I like Monica, so I guess I am one of those two people in the US who does.
But to get real for a moment, although Monica has been pretty warm and friendly in person since her return to the tour, the truth is she was NOT viewed that way in the first half of her career.
She was not universally loved back then. Many people found her famous grunt embarrassing. She was also widely slammed for not playing Wimbledon that one time. Others found her flashy and a show off. And she was NOT beloved by the other players.
The proof of that is pretty clear. She herself said she heard from very few of the players on the tour when she was off the tour all that time due to the stabbing. And of course, most of the top players did not want her to be co-ranked number one upon her return.
Of course, the press and the fans loved her after her comeback and she continues to enjoy great popularity, most of which is connected to sympathy for her due to the stabbing. I think others are sympathetic to her because she has "a weight problem" and that seems to be something many women can "relate to."
But are there any other things that changed? Well I think part of it was that Monica had kind of come into women's tennis and pretty much took it over. Only Graf was her equal and she was pretty much dominating her, too. So the other girls probably saw her as a threat.
The other thing was, like most top players at the time, she was pretty much on her own. She didn't do that much socializing with the other girls at the time.
So, the truth is, most of them didn't think of her as a friend at the time of the stabbing.
The stabbing changed everything, including the world's perception of Monica. But it probably changed her, too, because she seems to be a lot friendlier person since her return.