Monica Seles: the tennis player who was attacked with a knife in the middle of the match
Photo: Matthew Stockman/ALLSPORT/Getty Images
the female tennis player Monica Seles was stabbed by a deranged German during a match in Hamburg on April 30, 1993.
The aggressor, a fan of the German tennis player Steffi Graf, he apparently hoped that by injuring Seles, his idol Graf would be able to regain his number 1 position.
Seles became the youngest woman to win the French Open in 1990.when she defeated No. 1 Steffi Graff in the final.
In 1991, Seles, a power player with a habit of growling loudly during matches, replaced Graf as the top-ranked female player. At the time of the 1993 attack, she had won eight Grand Slam titles and was ranked No. 1 in the world.
On April 30, 1993, Seles, then 19 years oldwas sitting on a courtside seat during a substitution in her match against Magdalena Maleeva at the Hamburg Open, when Gunter Patch, 38 years old, he leaned over a fence and stabbed her between the shoulder blades with a knife.
Parche was quickly detained by security agents and Seles was taken to hospital. He recovered from his physical injuries, but was left with deep emotional scars and did not play professionally again for another two years.
Patch, who was described as a mentally unbalanced loner, claimed that he was only trying to hurt Seles, not kill her. A German court convicted him of grievous bodily harm in October 1993 and received a two-year suspended sentence..
Seles, along with many others, was angered by the lenient verdict, and prosecutors eventually won the right to a new trial. However, the judge at Parche’s second trial in 1995 upheld the suspended sentence.
In August 1995, Seles, who became a US citizen the year before, made her return to tennis by winning the Canadian Open. The following month, she lost the US Open final to Steffi Graf.
In January 1996, he won his fourth Australian Open and last Grand Slam title. In 2003, a foot injury forced Seles out of the competition and he played only sporadically.
In February 2008, Seles officially retired.