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Slam champ Seles elected to Hall of Fame

sports Updated: Jan 16, 2009 10:54 IST

AFP
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Nine-time Grand Slam singles champion Monica Seles was among four people named as 2009 inductees to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Joining the former world number one here in the honor shrine at ceremonies on July 11 at an ATP event will be 1960s Spanish player Andres Gimeno, pioneer marketer Donald Dell, who helped launch the careers of black players Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe, and the late Robert Johnson, a junior player developer.

Seles, 35, sat atop the WTA rankings for a total of 178 weeks and won the 1991 and 1992 US Opens, the 1990-1992 French Opens and the 1991-1993 and 1996 Australian Opens.

Her 15-year career was interrupted in dramatic circumstances when she was stabbed in the back by a fanatical supporter of rival Steffi Graf during a 1993 match at Hamburg.

It would be 27 months before Seles would return to competitive tennis. She won her comeback event at the Canadian Open, reached the US Open final and then captured her final Slam crown at the 1996 Australian Open.

The Yugoslavian-born American won 53 singles titles and more than 14 million dollars in prize money.

Seles, the 2000 Olympic bronze medalist, was the youngest champion in French Open history at 16 1/2 years.

Gimeno became the oldest French Open men's winner by taking the 1972 title at age 34. He also reached the 1969 Australian Open final and the semi-finals of the 1968 French Open and 1970 Wimbledon tournaments. He won seven singles titles and reached a best ranking of ninth in the early days of the Open era.