On This Day In 1991: Seles Becomes No.1
Published March 11, 2014 12:13
SARASOTA, FL, USA - It was one of the fastest rises ever - it had been barely three years since she played her first match - but on Monday, March 11, 1991, a fresh-faced, 17-year-old Monica Seles made it to No.1 in the world for the first time, becoming the youngest player ever to do so at the time.
And it was very deserved. Over the 12-month period that contributed to that No.1 ranking Seles had won 10 of 14 events, including a pair of Grand Slams at the 1990 French Open and the 1991 Australian Open, and 63 of 67 matches. Her only losses came at Wimbledon, the US Open and Tokyo in 1990 (to Zina Garrison, Linda Ferrando and Amy Frazier) and at Indian Wells in 1991 (to Martina Navratilova).
At 17 years, 3 months and 9 days, Seles was the youngest ever World No.1. She has only been surpassed by one player - Martina Hingis was 16 years, 6 months and 1 day when she did it.
Seles' rise put an end to another record - Steffi Graf had been No.1 for 186 consecutive weeks between August 17, 1987 and March 10, 1991, still the longest consecutive stint at No.1 in history.
A few throwbacks to March 11, 1991...
No.1 song on Billboard Hot 100 singles: Someday by Mariah Carey
No.1 album on Billboard 200 albums: Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey
No.1 movie at US Box Office: The Silence Of The Lambs
No.1 men's tennis player: Stefan Edberg
Another thing that happened on that day: Ayumi Morita, one of Japan's top players, turned a year old. And Morita is just one of the many current generation stars who play with Seles' playing style of two hands off both sides (there are three in the Top 100 - Peng Shuai, Monica Niculescu and Morita).