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Hingis testifies in Miami against stalker

World tennis number one Martina Hingis said she feared her stalker would become more aggressive (Keystone)

The world's number one tennis player, Switzerland's Martina Hingis, has testified in the trial of Dubravko Rajcevic, who stands accused of stalking her.

Rajcevic, a 46-year-old Australian engineer of Croatian origin, is facing four misdemeanour charges, three of which are for trespassing, and one for stalking.

The former engineer was arrested by police during the Ericsson tennis tournament, in Key Biscayne, last year, and has since been in detention.

The 20-year-old top seed told the Miami-Dade County court about her fear that Rajcevic’s obsession with her, would turn to “hate and aggression”.

Prosecutor Christopher Calkin asked Hingis about the series of telephone calls, letters and other efforts by Rajcevic, to get her attention since mid-1999.

When asked by Calkin if her stalker had contributed to her first round defeat during the 1999 Wimbledon tennis championship, Hingis said, “Part of it might have been because of him”.

She also revealed that she felt nervous and frustrated about not being able to make the man described as “not normal” by Miami police, understand that she would never enter into a relationship with him.

Rajcevic tried more than once during the proceedings, to interrupt Hingis – only to be stopped by Judge Kevin Eamus, who warned him that he would face removal from the courtroom if he continued.

The defence attorney, Frank Abrams, is presenting his client as being simply in love with Hingis and therefore eager to win her affections.

Previous psychological evaluations revealed that Rajcevic is delusional but fit to stand trial.

If found guilty, Rajcevic could face a maximum sentence of one year in prison.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR