News & Features
Monica Seles - Two Handed Wonder
by Nick Bollettieri
, 9 March 2009
Monica Seles holds a special spot in this coach's heart. Her competitive spirit was second-to-none on the court, and she has always been equally genuine and kind off of it. Her professional accomplishments are numerous and impressive including achieving the ranking of #1 player in the world, winning numerous Grand Slam titles, and in 2009 she will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
As good as she was she certainly wouldn't have been the choice of many coaches to serve as a "textbook" player for others to emulate. Monica Seles had her own distinctive style on court that worked for her, but in most cases would work for few others. She hits with two hands from both sides, which only a few people in the world can do successfully at any level, especially as a professional.
As tennis players around the world know, playing two-hands from both sides isn't easy. In fact, if you review the rankings on both the WTA and ATP Tours the only two-handed playing woman in the top 20 is Marion Bartoli, and the only man that immediately comes to mind is "The Magician", Fabrice Santoro. To play with two hands today is even more difficult than it was when Monica was on the Tour.
Today's players are stronger, the balls are returned faster, and the shots are much more precise - difficult enough for one-handed play, almost impossible for most two-handed players. However, I believe if Monica were playing on the Tour right now, she could hold her own. For to play professional tennis today requires players with incredible hand-eye coordination and a strong work ethic - both of which she possesses.
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