Chase Manhattan Bank CEO Walter Shipley and tennis star Monica Seles rang the opening bell to start trading at the New York Stock Exchange on Aug. 31 , the first day of the U.S. Open. The tennis theme produced a drop shot rather than a rally: The Dow rocketed down 512 points, a 6.4 percent decline for the day.
On the first day of 1998 US Open, I was watching the morning financial news and spotted Monica Seles rung the New York Stock Exchange opening bell. It was five year (April 30, 1993) after her unfortunate stabbing accident in Hamburg by a Steffi Graf’s fan.
The motivation of the German man who stabbed her was to make his idol Graf ranked number one again. Seles met Graf in four Grand Slam finals and defeated Graf three times. I was not privies to the discussions of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the female players but ultimately Graf gained number one again, in the absence of injured Seles, fulfilling the attacker’s wish. In my uninformed mind I thought the WTA should have vacant the No One spot till Seles was able to compete again.
I was not a fan of Seles because of her style of swing and ah-yi grunting. But sicken by this ordeal, I began rooting for her. Unfortunately for the injury, more physiological than physical, she would only win one more slam, her 9th grand slam title at Melbourne in 1996. It would be her last. [She won Australia in 1996; last match in 2003; retired in 2008.]
Although the bull market from 1982 to 2000, saw the most spectacular rise in the Dow history. However, that Monday was not her day. By closing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJI dropped 512 points, wiped out the entire year’s gain.
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Giving Seles her Due, 2013.04.29
Monica Seles: A bubbling career pierced with a knife, 2008.02.15
CNN Money, Dow plunges 512 points, 1998.08.31
NYT on Seles losing her #1, 1993.05.30
Wiki the stabbing, 1993.04.30
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