From October 3, 1990, to March 18, 1992, Seles made it to the finals of 21 straight tournaments. Graf was still ranked number one in the world, but it seemed that the next great rivalry was in the works (people had loved watching Evert and Navratilova fight over number one in the early eighties). Seles took the Australian Open in 1991, once more making her mark as the youngest victor at a tournament. She repeated the event in Paris at the French Open, then in March ended Steffi Graf's streak of 188 weeks at number one, setting yet another record by becoming the youngest player, male or female, to hold the world number one ranking.
1991 was the year in which fans thought they'd see Seles do what only six other players in tennis history have done: win the Grand Slam (the Australian and French Opens, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open) in one year. Seles, however, mysteriously pulled out of Wimbledon, citing illness as the cause. The media rumor-mill started to churn, and there was speculation that she might be pregnant. Seles didn't give the press an answer they wanted, simply asking them, "What if I am?" (She wasn't.)
She returned to the U.S. Open later in the season and defeated Navratilova, who by then was twice Seles's age. The final was not Seles's toughest, but the first set looked as if Navratilova might win one more Grand Slam against the young phenom. After Seles won a grueling first set 7-6, however, she came back to easily win the second set 6-1.
As 1992 wound to a close, it appeared that Seles would reign as the queen of Women's Tennis for years to come. She was only 18, had already won a handful of Grand Slams, and had a number one ranking. She had just finished a season in which she won the Australian Open, and then faced Graf in one of the fiercest French Opens in history. The match saw the tide turn several times, and Seles won the first set 6-2, then lost the second 6-3. By the third set, Seles had flirted with defeat numerous times, but in the end came back and won 10-8, taking the match in what was the "hardest I've ever had to work for a Grand Slam title," she said in Sports Stars.
Famous Sports StarsTennisMonica Seles Biography - Growing Up, Trip To America, Young And Professional, Rises Fast, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments - CONTACT INFORMATION, SELECTED WRITINGS BY SELES: