Mon­ica Se­les, 1993

New Zealand Woman’s Weekly - - ROYAL TRIBUTE -

In 1993, then world num­ber one Mon­ica Se­les, aged only 19, was com­pet­ing in a mi­nor tour­na­ment in Ger­many when her life was changed in an in­stant. Dur­ing changeover, 38-year-old Gunter Parche leaned over the seats next to the court and stabbed the teenager with a knife as she sat down to towel off and take a sip of wa­ter.

“I felt a hor­ri­ble pain in my back,” she wrote in her 2009 au­to­bi­og­ra­phy. “I saw a man wear­ing a base­ball cap, a sneer across his face. His hands were clutch­ing a long knife. He started to lunge at me again. I didn’t un­der­stand what was hap­pen­ing.”

Parche was tack­led by mem­bers of the crowd be­fore he could stab Mon­ica again, leav­ing her with a wound an inch and a half deep. It was two years un­til she played com­pet­i­tively again and she only won one ma­jor after the in­ci­dent. She re­tired in 2008.

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