Monica Seles Seeking $10 Million From German Tennis Federation For Attack
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) _ Monica Seles is striking back at her assailant and demanding at least $10 million from the German Tennis Federation for losses caused by her courtside stabbing in Hamburg last year.
Seles said Thursday that she is appealing the sentence of Gunther Parche, who was released on probation without jail time for the attack April 30, 1993. The formerly top-ranked women’s tennis player hasn’t played since.
Wilhelm Danelzik, Seles lawyer in Cologne, wrote the federation, claiming it failed to provide adequate security at the Citizen Cup tournament.
Seles was on a break between games when a man in the stands leaned out and stabbed her in the back.
In the letter, released by Seles’ agent at the International Management Group, Danelzik said ″this year’s Citizen Cup tournament clearly has shown that sufficient security measures to avoid an attack on players sitting on the benches during breaks would not only be possible but reasonable.″
Reached in Germany, Danelzik said he was awaiting a response from the federation before deciding whether to sue.
″The next step now depends on the response of the German Tennis Federation, and that, of course, I can’t predict,″ he said. ″It’s hard to specify the damage because it is still going on. But at least $10 million is correct.″
Danelzik said the sum includes actual losses from tournament winnings, and tennis and non-tennis related endorsements.
″I’m trying very hard to overcome the impact of the stabbing last year,″ Seles said in a statement. ″I’ve always loved playing tennis, and it’s very difficult for me not to be able to live the life I always thought I would live.″
Seles said she was seeking to appeal Parche’s sentence, which has also been appealed by the legal prosecutor in Germany.
″Monica has not been able to overcome the emotional impact of the knife attack, which continues to be a problem for her,″ said her father and coach, Karolj. ′
Seles, 20, won eight Grand Slam titles since 1990 and had career earnings of $7.4 million from official tournaments.