Elusive Seles thought to have stress fracture


WIMBLEDON, England -- A Yugoslav journalist, who begs "please, don't mention my name," says his newspaper has spies "like Interpol" all over the United States.

Their job? "To find Monica, of course," he said.

Monica Seles, once the No. 1 women's seed at Wimbledon, has still not surfaced. She and her family remain silent on the cause of the injury that caused Seles abruptly to pull out of Wimbledon on Friday, three days before the tournament was to begin.

But reports that Seles has suffered a stress fracture related to the shin splints that pained her even as she won the French Open three weeks ago seemed to take on more credence yesterday.

Richard Steadman, an orthopedic specialist who operated on Martina Navratilova's knees last winter, said yesterday from Vail, Colo., that he had seen Seles. "Yes," he said, "I know what is wrong with Monica. I wish I could tell people. But the family doesn't wish that information to be released right now."

Tournament directors from an exhibition event in Mahwah, N.J., and the Mazda Tennis Classic in San Diego, where Seles is scheduled to play the weeks of July 15 and July 29, both said yesterday that they expected Seles to be on hand.

Some reports had Seles' injury so serious that her entire summer schedule, including the U.S. Open in August, was jeopardized. But if she can come back in July, it would seem to indicate that the injury is a stress fracture, and not something more serious.

A spokesman for the Mahwah exhibition said, "We had spoken to the family and they assure us that Monica will be fine."

Raquel Giscafre, a spokeswoman for the Mazda Classic, said, "We're quite confident Monica will be ready to play here. We've been assured she wants to play and is likely to be able to."

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