Petra Kvitova attacked: Tennis players who were victims of criminal violence
There is no sport in the world which is complete without any controversy or mishap. Over the years, many unfortunate incidents have occurred in different sports, be it a spectator attack or a violent act from an athlete. A couple of days back, two-time Wimbledon champion and former World No.2 Petra Kvitova was attacked by a man with a knife in her apartment in Prostejov and sustained severe injuries on her left hand which is her playing hand.
The Czech underwent surgery successfully but will have to sit out for six months in order to fully recover from the injuries. Kvitova may have survived the attack but this would have an adverse effect on her career, physically, and mentally. However, this isn’t the first time that tennis players have been subjected to violence as such incidents have occurred quite a few times. So let’s take a look at five tennis players who have been subjected to attacks/violence.
1) Monica Seles
During the late 1980s, 22-time Grand Slam winner Steffi Graf of Germany was dominating Women’s tennis on a whole and barring the likes of Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, there was hardly any player who could be a match for her. However, in 1989, a teenager from Yugoslavia came into the professional and a year later, she became the youngest French Open champion ever at 16 years and 6 months.
Seles dominated Women’s tennis for the next couple of years, winning three Grand Slams in 1991 and 1992 and dethroning Steffi Graf as the World No.1. By the time she was 19, Seles had already won eight Grand Slams. Many were entertaining the possibility of Seles breaking Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam Singles titles. However, Seles had no idea what would be in store for her in 1993.
On 30 April, 1993, roughly three months after she won her third Australian Open title, Seles was on the verge of defeating Magdaleena Maleeva in the quarter-finals of the Citizen Cup when Gunter Parche, an obsessed fan of Steffi Graf, stabbed her between her shoulder blades. The depth of the cut was roughly 1.5 cm and Seles was immediately rushed to a hospital. Seles’ injuries healed within weeks but she did not return to tennis until 1995.
Upon returning, Seles was a shadow of her former self. While she did win an Australian Open in 1996, she lacked somehow the fire she possessed before the tragic incident in Hamburg. She played her last match in 2003 before officially retiring from the sport in 2008.