Helen Kelesi
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Helen Kelesi

Helen Kelesi
Country (sports) Canada
Born (1969-11-15) 15 November 1969 (age 51)
Victoria, British Columbia
Turned pro1985
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize moneyUS$ 900,990
Singles
Career record263-182 (59.1%)
Career titles2 WTA, 3 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 13 (20 November 1989)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open3R (1990)
French OpenQF (1988, 1989)
Wimbledon3R (1993)
US Open3R (1986, 1987)
Other tournaments
Olympic Games1R (1988)
Doubles
Career record81-109 (42.6%)
Career titles2 WTA
Highest rankingNo. 26 (22 April 1991)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open2R (1992)
French OpenQF (1989)
Wimbledon2R (1987, 1988)
US Open2R (1990, 1991)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French Open2R (1988)
Wimbledon2R (1986, 1987)

Helen Kelesi (born 15 November 1969) is a former professional tennis player from Canada. She was coached by her father Milan Kelesi.

Career

"Hurricane Helen", as the Canadian press dubbed her for her fiery demeanour, achieved a career-high ranking of world No. 13 (November 1989), and was a regular fixture in the top 25 from 1986 to 1991. She won singles titles at two tour events, the 1986 Japan Open and the 1988 Citta de Taranto, and at the French Open, she was a quarterfinalist in 1988 (losing to Gabriela Sabatini) and 1989 (losing to Mary-Joe Fernandez). During her time on the WTA Tour, Kelesi recorded wins over Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, Conchita Martinez, Jana Novotná, Manuela Maleeva-Fragnière, Helena Suková and Pam Shriver.

Kelesi's game was characterized by aggressive baseline play, with a powerful top-spin forehand and two-handed backhand. She also retrieved well and could play defensively when needed. These skills meant that Kelesi was particularly good on clay and hardcourt surfaces.

Kelesi was a Canadian Federation Cup team member from 1986 to 1993. She was Tennis Canada Singles Player of the Year four times (1986, 1987, 1989, and 1990).

Her professional career came to an end in 1995 when a brain tumour the size of a tennis ball was discovered following months of headaches, dizziness and vision problems. Numerous operations followed over the years. Kelesi successfully recovered and began coaching young children in Canada in the late 1990s. She also became a part-time tennis journalist and commentator.

WTA career finals

Singles: 9 (2 titles, 7 runner-ups)

Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (0-0)
Tier I (0-0)
Tier II (0-0)
Tier III (0-1)
Tier IV (0-3)
Tier V (1-2)
Virginia Slims (1-1)
Finals by surface
Hard (1-3)
Grass (0-0)
Clay (1-4)
Carpet (0-0)
Result W/L Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Loss 0-1 Aug 1985 VS Monticello, U.S. Hard United States Barbara Potter 6-4, 3-6, 2-6
Win 1-1 Oct 1986 Japan Open Hard Argentina Bettina Fulco 6-2, 6-2
Win 2-1 May 1988 Ilva Trophy, Italy Clay Italy Laura Garrone 6-1, 6-0
Loss 2-2 May 1988 Italian Open Clay Argentina Gabriela Sabatini 1-6, 7-6(4), 1-6
Loss 2-3 Aug 1988 Cincinnati Masters, U.S. Hard United States Barbara Potter 2-6, 2-6
Loss 2-4 Apr 1989 Barcelona Open, Spain Clay Spain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario 2-6, 7-5, 1-6
Loss 2-5 Nov 1989 VS Nashville, U.S. Hard (I) Soviet Union Leila Meskhi 2-6, 3-6
Loss 2-6 May 1990 Geneva, Switzerland Clay Austria Barbara Paulus 6-2, 5-7, 6-7(3)
Loss 2-7 May 1991 Geneva, Switzerland Clay Switzerland Manuela Maleeva-Fragnière 3-6, 6-3, 3-6

Doubles: 5 (2 titles, 3 runner-ups)

Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (0-0)
Tier I (1-1)
Tier II (0-0)
Tier III (0-1)
Tier IV (1-0)
Tier V (0-1)
Finals by surface
Hard (1-2)
Grass (0-0)
Clay (1-1)
Carpet (0-0)
Result W/L Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 0-1 May 1988 Ilva Trophy, Italy Clay Italy Laura Garrone West Germany Andrea Betzner
West Germany Claudia Porwik
1-6, 2-6
Loss 0-2 Aug 1988 Cincinnati Masters, U.S. Hard United States Lindsay Bartlett United States Beth Herr
United States Candy Reynolds
6-4, 6-7(9), 1-6
Win 1-2 May 1990 Italian Open Clay Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Monica Seles Italy Laura Garrone
Italy Laura Golarsa
6-3, 6-4
Loss 1-3 Aug 1990 Canadian Open Hard Italy Raffaella Reggi United States Betsy Nagelsen
Argentina Gabriela Sabatini
6-3, 2-6, 2-6
Win 2-3 Oct 1990 VS Scottsdale, U.S. Hard United States Elise Burgin United States Sandy Collins
United States Ronni Reis
6-4, 6-2

ITF finals

$100,000 tournaments
$75,000 tournaments
$50,000 tournaments
$25,000 tournaments
$10,000 tournaments

Singles (3-0)

Outcome Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Winner 3 February 1991 ITF Midland, United States Hard (i) United States Meredith McGrath 6-2, 6-2
Winner 27 January 1992 ITF Midland, United States Hard (i) Netherlands Claire Wegink 7-6(2), 7-6(8)
Winner 25 January 1993 ITF Austin, United States Hard United States Elly Hakami 6-4, 3-6, 6-2

Doubles (0-2)

Outcome Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 3 February 1991 ITF Midland, United States Hard (i) United States Katrina Adams United States Anne Smith
United States Meredith McGrath
5-7, 5-7
Runner-up 27 January 1992 ITF Midland, United States Hard (i) Netherlands Caroline Vis Netherlands Manon Bollegraf
United States Meredith McGrath
3-6, 1-6

Grand Slam singles performance timeline

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# DNQ A NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (DNQ) did not qualify; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
Tournament 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 Career SR
Australian Open A NH 2R A A 3R A 1R A 2R A A A 0 / 4
French Open 1R 1R 4R QF QF 2R 3R A 1R 1R A A A 0 / 9
Wimbledon 1R 2R 1R 1R 1R 1R 1R A 3R 1R A A A 0 / 9
US Open 1R 3R 3R 2R 1R 2R 2R 1R 1R 1R A A A 0 / 10
SR 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 32
Year-end ranking 48 39 32 19 13 25 29 128 49 124 NR NR 763

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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