Monica Seles

Randomly choose a number from 1-4.

I  Better if the violence happens offstage as in Greek drama. Just give me the plot, the facts. The nine-inch boning knife, the deranged fan of Steffi Graf coming out of the stands, the attempted killer walking free. Catharsis means the purging of pity and fear, what spectators should feel.  Ok, ok. I just felt stunned, and then, like everyone, I went on with my life. Monica Seles?  Wasn’t she the one who was stabbed?

II  One by one, a whole bag of oreo cookies. Run a dozen 400 meters back to back, then train for three hours more. What’s on TV? What’s in the fridge? Are there any Pop-Tarts left? Overeating one way to cope with violence. Raped, stabbed, depression, doubt, numbness, withdrawal . . .  How many struggle against demons we guess at but never know? How many, like Monica, come out free and clear on the other end?

III  The joyous all-out control-abandon-release of her ground strokes. The two pitched (uw whee) of gruntscream gruntscream gruntscream. Two hands of both sides, the forehand indistinguishable from the backhand. No one hurled more arms legs body mind propeller hips shoulders pinwheel buzzsaw grunt backhand scream forehand scream ferocity joy crazed ball machine double time triple time missiles torpedoes Monica’s game like a military weapon that even Leonardo with all his imagination could not have invented for the women’s game. 

IV  From 91-93 captured seven grand slams. Three straight French, three straight Australian.  Youngest ever in history to win the French open at 16 years old. Ranked #1 in 91 and 92. If not for being stabbed on the court in 1993, how many grand slams would Seles have won?

Originally published in Mulberry Fork Review and reprinted in Tennis Players as Works of Art with the National Senior Men’s Tennis Association.

Artist Bio: Born in the French Pyrenees, Miki de Goodaboom moved to Goettingen, Germany at age 19 to study mathematics and physics. After graduating, she worked for many years in German industry as a mathematician and consultant until she moved to Spain, Andalucia, where she lives now. A self-taught artist, Miki kept creating more and more art until it finally became her full-time profession. She most enjoys painting sport themes since she loves movement and the challenge of reducing it to 2 dimensions on paper or canvas. If you check out her countless “Sport Art” paintings and posters on her website, you will see almost 300 images from the entire world of sport. But as you can see from her website, she loves to paint almost anything she encounters in the world.

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