Helen Kelesi (born 15 November 1969) is a Canadian former tour professional tennis player. She has been coached by her father, Milan Kelesi, throughout her tennis career.
"Hurricane Helen", as the Canadian press dubbed her for her fiery demeanour, achieved a career high WTA ranking of World No. 13 (November 1989), and was a regular fixture in the top-25 between 1986 and 1991. She won singles titles in two tour events, the 1986 Japan Open and the 1988 Citta de Taranto, and was a singles French Open quarter-finalist in 1988 (lost to Gabriela Sabatini) and 1989 (lost to Mary-Joe Fernandez). During her time on the WTA Tour, Kelesi recorded wins over Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Conchita Martinez, Jana Novotna, Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere, Helena Sukova and Pam Shriver, and pushed Chris Evert and Monica Seles hard in high-profile matches. She also held a set-point in a 4th Round match at the French Open against Steffi Graf in 1987.
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 hard-court surfaces. Her volley and forecourt play was not so instinctive, however, and a missed volley at a crucial stage in a match against Monica Seles illustrated this (Seles won 4–6 6–4 6–4 in a second round match at the 1990 French Open).
Kelesi's 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 Tour finals
Singles: 9 (2 titles, 7 runners-up)
|Runner-up||1.||26 August 1985||Monticello||Hard||Barbara Potter||6–4, 3–6, 2–6|
|Winner||1.||19 October 1986||Tokyo||Hard||Bettina Fulco||6–2, 6–2|
|Winner||2.||1 May 1988||Taranto||Clay||Laura Garrone||6–1, 6–0|
|Runner-up||2.||8 May 1988||Rome||Clay||Gabriela Sabatini||1–6, 7–6(4), 1–6|
|Runner-up||3.||7 August 1988||Cincinnati||Hard||Barbara Potter||2–6, 2–6|
|Runner-up||4.||30 April 1989||Barcelona||Clay||Arantxa Sánchez Vicario||2–6, 7–5, 1–6|
|Runner-up||5.||12 November 1989||Nashville||Hard (I)||Leila Meskhi||2–6, 3–6|
|Runner-up||6.||27 May 1990||Geneva||Clay||Barbara Paulus||6–2, 5–7, 6–7(3)|
|Runner-up||7.||26 May 1991||Geneva||Clay||Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere||3–6, 6–3, 3–6|
Doubles: 5 (2 titles, 3 runners-up)
|Runner-up||1.||1 May 1988||Taranto||Clay||Laura Garrone||
|Runner-up||2.||7 August 1988||Cincinnati||Hard||Lindsay Bartlett||
|6–4, 6–7(9), 1–6|
|Winner||1.||13 May 1990||Rome||Clay||Monica Seles||
|Runner-up||3.||5 August 1990||Montreal||Hard||Raffaella Reggi||
|6–3, 2–6, 2–6|
|Winner||2.||21 October 1990||Scottsdale||Hard||Elise Burgin||
Grand Slam singles performance timeline
|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|
|U.S. 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|