Unsettling

22 years after Monica Seles was attacked, stalkers still haunt women’s tennis

19-year-old world number one Serbian-born Monica Seles receives help after she was stabbed in the back by a spectator during a match at the Hamburg women's tennis tournament. Reuters

In 1993, Monica Seles was at the top of her game and ranked No. 1 in the world when, during a match in Germany against Steffi Graf, a crazed fan ran onto the court and stabbed her. “The world totally changed after that,” recalls Pan Shriver, the president of the WTA at the time Seles was attacked. Except, The New York Times has found, things really haven’t changed for women tennis players. As evidence, The Times details the scary situation Simona Halep of Romania, the world’s third-ranked women’s player, who was the object of an obsessed fan, Jesper Andreassen, found herself. Andreassen’s missives at first, though relentlessly enthusiastic, were benign enough — until he learned Halep got engaged to be married. His tone abruptly changed and the death threats rolled in for Halep. The threats were so alarming, security guards surrounded her during a public practice ahead of a tournament. And she’s not the only player for whom security is a major concern. The Times story is chilling in the parallels it draws between now and the early 1990s.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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