & Seles Get Ready to Dance

[03.17.2008]

Steve Guttenberg & Monica Seles

STEVE GUTTENBERG and MONICA SELES were in a great mood on Friday as they chatted up their upcoming debuts on "Dancing with the Stars."

"I never set a foot in a dance studio," Monica admits to ET. "The first two weeks were really rough. I was trying to come up with ways to get out of it -- fake an injury -- but the last few days, I am enjoying it and having a lot of fun."

When the competition begins on Monday night, Steve will be partnered with ANNA TREBUNSKAYA, and Monica will be taking to the floor with JONATHAN ROBERTS. Both couples will be doing the foxtrot for their first dance -- and they are looking forward to all the glamour and glitter that comes with a performance.

"As a tennis player, you are a tomboy," Monica points out. "I never got to go to my prom because I was playing in the French Open. This is my chance to dress up and be really girlie, girlie."

And Steve jokes, "I wear sequins and spandex in my normal life, so I have no problem with sequins and spandex. It is a little itchy on the underwear. You have to wear them on the outside."

"Dancing with the Stars" premieres on Monday, March 17 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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Tennis Channel With Seles 'Stars' Turn

[03.16.2008]

Network To Chronicle Grand Slam Winner's Experience On ABC 'Dancing' Series

By Mike Reynolds

She had punishing two-handed forehand and backhands. Now, we'll get to find out if Monica Seles can do the two-step.

Jonathan Roberts and Monica Seles on ABC's Dancing with the Stars. The nine-time Grand Slam tennis champion is a contestant on the sixth season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars and fans will be able to keep up with her experiences via weekly interviews and question-and-answer videos on Tennis Channel and its Web site, www.tennischannel.com.

The youngest French Open winner in history (16 years, six months in 1990) begins her quest to wear the Dancing with the Star crown on Tuesday March 18 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT). Seles will perform a second routine on March 24 at 8 p.m., before the first two couples are eliminated from the competition the following night at the same time.

Following each episode, Seles will recount her week in a News & Notes short-form segment that will air repeatedly on Tennis Channel, which March 10 simulcast the NetsJets Showdown between Roger Federer and Pete Sampras from New York's Madison Square Garden, and its Web site until the next edition of Dancing with the Stars.

The network will solicit online questions from fans as well, which the tennis star will answer in a Web video each week. Additionally, Tennis Channel will post video well wishes from fans on www.tennischannel.com.

Tennischannel.com fan blogger James La Rosa also will be on the Dancing with the Stars scene, serving his offbeat observations of Seles and the series. Tennis Channel will give one fan two tickets into the show's Los Angeles studio audience, through a sweepstakes at the Web site.

"I'm excited to have this opportunity with Tennis Channel to tell fans about my experiences on Dancing With The Stars each week," said Seles. "It's great to have an outlet to stay in touch with the tennis community while I'm on the show, and I'm thankful for the network's support during the competition."

On Dancing with the Stars, Seles, partnered with instructor Jonathan Roberts, will compete against Priscilla Presley, Marlee Matlin, Jason Taylor, Kristi Yamaguchi, Adam Carolla (Comedy Central's The Man Show) Cristian de la Fuente, Shannon Elizabeth, Steve Guttenberg, Mario, Penn Jillette and Marissa Jaret Winokur.

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Mauresmo & Davenport on Seles 'Dancing'

[03.16.2008]

Here are two excerpts from recent articles asking Amelie Mauresmo and Lindsay Davenport about Monica Seles' upcomming appearance on Dancing with the Stars. Click on the source links for the full articles.

Amelie Mauresmo:

Q. You know, there's a show here called Dancing With the Stars, and Monica Seles is going to compete as a ballroom dancer. Do you know anything about that?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: A what?

Q. A ballroom dancer.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: What is that?

Q. It's a classical dance with a partner. (Speaking French.)
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Okay.

Q. It's a reality dance show. She has to perform every week as a dancer.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Like, is she learning to do that?

Q. She's learning with a partner, spending six to seven hours a day.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Oh, shit. Oh, yeah. She -- yeah.

Q. I was just kind of wondering what your thoughts are about it. I don't know if you can comment on it, but your thoughts about Monica competing as a dancer against other celebrities.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I don't really have a thought about that. I guess she probably wants to have fun and learn to dance, which is convenient, sometimes, but... Yeah. What can I tell you?

Q. Does that interest you?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: We don't have this show in France. Not yet, anyway.

Q. Would it interest you to watch her, see how she does?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Yeah, why not?

Q. Monday night.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: When?

Q. Monday night.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Okay. I'll try to think about it. What time? 8:00?

Q. 7:00.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Okay. Good. Early night. Good.

Lindsay Davenport:

If Davenport has her way, she won't be playing Monday night at the Pacific Life Open. That's because Davenport wants to be home watching her friend and tennis star Monica Seles in her debut on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

"I heard she's just doing so well, so I wish her all the luck," Davenport said. Davenport said she believes Seles can stay on the show for a few weeks.

"When people see her I think they'll be reminded of why they love her so much," Davenport said. "We'll be voting for her."

Source & Source

Dancing With The Stars Promo Photos

[03.05.2008]

Monica Seles promo photo from Dancing With The Stars.

Monica Seles & Jonathan Roberts promo photo from Dancing With The Stars.

We received these promo photos in several emails from fellow Monica fans so we decided to post them for everyone to enjoy. Click here to view more photos.

Remember Dancing With The Stars premieres on Monday, March 17, 2008 on ABC. Check your local listings for air times.

Short WTA Tribute Video

[02.23.2008]

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Dancing With The Stars Cast on Oprah

[02.21.2008]

Monica Seles and the cast of Dancing with the Stars were on the Oprah show today. However, Monica didn't get to say a single word. We can't believe Oprah didn't even attempt to speak to her on air. Monica does look great though! Enjoy the video.

Dancing With The Stars Cast on Oprah

[02.20.2008]

Monica Seles & Dancing With The Stars cast on Oprah.

Monica Seles and the cast of Dancing with the Stars will be on the Oprah show airing Thursday, February 21, 2008. Check your local listings for show times.

We will try to post a video clip from this show sometime after it airs tomorrow. Thanks Cristina for sharing this photo!

Monica Seles on Dancing With The Stars!

[02.18.2008]

ABC announces 'Dancing with the Stars' contestants

Monica Seles to appear on Dancing With The Stars!

Los Angeles, California - The new line-up of celebrity dancers for season six of Dancing with the Stars has been announced.

This year's dancers include an Oscar winner, Olympic Gold and Bronze medalist, and an NFL star.

The first episode airs Monday, March 17th.

Good Morning America will talk with cast member Priscilla Presley Tuesday morning, when the dance partners will be announced as well.

Season Six Celebrity Dancers:

MONICA SELES - Tennis champ, Monica Seles, is the holder of nine grand slam singles titles and was the top-ranked player in the world. She turned pro in 1989 at the age of fifteen and won her first grand slam championship, the French Open, just one year later. After a two-year absence from the tour in 1993 and 1994, Seles rose above adversity and returned to capture her final grand slam crown in 1996 winning the Australian Open. She holds an outstanding career win loss singles record of 595-122 and was ranked the13th greatest player of all time by Tennis Magazine. Her accomplishments also extend beyond the tennis court as Goodwill Ambassador for the Laures Sports Foundation and the Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Microalgae Spirulina Against Malnutrition (IIMSAM).

The other celebrities to appear on Season Six will include Adam Carolla, Cristian De La Fuente, Shannon Elizabeth, Steve Guttenburg, Mario, Marlee Matlin, Penn Jillette, Priscilla Presley, Jason Taylor, Marissa Jaret Winokur, and Kristi Yamaguchi. Click on the source link to read the full article and bio on each celebrity.

Update: Monica Seles will be partnered with Jonathan Roberts.

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Monica Seles Farewell Tribute

[02.16.2008]

Seles Announces Retirement

[02.15.2008]

Monica Seles retires February 14, 2008.She was so good at such a young age, taking the power game to a whole new level and displaying nerves of steel on the biggest stages. And when she returned to the game, she inspired a generation of players and fans all over again. Be it through her style, her resilience or her smile, she has been one of the most popular players in tennis history. And on February 14, 2008, Monica Seles announced her retirement from the sport.

Seles' rise to fame is well-documented - born in the former Yugoslavia, she relocated to America with her family in 1986 to train at the Bollettieri Tennis Academy, where she practiced for two years before starting to play the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Her style of play - powerful two-handed groundstrokes on both sides, acute angles and returning serve from inside the baseline - was a novelty at the time and took her to the very top of the game very quickly, as she became the youngest Roland Garros champion in history in 1990 (at 16 years, 6 months) and, at the time, the youngest No.1 in history on March 11, 1991 (at 17 years, 3 months, since passed by Martina Hingis). She dominated the Tour for the next two years, winning seven more majors and finishing at No.1 in 1991 and 1992.

Seles made an inspirational and successful comeback to tennis in the summer of 1995, winning her 33rd career title in Toronto and making it all the way to the final of the US Open before falling in three exciting sets to one of her greatest rivals, then-No.1 Steffi Graf. Although she won only one major after her return - the Australian Open in 1996, her ninth - Seles was still one of the very best throughout those comeback years, ranking in the Top 10 for all but four weeks between August 14, 1995 and March 17, 2003, building her career title haul up to 53 and notching wins over the players that were winning all of those majors at the time, including Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, both Williams sisters and Jennifer Capriati. Her last major final came at Roland Garros in 1998, just three weeks after the death of her father, Karolj, who had been her coach since the beginning.

Seles' last season on the Tour came in 2003, her best finishes being finals at Tokyo [Pan Pacific] and Dubai, losing competitive three set matches both times to Davenport and Henin, respectively. She withdrew from all tournaments after Roland Garros due to a left foot injury and over the next few years would keep to exhibition play, not ruling out a comeback to the Tour - until now.

"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. "I will continue to play exhibitions, participate in charity events and promote the sport, but will no longer plan my schedule around the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. I look forward to pursuing other opportunities with the same passion and energy that fueled my dedication to tennis and to devoting 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."

"Monica Seles is one of the great champions in the history of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, and an inspiration and role model for millions of fans throughout the world," said Larry Scott, Chairman & CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. "No one will ever forget the fierce determination and will to win that Monica brought to the court, nor the caring and warm person that she has always been off the court. Fans of women's tennis have no shortage of fond Monica memories and of amazing matches and rivalries that Monica was a part of. No doubt, Monica will soon find her rightful place at the International Tennis Hall of Fame for her many accomplishments on the tennis court."

Also among Seles' career accomplishments are:

- Holding nine Grand Slam singles titles (four at Australian Open, three at Roland Garros, two at US Open); last one was 1996 Australian Open; last time reaching final was 1998 Roland Garros (just three weeks after father's death - finished runner-up to Sánchez-Vicario); last one played was 2003 Roland Garros (lost first round to Nadia Petrova - was last match played).

- Youngest-ever winner of Roland Garros (16 years, 6 months).

- Youngest-ever winner of Tour Championships (16 years, 11 months).

- Holding 53 career Tour singles titles (ninth-most all-time).

- Holding No.1 for 178 non-consecutive weeks (fifth-most all-time); rose to No.1 for first time on March 11, 1991, becoming youngest-ever at the time (now second-youngest, passed by Hingis); year-end No.1 twice (1991, 1992).

- Earning $14,891,762 in career prize money (ninth all-time).

- Member of winning American Fed Cup Teams in 1996, 1999 and 2000.

- Winning seven of eight Grand Slams contested prior to 1993 stabbing; only Graf bettered that with eight of nine between 1988-1990.

Source

Monica Seles Announces Official Retirement From Professional Tennis

[02.14.2008]

Monica Seles retires February 14, 2008.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.

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Monica Seles: Take Charge Of Your Life

[02.13.2008]

Monica Seles dominated women's tennis for two-and-a-half years before she was stabbed in the back by a deranged spectator during a 1993 match in Hamburg, Germany.

It shocked the sports world.

Though she returned to the tour two years later, she never regained her top form.

During that time, her father -- her coach -- to whom she was very close, died.

The emotional scars Seles was dealing with led to a significant weight gain.

"I had a lot of inside emotional traumas going on," she told co-anchor Harry Smith Wednesday. "You could see that reflected in the body that I had."

Monica Seles on The Early ShowNow, though, Seles has shed those excess pounds.

And The Early Show's newest contributor is back in championship form off the court, spending much of her time in a mode she says is very important to her -- being a role model -- trying to empower young women to be all they can be -- and offering advice on getting and staying slim.

She wants girls to know her life wasn't always easy.

Several years ago, Seles decided to do a major life-check and deal with a lot of the issues that had, she says, been making her an emotional eater.

Her tips to get over tough times:

FIGURE OUT WHAT IS EATING YOU INSIDE: You need to figure out the problem that is causing you to eat.

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR OWN LIFE: Make your own decisions. There was a time in my life where everyone is making the decisions for me. I had to take charge.

BUILD EMOTIONAL STRENGTH: Believe in yourself and know you can do it. Be strong.

WORK OUT WITH A BUDDY: Seles doesn't like to work out and doesn't like trainers. She works out with a buddy.

DON'T OVERDUE EXERCISE: Three times a week -- cardio and strength -- is enough.

Her main advice?

"It's pretty much just to play any sport for young kids, especially girls," Seles told Smith. "I mean, in my case it was tennis, but if it's soccer or basketball -- just go out there and get fresh air in your lungs, because kids are really sedentary right now, and if you start like that at age 6 or 10, what's gonna happen as you get older? ... I had my periods where I was overweight, and I can really relate to both ends of it."

Source

Monica to be on Dancing with the Stars?

[01.29.2008]

Dancing with the Stars: Season 6 Rumors

While we have less than a month to wait for the new Dancing with the Stars lineup, we have nothing better to do with our time than to speculate who will be part of that big announcement. At one point, Tori Spelling's name was being thrown around but her pregnancy will keep her sidelined this season. Too bad for Dancing with the Stars, which apparently was looking to have a Beverly Hills 90210 cast member every season. There's always Luke Perry! This month, TV Guide and In Touch Weekly reported possible season 6 contestants. Here are the rumored cast members from several different sources.

TV Guide reported in their most recent issue that Cheryl Ladd and Monica Seles are possible celebrities to compete on Dancing with the Stars. Ladd is most famous for being Farrah Fawcett's replacement on Charlie's Angels in 1977. More recently, she appears on the NBC show Las Vegas, playing Jillian Deline, wife of Ed Deline, played by James Caan.

Keeping with the tradition that several current and former pro athletes are part of the show, Monica Seles' name has been thrown into the ring. Seles was once the number one tennis player in the world. She was the youngest winner of the French Open, at the age of 16. At the height of her career, she was attacked on the court by a spectator. She has had some success since but has never managed to capture the success that she once had.

In Touch Weekly reported this month that Kristy McNichol was also being considered for Dancing with the Stars season 6. An inside source told the magazine that McNichol fit the demographic of people who watch the show and also, brings along the nostalgia factor with her as part of the package. McNichol is a two-time Emmy Award winner for her work on the shows Family and Empty Nest in the 1970s and 1980s.

Other names that have been thrown out there include Florence Henderson of The Brady Bunch, Chyna, the former WWE wrestler and current resident on Celebrity Rehab, and Brooke Hogan, the Hulk's daughter.

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