Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Monica Seles Stabbed During Citizen Cup Tournament

On April 30, 1993, that tennis great Monica Seles was stabbed in the back by an obsessed fan during her quarterfinal match against Magdalena Maleeva.  The incident occurred in Hamburg, Germany at the Citizen Cup tournament.
Monica Seles (white) after being stabbed during the 1993 Citizen Cup Tournament.
Monica Seles entered the 1993 season as the world’s top ranked female player.  She was the three-time reigning French Open champion, as well as the two-time reigning Australian and U.S. Open champion.  It was an obsessed fan of Steffi Graf’s, Seles’ biggest rival, who carried out the attack in an attempt to help Graf regain her number one status. 

Gunter Parche stormed the court during a break and would stab Monica in the back between the shoulder blades to a depth of one and a half centimeters.
Gunter Parche (center) being detained after stabbing Monica Seles during the 1993 Citizen Cup Tournament.

Although her injury took only a few weeks to heal, Seles would not return to competitive tennis for over two years. Considering the traumatic experience she went through, it was not a surprise to see Monica take a long hiatus from the game she loved to play.

Though she enjoyed some success after rejoining the tour in 1995, including a fourth Australian Open success in 1996, she was unable to consistently reproduce her best form.

She played her last professional match at the 2003 French Open, but did not officially retire until February 2008.

Seles is a former Yugoslav world number one professional tennis player and a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
She was born and raised in Novi Sad, SR Serbia, and SFR Yugoslavia. She became a naturalized United States citizen in 1994 and also received Hungarian citizenship in June 2007. She won nine Grand Slam singles titles, winning eight of them while a citizen of Yugoslavia and one while a citizen of the United States.
In 1990, at the age of 16, Seles became the youngest-ever French Open champion. She went on to win eight Grand Slam singles titles before her twentieth birthday and was the year-end World number one in 1991 and 1992.
Seles career record in singles is 595-122 a winning percentage of 82.98 with 53 career titles. He won 13 Grand Slam Single titles including four Australian Open’s including three straight from 1991-1993, three French Open’s including three consecutive from 1990-1992, two U.S. Open’s in 1991 - 1992 and one Wimbledon title in 1992. As well three Championships from 1990-1992.
She also won a Bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games in singles
In double Seles were also good, winning 89 matches and dropping 45, winning six career titles. However, Seles was not quite the doubles player she was in singles, as her highest mark in doubles was sixteenth in the world on April 22, 1991. She never reached further than the semi-finals in doubles, in 1991 and 2001 at the Australian Open.
Until her loss to Martina Hingis at the 1999 Australian Open, Seles had a perfect record at the event (33–0), which is the longest undefeated streak for this tournament (although Margaret Court won 38 consecutive matches there from 1960 to 1968 after losing a match in 1959).
It also marked her first defeat in Australia, having won the Sydney tournament in 1996. Seles was the first female tennis player to win her first six Grand Slam singles finals: 1990 French Open, 1991 Australian Open, 1991 French Open, US Open, 1992 Australian Open, and 1992 French Open.
Seles was also the first female player since Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling in 1937 to win the women's singles title three consecutive years at the French Open. (Chris Evert, however, won the title the four consecutive times she played the tournament: 1974, 1975, 1979, and 1980; in 2007, Justine Henin won her third consecutive French Open singles title.) With eight Grand Slam singles titles before her twentieth birthday,
Seles holds the record for most Grand Slam singles titles won as a teenager.
In June 2011, she was named one of the "30 Legends of Women's Tennis: Past, Present and Future" by Time Magazine.
Seles was listed as the thirteenth greatest player of all time (men and women) by (U.S.) Tennis magazine and was also one of 15 women named by Australian Tennis magazine as the greatest champions of the last 30 years (players were listed chronologically).

In 2012, Tennis Channel created a list of the "100 Greatest Of All Time" tennis players. Seles was listed at number 19.