Tennis: Wild card for Seles

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The Independent Online
MONICA SELES, the former world No1, could begin her competitive comeback next week in Germany, six months are being stabbed by a spectator at a tournament in Hamburg.

Ion Tiriac, the promoter of the grand prix tournament in Essen, has been asked to reserve a wild card for Seles until just before the event starts on Monday.

Jan Haupt, the tournament spokesman, said yesterday: 'Tiriac says there's a question mark over whether she wants to start off again with a ranking tournament.'

Seles has not played since the attack in April and she was shocked when her assailant, Gunter Parche, received a two-year suspended prison sentence last week.

It had been reported that Seles would avoid making her return in Germany in protest against the sentence given to Parche, who told the court he had wanted to help his idol Steffi Graf replace Seles as the No1.

Seles, who has dropped to fourth in the world rankings during her absence from the circuit, pulled out of the main entry list for the Essen tournament several weeks ago but she retained the option of a wild card.

It had been generally expected that she would make her comeback at an exhibition event in Dublin during December in time to prepare for the defence of her singles title at the Australian Open in Melbourne in January.