30.04.

1993: Monica Seles Stabbed on a Tennis Court

1993: Monica Seles Stabbed on a Tennis Court
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons / Seles' outfit at the Tennis Hall of Fame Museum at the Newport Casino, Newport, Rhode Island

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 30 April 1993
  • Monica Seles was in the lead with 2-0 in sets, when Günter Parche came from the audience and plunged a kitchen knife into her back between the shoulder blades.

For a time the best world tennis player, by nationality Hungarian, born in Novi Sad (Serbia), Monica Seles experienced a knife attack by one of the spectators in the middle of a tennis match, on this day in 1993.

At that point she was no. 1 in world tennis, surpassing even the famous Steffi Graf, her biggest rival.

On this day Monica Seles played a quarterfinal match with Magdalena Maleeva in Hamburg and was in the lead 2-0 in sets, when Günter Parche came from the audience and plunged a kitchen knife into her back, between the shoulder blades.

The German was an avid fan of Steffi Graf and stated that he did it in order to allow Graf to return to the top place in world tennis.

The court declared him mentally disturbed and gave him only a suspended sentence and mandatory psychiatric treatment.

The wound he gave Monica Seles was 1.5 cm deep and it took only a few weeks to heal, but mental stress kept Monica from playing tennis for two years.

Steffi Graf indeed managed to regain first place. Later, Monica Seles returned to tournaments, but never regained her previous form. She decided never to perform again in Germany.

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