Monica Seles to marry 72-year-old billionaire

Last updated 16:03 11/06/2014
Monica Seles
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FORMER GREAT: Monica Seles poses for a photo between Victoria Azarenka, left, and Serena Williams ahead of last year's US Open final at Flushing Meadows.

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Tennis champion Monica Seles is set to marry her 72-year-old billionaire partner, Thomas Golisano, according to reports.

Golisano, a philanthropist and former National Hockey League team owner, announced his engagement to the former women's world number one player during a visit to a school in upstate New York, according to the local newspaper Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

Seles, 40, and Golisano have been dating since 2009, and live together in Florida. The philanthropist made the announcement at Bishop Kearney High School in Irondequoit, near Rochester, last week, the newspaper reported.

Golisano made his fortune by founding one of the largest payroll companies in the US, Paychex, and was a former owner of the Buffalo Sabres professional ice hockey team.

He has recently flagged an interest in bidding for the Buffalo Bills National Football League (NFL) team when it is put up for sale following the death this year of former owner, Ralph Wilson.

Previously, Golisnao made a bid for the LA Dodgers baseball franchise, but was eventually trumped by a group that included basketball star Magic Johnson.

Golisano, who has been married three times, has also dabbled in politics, mounting unsuccessful bids to become governor of New York in 1994, 1998 and 2002.

He now runs the Golisano Foundation, which supports programs for people with intellectual disabilities.

Seles, a nine-time grand slam winner, became the youngest French Open champion in 1990 when she was just 16 years old.

She was ranked world number one in 1991 and 1992, however the following year a mentally ill fan of Seles' rival, Steffi Graf, stabbed Seles in the back during a tennis tournament in Germany. She did not return to the game for two years.

Seles played her last professional match in 2003, but did not officially retire until 2008. Her career prize money was estimated at US$15 million ($16 million). 

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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