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Monica Seles

Bizarre Tragedy

In a bizarre incident in the spring of 1993, Seles went through what most sports stars and celebrities fear most. She was attacked on April 30, as she sat courtside at a tennis match in Hamburg, Germany, by an out-of-work German lathe operator named Gunter Parche. The man had moved up behind her and, with both hands on a knife, stabbed her in the back. He was poised to strike again when he was wrestled to the ground, but the damage had been done. At his trial, the judge determined that he no longer posed a threat to anyone, which further served to rattle the scared Seles.

Seles was quickly hospitalized. She soon became paranoid about being the object of another attack. She chose to remain out of the spotlight—and away from tennis—for the next two years. It turned out that Parche was an unstable fan of Graf's with a history of stalking the German tennis star. His intention in stabbing Seles was to help return Graf to her number one ranking. When Seles finally returned to tennis again in July of 1995 in an exhibition match against Navratilova, she did so because she wanted to represent the U.S. in the 1996 Olympics, making her official return in August. In a move that many players felt was controversial, Seles was allowed to share a number one world ranking with Graf.

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Famous Sports StarsTennisMonica Seles Biography - Growing Up, Trip To America, Young And Professional, Rises Fast, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments - CONTACT INFORMATION, SELECTED WRITINGS BY SELES: