Seles Honored In Toronto
Published August 17, 2009 12:00
TORONTO, Canada - One of the greatest players of all time, Monica Seles, was officially inducted into the Rogers Cup Hall of Fame at a special ceremony on Monday night at the 2009 edition of the $2-million tournament.
"As soon as I got the invitation, I said, 'Yes, I have to do this,'" Seles said. "I haven't played in ages, but the reception I got from the fans after I decided to come back here after being away from the sport for two and a half years, I'll never forget. The amazing times I had in Toronto... I always loved playing here."
"Monica is one of the tennis greats, and has a special place in Rogers Cup history," said Caroline Papadatos, Senior Vice President, Customer and Corporate Marketing Services, Rogers Communications Inc. "Throughout her illustrious career she has consistently shown world class talent, unmatched resilience and a love of the sport that has done much for tennis and the encouragement of young athletes all over the world."
Also on hand for the on-court presentation was Stacey Allaster, who recently succeeded Larry Scott as the Chairman & CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Allaster, who is Canadian, was with Tennis Canada for 15 years before joining the Tour in 2006.
The induction was only the ending of Seles' special night. She began by doing a group interview in front of fans alongside fellow legends Martina Navratilova and Serena Williams and rising star Aleksandra Wozniak, then joined the trio for an exhibition doubles match on Stadium court, where she and Wozniak, who idolized her as a child, lost to the Navratilova-Williams tandem, 6-3.
Seles won 53 singles titles on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, including four straight in Canada - in Toronto in 1995 and 1997 and in Montréal in 1996 and 1998. She fell one match short of five straight titles, losing to Martina Hingis in the 1999 title match. Seles officially retired from the Tour in 2008.