Twenty years ago today, a deranged sports fan hatched a wildly successful plan to completely change the history of women's tennis. With the days of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova fading a young upstart German named Graf had come to dominate tennis circuit without rival until 1991. Suddenly, a second young upstart started blowing everyone including Graf away, changing how the game was played and winning tournament after tournament. Twenty years ago today, Monica Seles had won SEVEN OF HER LAST EIGHT slam titles (didn't play Wimbledon in '91) and had compiled one of the most lopsided records ever recorded by a tennis player. Twenty years ago today, a Graf fan walked out of the crowd in Hamburg and stabbed Seles in the back, effectively terminating her career. With her only competitor gone, Graf went on to win 22 slams. What happened to the nutcase fan?
Despite Parche's confession and the hundreds of eyewitnesses who saw him stab Seles, an attempted murder charge was dismissed. He was found guilty of the lesser charge of committing grievous bodily harm and was given a suspended sentence and probation. The judge believed a psychiatrist who testified to Parche's diminished capacity and also credited Parche for his full confession and ultimate show of remorse.
Seles was off the tour for two years, came back without the fearless exuberance that marked her earlier play and won one more slam event.