“As if nothing had happened,” everything continued. Monica Seles found Hamburg Open to be confusing.

“As if nothing had happened,” everything continued. Monica Seles found Hamburg Open to be confusing.

In the annals of tennis history, April 30 will always be associated with the horrifying stabbing incident that happened to Monica Seles during her 1993 season quarterfinal match in Hamburg. Seles faced Magdalena Maleeva and was confident of winning because she had won the first set and was ahead by one game in the second.

Many predicted it would be a classic Seles vs. Steffi Graf finals because it was taking place in Germany and because teenager Monica had dominated the majors for the previous three seasons since becoming a Grand Slam winner at the 1990 French Open.

Graf had been dominating the WTA Tour until Monica put a stop to her party in 1990. During the following three years, Steffi did not win any majors and lost her World No. 1 ranking to Monica after spending 186 weeks in a row at the top—a feat that has not been surpassed since. Her only major victories came in 1991 and 1992. Graf was now seriously threatened by Seles, and Gunther Parche, a Steffi aficionado, was unable to comprehend how a teenager could overthrow both his favorite player and the German flag.

After the seventh game in the quarterfinals, where Monica was leading 4-3 against Magdalena, there was a brief intermission for players. Gunther was able to slip past security and stab Monica in the shoulder with a knife, almost 1.5 inches deep, before security and other spectators apprehended him.

Since then, Monica has been transparent about the experiences she had following the horrific act. During her two-year break from the sport, she battled depression and a food eating disorder. She returned to the game in August 1995 and won the 1996 Australian Open, her only major victory since the stabbing.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune in 2004, Monica stated, “When I look back, I’m sure my career, in terms of achievement, would’ve been different if I hadn’t been stabbed, and I’ll always wonder why I’m the only one in history who that ever happened to.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.