Monica Seles is determined to make her assailant and the German Tennis Federation pay - one with jail time, the other with $10 million in damages - for the courtside knife attack on her in Hamburg last year.
Seles disclosed for the first time Thursday she is appealing the sentence of Gunther Parche, who was released on probation without serving time in jail for stabbing her in the back during a changeover on April 30, 1993.The Cologne attorney for the formerly top-ranked women's tennis player, who recently became a U.S. citizen, also approached the federation as a first step toward filing a lawsuit against it as organizer of the Citizen Cup tournament.
Wilhelm Danelzik, in a letter released by Seles' agent at the International Management Group, cites a number of examples of inadequate security at the Hamburg tournament. He said "it can not be doubted that insufficient security measures," made it possible for the attack to be committed. Seles hasn't played since that assault.
The German federation confirmed today that it received a letter from Danelzik.
Danelzik added that "this year's Citizen Cup tournament clearly has shown that sufficient security measures to avoid an attack on players sitting on the benches during breaks would not only be possible but reasonable."
Reached in Germany, Danelzik said "the next step now depends on the response of the German Tennis Federation, and that, of course, I can't predict.
"It's hard to specify the damage, because it is still going on. But at least $10 million is correct."
"I'm trying very hard to overcome the impact of the stabbing last year," Seles said in the statement. "I've always loved playing tennis, and it's very difficult for me not to be able to live the life I always thought I would live."
Seles is particularly upset that Parche was not sentenced to prison. She said she's seeking to appeal his sentence, which has also been appealed by the legal prosecutor in Germany.
Seles, 20, won eight Grand Slam titles since 1990 and had career earnings of $7.4 million from official tournaments.