Monica Seles officially announced her retirement from tennis today. One of the greatest, and toughest, competitors the sport has ever seen, and one of my personal faves, Monica released the following statement through Tony Godsick, her IMG agent:
"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, [...] 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."Though she hasn't competed on the WTA Tour since a first round loss at the 2003 French Open, Monica was considering a comeback this year. But it wasn't meant to be. The 9-time Grand Slam champion will begin a new career in television as a news contributor for CBS' The Early Show.