Wimbledon officials ban tennis pest for harassing Graf

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The Independent Online
A GERMAN spectator was ejected from Wimbledon yesterday after harassing Steffi Graf, the defending women's champion, on the Centre Court as she won her first-round match against Kirrily Sharpe of Australia 6-0, 6-0. Graf alleged the same man - Kurt zum Felde, a 29- year-old from Frankfurt - stalked her at the French Open earlier this month, writes Paul Hayward.

Graf was taunted in German by the fan of Monica Seles about the stabbing in Hamburg in April and also about Graf's foot injury. 'Steffi, you're responsible for everything,' zum Felde said. 'You're faking about your foot.'

Security staff were alerted after a complaint by Graf to the umpire, and zum Felde was later removed from his seat near the far touchline. After being questioned by police he was released but banned from Wimbledon for the fortnight.

Graf, a frequent victim of such unwanted attention, said: 'There was a guy in the crowd who happened to be in Paris, too. He's been disturbing me a bit, and he was there again in the front row today.'

(Photograph omitted)