Manuela Maleeva

Born February 14 1967 in Sofia.
In 1980 at age 13 Manuela became the youngest ever Bulgarian National Women`s Champion, until her youngest sister Magdalena bested her record in 1988 by 4 months.
Manuela`s professional career spanned from 1981 to 1994. She entered the top 10 rankings on May 28 1984 when she was only 17.  On February 4th 1985, just 10 days short of her 18 birthday, she reached her highest ever ranking of 3rd in the world. Before her were only the legendary Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert.
Manuela won 19 singles titles and 4 doubles titles. This achievement put her at number 20 in the all-time charts. She played in 41 Grand Slam tournaments, reaching 2 semi-finals (US Open 1992, 1993) and 12 quarter-finals(3 in Melbourne, 4 at Roland Garros, 1 at Wimbledon and 4 at US Open).  At the 1984 US Open she won the mixed doubles title, partnering with Tom Gullikson.
At the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988 Manuela was already holding a dual citizenship (Swiss as well) but it was her gracious decision to give the bronze medal she won to Bulgaria. In 1992 she represented Switzerland at the Olympic games in Barcelona.
Manuela participated in 9 consecutive Masters at Madison Square Garden and reached a semi-final in 1987 and 4 quarter-finals(1986, 88, 89, 90).
Before she retired in February 1994 she won 475 of all 662 matches she played. This 71.9 % success rate placed Manuela at number 16 at that time in all-time charts. At present times she stands at number 21 at this historic ranking.
She was on the Bulgarian Fed Cup team from 1983-87 and on the Swiss Fed Cup team from 1991-92. She won Hopman Cup for Switzerland in 1993 together with Jacob Hlasek, another naturalized Swiss citizen.
As a member of the Bulgarian Fed Cup team together with sister Katerina placed her country twice as number 3 in the world ( Tokyo 1985, behind USA and Czechoslovakia and Vancouver 1987, behind West Germany and USA).
Manuela had wins over tennis greats, such as Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert. Gabriella Sabatini, Mary Jo Fernandez, Arancha Sanches-Vicario, Jana Novotna, Zina Garisson , Hana Mandlikova, Jennifer Capriati.
In 1984 she won the prestigious №4 spot in the Bulgarian “Athlete of the year” award.
In 1993 she was elected as ” Athlete of the year” for Switzerland.