Fairport, NY-- Monica Seles has been playing tennis her whole life. At 16, Seles was the youngest player ever to win the French Open.
She's now retired but still on top of her game. She now spends her time giving lessons and advice to young players and raising money for charity.
Her visit to Rochester benefitted children with disabilities at Happiness House.
Seles spoke to fans at the Tennis Club of Rochester and practiced with young players and pros.
She shared the highs and lows of her tennis career, including the 1993 stabbing, which took her away from the sport she loved for two years.
Seles was stabbed in the back on the court in Hamburg, Germany, by an obsessed Steffi Graf fan.
She says it was the most painful moment in her life.
When she returned to tennis at the age of 21 and won her first match, she says the headlines didn't mention the win, only the fact that she had gained 30 pounds.
Seles says she struggled to lose the weight but describes it as an emotional rollercoaster.
The other painful time in her life? Having to retire at the age of 30. Seles says: "In my case I decided I had a wonderful career, but my body was giving up."
She says she still loves playing tennis and has gradually lost 44 pounds since she retired.
In her book, Getting A Grip, she shares her life story, including how she has learned to eat in moderation. She says she loves pasta and bread and loves to eat. But now eats normal quantities of her favorite foods and keeps what she calls "trigger foods" out of the house.
She loves giving advice to young players. She tells them: "Practice as much as you can on clay courts, because of your joints and limit the time you are hitting."
Seles says her early years of grueling practices took its toll on her body but, she is enjoying life after retiring from tennis.
Ty Coppola, a student at the School of The Holy Childhood, got the chance to meet Seles and present her with a bouquet of flowers. Ty receives services through Happiness House.
Seles spent three hours at the Tennis Club of Rochester and finished off the visit by signing copies of her book.
She credits her parents for keeping her grounded while she was a rising star. She says they kept her from getting a big head by reminding her that first she had to focus and win the game.
She says one of the challenges of being in an individual sport like tennis, is that you don't meet a lot of friends, just competitors.
Now in retirement, she says she is friends with her former rivals.
She also recalled her Bronze Medal from the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Seles says it was the best experience. Not just competing and winning a bronze medal, but spending time with the other athletes in the Olympic Village.