Günter Parche, the man who 30 years ago stabbed Monica Seleş, the former world number 1 Serbian tennis player with American citizenship, has died. The publication Bild discovered that Parche died in August 2022, aged 68, after spending the last 14 years of his life in a nursing home in Nordhausen, Thuringia, Germany.
Parche, originally from Görsbach, 10 kilometers from Nordhausen, was an admirer of the German tennis star, Şteffi Graf, and could not bear the idea that Seles removed his heroine from the top of the world ranking. The man had decided to do something to “hurt Seleş so much that he doesn’t allow her much time to play tennis”, as he admitted during his testimony in court.
Parche, who had claimed to “hate Serbs”, attacked Seles without being seen on April 30, 1993, during a break in the quarter-finals of the Hamburg tournament, at center court, then stabbed her in the back with a 23 cm long knife.
Only by coincidence, Seles had moved forward at that moment, and the knife penetrated only two centimeters in his back. The tennis player avoided serious injury, but the shock of the attack affected the rest of her career. Before the attack, he had won eight of the previous ten Grand Slam tournaments.
When he returned to the court after about two years, Seles only won the Australian Open in 1996. In 2008, he retired after 53 victories in the WTA tournaments. His attacker, after two trials, was sentenced to two years in prison for serious assault. The man was in prison only for the months between the attack and his conviction on October 13, 1993.
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