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Ask tennis legend Monica Seles

September 8th, 2009
08:24 PM ET

When it comes to the great sporting comebacks of 2009 it would be hard to ignore that of female tennis player Kim Clijsters, who this week reached the semis of the U.S. Open - despite spending two years out of the game to start a family.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/08/art.monica.seles.getty.jpg caption="Send us your questions for women’s tennis legend Monica Seles."]Some may say that her victory indicates a lack of depth in the women's game; others that it just shows how easy it is to regain form and that a break from the circuit can often be good for sportsmen and women.

There are few better qualified people to answer such questions than a fellow pro – and Connect The World will be privileged to feature Monica Seles, one of women's tennis greatest stars on Wednesday.

During her career Seles won nine Grand Slam titles and was the youngest ever champion at the French Open in 1990 at the age of 16, the first of three triumphs at that tournament. She also took the Australian Open four times and the U.S Open twice.

Only Wimbledon, where she lost in the final in 1992 to Steffi Graf, eluded her. But at the height of her career in 1993 Seles was stabbed in the back by a fan of Graf's and temporarily forced out of the game. While she enjoyed some success on her return, she never quite recovered the form which so dominated major tennis tournaments during the early 1990s.

What does the return of Clijsters means for women's tennis? How does the women's game compare to that of the men's circuit when it comes to the major tournaments? What's it like to do battle at Wimbledon and Flushing Meadow, Roland Garros and Melbourne Park?

Send your questions to Monica Seles below and we will feature as many as possible on Wednesday's show.

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Kathie Daniel, Barbados

    How does the game today compare to 1993? Is there the same level of commitment from the players, especially the women? Today's women players seem to be less consistent – the rankings seem to change weekly... The men seem to be more on an even keel – Federer, Nadal, Murray on top, with a couple of others nipping at their heels.
    I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:19 am | Reply
  2. Jamie

    Monica,

    Much like any other job, does it get tiring to go out and play everyday? We get to play tennis for recreation, every weekend or so, and it is fun. How hard is it to stay focused after it has become a job and not a hobby?

    Thank you

    SGT Jamie Bennett
    US Army, Iraq

    September 9, 2009 at 3:22 am | Reply
  3. pramok

    Hi Monica,

    I would say you were one of the greatest and very aggressive player of your generation. Who is currently in similar form and style as you were in your peak. Do you reckon there is a possible female Roger Federer in making on current circuit ? Thanks and Best to You...............

    Pramok
    Kathmandu – Nepal.

    September 9, 2009 at 4:04 am | Reply
  4. Adam

    Isn't it about time women started playing best of 5 set matches in grandslams?. Why in this day and age, with women competing in marathons and triathelons, are they still playing only 3 sets?. If it is a matter of fitness, then that is a sad indictment of womens tennis. With equal prize money, equal length matches should also of come.

    September 9, 2009 at 5:40 am | Reply
  5. Graeme H.

    Hi Monica, I've been a huge fan for many many years now. I've just finished reading your book and wanted to tell you how much I admire you for your ability to be so honest with such personal issues. It took a person of great inner strength to put those words to paper. I was just wondering if you had any plans on continuing your writing career. You are well loved by your fans, both old and new, and I know that a great many people would be keenly interested in reading more from you.

    September 9, 2009 at 5:47 am | Reply
  6. nnamdi

    I still see Monica Seles as the person that would have been the greatest tennis player of all times.

    I think that if she were not stabbed, she would have won more than twenty grand slams in her splendid career.

    It is time that other players that played with her at the time speak out and give her the honour and compliments that she deserves.

    September 9, 2009 at 7:18 am | Reply
  7. Daniel van Rooyen

    Monica Seles was truly the best professional female tennis player in the early 1990's and her fantastic achievements certainly reflect this. She brought new depth and excitement to the game and her superior style of play definitely added new levels of competitiveness to the professional tour. The schocking stabbing incident in 1993 was just horrendous and I will always wonder how many more title and grand slams she may have won if this incident never happened. Monica: In what way do you think did your style of play, mental tenacity, unique skills and overall match competitiveness influence the game as it is today? In my opinion you are the ultimate tennis legend and your legacy to tennis is definitely unparalleled. We miss you!

    September 9, 2009 at 7:19 am | Reply
  8. Raluca Ciochina

    Do you still have emotional ties to your home country Serbia (Former Yugoslavia)?

    September 9, 2009 at 7:48 am | Reply
  9. Balazs Erdei

    Ms. Seles, you were applauded by sports fans all over the world with the greatest hype coming from Croatia and Hungary. How much cultural heritage do you view as your own from the two countries?
    Thank you and all the bests in your present and future endeavours!

    September 9, 2009 at 7:54 am | Reply
  10. Tasadduq Mukhtar

    I think it's often possible to regain form if the lull period is not stressful in some way. It also depends on the athlete's motivation level, for such a come back would need extraordinary focus and hard work.

    September 9, 2009 at 8:36 am | Reply
  11. Jason

    Hi Monica

    Has there been a real lack of depth in the Women's game over the past 3-5 years? Or has the Williams sisters taken the Women's game to an extremely different level, where the rest of the pack just can not reach? I really feel the William's sisters have introduced a power to the point where they will continue to dominate, especially in the Slams, for least another 3-5 years. What are your thoughts?

    Secondly, the points system on the WTA rewards players for high levels of consistency in tournaments. However, should there be a greater reward for the Grand Slam Champions? Being a Slam winner must truly be the ultimate goal of any tennis player, besides being World No.1. Consistently excellent results in the grand slams, truly, must have some greater reward than just continuously winner the smaller tournaments.

    September 9, 2009 at 8:37 am | Reply
  12. ashok kumar

    Immediately after the Hamburg attack, what did you think about Graff?

    September 9, 2009 at 8:41 am | Reply
  13. anna

    Is there are difference between the Monica Seles before here attack at the tenniscourt and after that? As well on the tenniscourt, but maybey also in youre private life?

    September 9, 2009 at 9:04 am | Reply
  14. Roland Choo

    Hi Monica,

    Great to have an avenue to write to you.

    Despite myself not being a great fan of Tennis. I did watched many of your matches where you simply devastated your opponents and consistently defeated your no.1 contender Steffi Graf. I do agree that had it not been that stabbing incident, you would have overwhelmingly outshone every women tennis player from last century until today (based on percentage of wins in professional circuit, any truth to this statement?).

    I know the stabbing had rob you both physically and emotionally. Can you please tell us how have you cope and overcome them?

    GOD bless.

    September 9, 2009 at 9:27 am | Reply
  15. Ezedinma

    It's all about commitment and the 'yes i can' attitude with this two flare even a 40 year old professìonal tennis player can make a comeback/return. Clijster as only set the pace.

    September 9, 2009 at 9:34 am | Reply
  16. ketsanee

    clijsters backed – and u?
    i think you might do it very good as well as her!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:24 am | Reply
  17. Thomas Andersen

    Boy, what I would give to see you back on court!!

    ... and a doubles team of you and Steffi Graf, WOW!

    You made tennis worth watching!!

    All the Best to you, Monika!

    September 9, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  18. Leandro Esposto

    I am Brazilian, and saw you play a few times. There was no time at that time showed that channels tennis games. Here in Brazil, see more football. When a Brazilian as Guga arises, remember that there is a sport of tennis. But you have been fantastic as a player. Do you have any desire to play some charity match?

    So, my english is not very good! there may be some errors in grammar! I hope you can understand! A big hug from your big fan.

    All the Best to you, Monika!

    Leandro.

    September 9, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  19. John van Breugel

    Hi Monica,

    As you were born in Eastern Europe yourself, why do you think that in the last decade, the Eastern European women have made such a bog mark on the WTA circuit.

    PS. How about a demonstration match against Steffi??? Would love to see that!

    September 9, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  20. Madhur

    What is your best memory from the tour ? And whose game do you admire among the women's game today ?

    September 9, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  21. Hany

    Hi Monica:

    As an old fan of you, I share the same thoughts, ideas, feelings, with all above comments.

    One thing I really wished for is that the Tennis Federation should have stopped Graf from playing after your accident.

    You and Sampras will always be my all-time heros. Can you guess what you have in common?

    September 9, 2009 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  22. BNS

    If you could get the physical of the year 1990 back, do you think you could easy keep your champion title in face of new adversaries with some new techniques today ?

    September 9, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  23. cora

    Hi, Monica. I will love to know what are you doing now? where do you live? are you dating someone? Please , let me know about your current life......

    September 9, 2009 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  24. RAIYAN

    HOW MANY PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE DO YOU THINK WATCH TENNIS THE GAME AND HOW MANY WATCH TENNIS THE TENNIS FOR INTEREST IN TENNI STAR MONICA/

    September 9, 2009 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  25. RAIYAN

    big fan too.any marriage plans

    September 9, 2009 at 8:49 pm | Reply
  26. Alfonso

    Hi Monica!

    Someday, when you've settled down, would you encourage your kids to take up tennis, too?

    If your kids want to play competitive tennis, would you coach them like your dad did?

    Best of luck to you!

    September 12, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  27. Kamu

    I am not really a fan of any tennis players. I read an article about you,by cance, and have become your fan. You are a great human being. God bless you.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Reply

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