Raise up your hands if you know Gunter Parche.? If you are saying hey man who the hell is Parche ,well he believe it or not changed tennis history forever one April day in 1993.
Gunter, an avid Steffi Graf fan decided to go watch the Hamburg Open on 30 April 1993. Being German himself this was not out of the ordinary. His eagerly awaited match, 19 year old rising star of the game,world number 1 Monica Seles taking on Magdalena Maleeva in the quaterfinals. With Seles leading 6-4,4-3, what happened next was something more out of a Friday the 13th movie than a tennis match.With Seles seating during break in games,Gunter ran from his seat to the court barrier behind Seles and stabbed Seles clean between her shoulder blades with a knife. Parche was tackled to the ground by security details and an ambulance was called for Miss Seles.
Miss Seles survived barely with her life on that day,none of a vital organs were damaged in the attack. She would make her comeback 2 years later but she was never quite the same. But the focus of my blog today is on Gunter Parche and what drove a seemingly innocent man to such depths of insanity. Born in 1954 in Hengen Germany,he was an unemployed lathe operator. This may have contributed to his mental instability. According to the Springer Link,unemployment causes feelings of stress,hopelessness and uselessness.This may cause what’s called”unemployment hysteresis”. Speculation that it was a politically motivated attack(Seles was Yugoslavian) were dismissed as hooey by the German police.
Gunter was said to be a loner with obsessive behavior. As a fan one should try to interact with like minded individuals. This has particularly helped me a lot as other fans tend to act as voices of reason when I take my fanaticism too far. So if you are a fan of any sport please take it easy,breathe,talk to someone,go out meet new people.
The end game for Herr Parche was a suspended prison sentence and mandatory psychological treatment. As controversial as that judgement may be ,i think it was just under the circumstances,jail wouldn’t have cured that broken bloke.