Tennis: Seles' injury puts defence of US Open title in doubt

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The Independent Online
MONICA SELES is still unable to hit a tennis ball more than two months after being stabbed in the back by a German factory worker at a tournament in Hamburg on 30 April.

The Yugoslavian, who has since been replaced as world No 1 by Steffi Graf, may now be unable to defend the US Open title next month, a tournament she has won for the past two years.

'I wish I could play now, but the rehabilitation is a slow process, and I have not yet been able to hit the ball, let alone play tennis,' Seles said .

Seles, undergoing rehabilitation at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colorado, added that she would not play in an event at Stratton Mountain, Vermont, later this month.

'There was never any timetable announced for Monica's return, and we never said she would be able to play one tournament or another,' her doctor said. 'This continues to be a serious injury, and the internal healing process is a long one. This was not a superficial injury.'

The knife attack on Seles meant that she was forced to miss the French Open and Wimbledon which were won by Graf.

However, she remains optimistic about her recovery, mainly because of an outpouring of sympathetic letters. 'I have heard from people throughout the world.' she said. 'The messages are wonderful and range from other victims of senseless crimes who tell me how they are coping, to people who say they missed me at tournaments, to the general public with their kind wishes for my return to the game. I really appreciate the support.'

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