Tennis: Navratilova rues aftermath of stabbing

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THE STABBING of Monica Seles continues to reverberate through the tennis world, as Martina Navratilova testified here yesterday. Navratilova, who was accompanied by a bodyguard at the normally genteel tournament, said the incident had 'changed the face of the game'.

'In the past when people ran up to you it was, 'oh my God, they want autographs' ', Navratilova said. 'Now it's, 'oh my God, what do they want? Do they have a pen or a knife in their hand?' It's pretty rough.'

Navratilova is the most senior player on the women's circuit so her pronouncements on security so close to Wimbledon will arouse particular concern among players and administrators.

'I have a big guy with me all the time,' Navratilova said. 'The only time I'm alone is when I go to the loo. You're very wary about signing autographs, and it's too bad that one incident should have changed the atmosphere of the game. You've seen what happened in football stadiums, and it's a shame that you have to even think about things like that.'

Seles, who was attacked with a knife at a tournament in Hamburg last month, is recovering in the United States and has withdrawn from Wimbledon.

Ageless Navratilova, page 33