Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2
Safety in tennis is number one ... well, that's not true, but it is in the Top Five.
Threats to safety not new to sport
Thursday, April 28, 1994
While the stabbing of Monica Seles a year ago Saturday certainly was an anomaly in sports, it is no rarity for a tennis player to receive death threats or to be stalked.
Most athletes prefer not to talk about such incidents.
"Of course there are copycats who do this kind of thing to get in the newspapers," Steffi Graf says. "I'm not afraid at all, and I'm not taking it that seriously. It is the price of being in the public eye."
Graf ought to know. She has received death threats over the years and been stalked.
Earlier this week, "friends of Seles and opponents of Graf" sent a letter to a German newspaper threatening to attack Graf if she played in Hamburg.
Several years ago, a man who had written her love letters walked onto a court where she was practicing and slit his wrists in front of her. More recently, a man drove his car through the gate of her home in Germany, left his luggage by the front door and began professing his love.
Chris Evert once got on an airplane, only to be greeted by two security agents who informed her a threat had been phoned in against "someone famous traveling on that flight."
"We used to think tennis was a nice little insular world," Evert said earlier this year, "and to a certain extent it still is. But what happened to Monica could just as easily have happened to any other athlete, especially in smaller European countries where the athlete is considered bigger than life."