Monica Seles def. Ruxandra Dragomir 6-3 6-1 1st Round 8/28/95
After the horrific stabbing in April 1993, Monica Seles returned to the tour a few weeks prior to the Open in August 1995. For her first match back at the US Open since she won the title in 1992, Seles was given the honor of playing the first night match on Day 1 of the tournament. Although not initially one of my favorites, I had become a big Seles fan and she, Graf and Capriati were the players I liked best at this time.
My dad and I had tickets to the day session but to my disappointment, the Seles match was at night and we didn’t have tickets for that session. The idea of being there at the Open but not getting to see the one match I was really interested in was so disappointing. This was back in the good old days before the massive Arthur Ashe Stadium was built. At that time, the US Open was a more relaxed atmosphere with much less crowds. I talked my dad into hanging around after the last day session match in the stadium and trying to see if we could grab some random seats and stay long enough to see the match. We decided to give it a shot and hung around the stadium way before the night session was supposed to start. It was so early that we got to see Seles practicing before the match which was really cool. It was amazing to see her comeback at the Open practically before anyone else. Once the match started, we were able to find seats and I’m so glad we stayed. The crowd was extremely supportive of Seles and she quickly dispatched her first round opponent, losing only four games.
Seles would go on to reach the final, losing to Steffi Graf. However, it was great to see her back on tour and definitely ranks as one of my top US Open memories all these years later.