En route to the 1989 men’s singles final at Roland Garros, Michael Chang had caused a major upset by triumphing over world No.1, Ivan Lendl in the fourth round. Chang, only 17 years and three months old then was now set to face a familiar foe in Stefan Edberg, who was one of the best serve and volley players of the era.
Edberg had a 3-0 record in grand slam finals before this game. But Chang was determined to be no pushover. He broke the famous ‘Edberg Serve’ twice to win a relatively lopsided first set 6-1.
Jolted by Chang’s aggression, Edberg realised that he was underestimating his teenaged opponent. Chang broke Edberg again in the fifth game but was broken right back to leave the set poised at 3-3. The Swede broke Chang again in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead and served out the set to draw level in the match.
Edberg continued from where he left off in the second set to break Chang in the very first game in the third set. Having lost his serve in the first game itself, Chang was only left chasing in the set as Edberg managed to hold on to his service games, thereby winning the third set 6-4 and the prospects of an upset were dwindling.
Edberg continued to dominate by breaking Chang yet again in the fourth set, but an inspired Chang bought the game back on serve, broke Edberg in the tenth game to win the set 6-4 and force the issue into a decider.
The usually cool Swede began to lose steam in the deciding set. Despite having broken Chang in the first game again, he went on to lose the next four games to hand the American a 4-1 lead. A string of unforced errors and double faults handed Chang the title and he became the youngest ever to win the title in Paris, a record that still stands.
Though Chang could never win any other grand slam until his retirement in 2003, he was always known as that 17-year old champion.