Manuela Maleeva - Female tennis player
Born in Sofia, Manuela was the oldest of the four children of Yulia Berberyan and Georgi Maleev. The mother, who came from a prominent Armenian family, which found refuge in Bulgaria after the 1896 Armenian massacres in the Ottoman Empire, was the best Bulgarian tennis player in the 1960s. After she retired from professional tennis in the 1970s, Berberyan started on a coaching career. She was the coach of all of her three daughters, Manuela, Katerina and Magdalena, each of whom eventually became WTA top ten players.
In 1982 Manuela won the junior French Open. Later the same year she made her debut among the women and ended the year within the first 200 of the WTA rank list. In 1984 Manuela won a total of seven tournaments beating all stars in the women's tennis with the exception of Martina Navratilova. After the victory at the tournament in Indianapolis the same year, Manuela became № 3 in the WTA rank list. Once in the top ten, she did not leave it for a period of ten whole years - until 1992.
Also in 1984, Manuela won her first and only Grand Slam title - in mixed doubles at the US Open together with Tom Gullikson from the USA. In 1988 she won a bronze medal in the 1988 Summer Olympics's singles in Seoul. In 1992 and 1993 she registered her all time best achievement in Grand Slam singles reaching the semi-finals of the US Open (in 1992 after beating her sister, Magdalena Maleeva, at the quarter-finals).
In 1994, Manuela retired from professional tennis. Throughout her 12-year carrier, she won a total of 19 WTA Tour singles titles, four in doubles and one in mixed doubles. She won the Hopman Cup in 1992 together with Jakob Hlasek and reached twice the semi-finals at Fed Cup in 1985 and 1987.
Manuela has been married since 1987 to a good Swiss tennis player from the 1980s, Francois Fragniere. They live near Geneva and have three children, two girls and a boy.