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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Seles to Return as Co-No. 1, Thanks Martina

BALTIMORE, Maryland -- When Monica Seles returns to competitive tennis July 29 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, for an exhibition match against Martina Navratilova, she will come back to the game she loves as the co-No. 1 player in the world alongside Steffi Graf.


Seles, 21, was No. 1 when she was stabbed in the back 27 months ago at a tournament in Hamburg, Germany, by a fan of Graf's who wanted Graf to regain the top ranking.


"We'll make the official announcement" Thursday or Friday, Navratilova said Wednesday via conference call of the agreement that will rank Seles co-No. 1 through her first six WTA events.


Navratilova, president of the WTA Tour, said bringing Seles back to the game was a major goal. "Shortly, I'm sure, she'll live up to that ranking," said Navratilova. "It would be insane not to have her seeded and have the possibility of her playing a Steffi Graf or an Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in the first or second round of a tournament. That wouldn't do anybody any good. So, we need to give her her rightful place."


Seles was also on the conference call and giggled with delight every time she considered her return. "This is a very exciting time for me," she said.


"I've been practicing very hard ... but it was playing with Martina here [at her Florida home last May] that really started me thinking about coming back.


"But I think people should know that without Martina's help, it would not have happened this way."