HAMBURG, Germany -- Tennis star Monica Seles was released Sunday from a German hospital after treatment for her stab wound and accompanied by her parents on a flight home to the United States.
A spokesman for the 19-year-old top-ranked female tennis player, attacked Friday during a tennis tournament in Hamburg, said: 'She feels better but is still under shock.
'Monica will remain under observation,' the spokesman said. 'It will take a while for her to overcome the mental trauma.'
'I want to thank everyone who helped me and let them know how much all their good wishes from all over the world helped me,' Seles said in a statement read by the spokesman.
Guenter Parche, 38, who was described by Hamburg police as mentally disturbed, was charged with attempted murder after allegedly attacking Seles on Friday during a break in play at the Citizen Cup tournament.
Parche, from the eastern German state of Thuringia, remained in jail after a magistrate decided not to send him to a mental hospital, Hamburg police spokesman Dankmar Lund said Sunday.
Police said Parche told Hamburg homicide detectives he was a fan of Steffi Graf of Germany, the world's second-rated female tennis player after Seles, and wanted to help Graf back to the top of the rankings.
Police said the assailant told them he never intended to kill Seles, but only to injure her.
Seles sustained a superficial cut on her back when the attacker reached over the railing during a break in play Friday and plunged part of a 10-inch narrow-bladed knife into her back.
She initially was expected to be released Saturday from the University Hospital, but two prominent doctors at the facility suggested the delay might be due to her more difficult challenge of overcoming the mental trauma from the attack.
Muscle injuries resulting from the stabbing definitely will keep her out of action for at least four weeks, ruling her out of the French Open, which begins May 24.
It was first feared the incident, watched by 7,000 center court spectators, was politically motivated.
Seles, whose family is of Hungarian descent, was born in Novi Sad in Vojvodina, in what is now northern Serbia. Serbia gained control over the formerly autonomous province of Vojvodina four years ago amid strong opposition from ethnic groups living there.
But despite the assailant's apparently non-political motive, the stabbing sparked an anti-German outcry both in Hamburg and in the Serbian capital Belgrade.
A group of self-described Serbs gathered Saturday outside the tennis center in Hamburg to demonstrate against the stabbing with banners that carried such complaints as, 'Yesterday the Jews, today the Serbs.'
Sections of the Yugoslav media claimed Sunday the attack was similar to incidents during Adolf Hitler's Nazi rule in Germany and Europe and said it resulted from 'Grossdeutsche' (Greater German) anti-Serbian propaganda.
'Steffi Graf's hospital visit to Monica, who was injured just because of her Yugoslav citizenship, was a mere falsehood,' Radio Belgrade said Sunday. 'We can only hope that not all Germans are the same.'