Seles leaves hospital, flies to United States TENNIS

May 03, 1993|By New York Times News Service

HAMBURG, Germany -- Monica Seles, the top-ranked women's tennis player, was released from a hospital yesterday and flown by private jet to the United States, two days after she was stabbed during a match.

The man who attacked Seles purportedly wanted her to lose the No. 1 ranking to his fellow German, Steffi Graf.

Seles, who suffered a half-inch-deep wound between her shoulder blades, will not lose her top ranking right away. The Women's Tennis Association yesterday announced that Seles would not lose any points for defaulting the quarterfinal match to Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria in the Citizen Cup. Seles will keep her current ranking average of 332.2133 points. But no further adjustments will be made in the ranking, the WTA said.

Seles, 19, who was returning to competition this week after missing two months because of a viral infection, is expected to be sidelined for at least another month. She probably will miss the French Open, where she is the three-time defending champion.

Graf is ranked second, with an average of 299.9852 points. She could replace Seles at the top following the French Open, which starts May 24.

"I want to thank all the people here who have helped me over these last few difficult days," Seles said in a statement released yesterday. "The greetings and the best wishes I received from so many people are a great support to me, and I want everyone to know how much it means to me and how much it has helped."

Seles' agent, Stephanie Tolleson, said the player was feeling "a little better," but would remain under medical supervision for an "undetermined period of time."

Seles' destination in the United States was not revealed. Seles, who was born in Yugoslavia, has lived in the United States since 1986 and currently resides in Sarasota, Fla.

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