Not many rattle Ivan Lendl but one that did was Michael Chang. The American at Roland Garros months after his 17th birthday in 1989 put on what would go onto be a career best display.
Having defeated a young Pete Sampras in the second round in what was only Michael’s second appearance at Roland Garros the teenager then went onto shake the tennis world.
World number one Ivan Lendl had seen off Australia’s Darren Cahill in the third round before setting up a meeting with Chang.
Chang found himself facing defeat, down two sets to love the American was in trouble. Quite remarkably the teenager fought back to two sets and left everything on the court.
Despite breaking in the fifth set to take 2-0 lead the American teenager looked out of it and completely drained. He was barely moving around the court, he was stretching before points and looked physically done.
Saving energy was key for Michael who despite leading still needed to keep it up against the world number one. We saw underarm serve, moon ball and slicing, it all came out as Chang tried to conserve energy against Ivan.
From 4-6 4-6 down the 17 year old making just his second appearance at Roland Garros won 4-6 4-6 6-3 6-3 6-3 upsetting the world number one with the biggest win of his career.
Despite looking completely out of it to make his first Grand Slam final the American saw off Ronald Agenor and Andrei Chesnokov with a little more ease.
It was a crazy tournament from Chang who was down and out to Lendl at just 17 and suddenly into a first Grand Slam final against Stefan Edberg.
Runs like this don’t come around often and before you know it Chang is two sets to one down this time around and pulled off another thrilling comeback to win at Roland Garros.
The tennis he brought to Roland Garros that year was fearless, imaginative and in a results game got the job done. To have done all this months after his 17th birthday is simply incredible and is something that has never been matched at Roland Garros since.
Michael to this date is still the youngest male Grand Slam winner of all time winning Roland Garros at 17 years and 110 days. It was also the only Grand Slam title Michael won during his career which proved quite the surprise after his early success. No one expected him to win in 1989 and no one expected that to be his only Grand Slam title.
Michael was a finalist in Paris once again in 1995 and in 1996 at the US Open and Australian Open but that was it for him, no more major titles and after 1997 at the age of 25 it dipped for him and retired in 2003 at just 31.