Monica Seles' 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Steffi Graf in the 1993 Australian Open finals was memorable enough on its own. However, events a few months later made that match even more unforgettable.
Entering the 1993 Australian Open, Seles had won six of the past seven Grand Slam events she entered and had displaced Graf as the No. 1 player. Her only loss in a major in that span was a crushing 6-2, 6-1 loss to Graf in the 1992 Wimbledon finals in their most recent meeting.
The Seles-Graf rivalry was evolving into something special, and the 1993 Australian Open brought out the best in both.
As the New York Times reported, "Today's match was, in some respects, of higher quality than last year's memorable French Open final, in which Seles beat Graf by 10-8 in the third set. Today, the standard of play was consistently high from the start, and Graf was considerably less erratic from the baseline than in Paris. As a rule, points were won, rather than lost."
The match pivoted on a single point in the sixth game of the third set. With Graf serving at 2-3, 30-0, Seles hit a marvelous cross-court return that landed on the line for a winner. Graf fought off two break points in that game, but Seles eventually got the service break, then won the final two games.
It was Seles' third straight Australian Open title, and her match record at the event was 28-0.
Seles was just 19 years old, but with the 1993 Australian Open title in her pocket, she already had eight Grand Slam singles titles. She also appeared to have the upper hand against the 23-year-old Graf.
Then, three months later, Seles was stabbed during a tournament in Germany by a Graf fan. Seles missed the next 10 Grand Slam events. She won the 1996 Australian Open for her ninth and final Grand Slam title, but she was never quite the same as she was before the stabbing incident.
The 1993 Australian Open finals is a reminder of what might have been.