AP Was There: Chang, 17, overcomes cramps, Lendl in Paris

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FILE - In this June 9, 1989, file photo, Michael Chang makes a return during his match against Ivan Lendl in the men's singles final at the French Open tennis championships in Paris. Chang would go on to become the youngest male champion at any Slam, beating Lendl 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. (AP Photo/File)

EDITOR’S NOTE — Every French Open features matches that are memorable for one reason or another. There are upsets. Comebacks. Dramatic moments. Historic accomplishments. The AP is republishing stories about a handful of such matches while the postponed Grand Slam tournament was supposed to be played. One memorable comeback at Roland Garros came in the fourth round in 1989, when Michael Chang overcame leg cramps and a two-set deficit to beat top-seeded Ivan Lendl. Chang would go on to win the title at age 17 and still holds the record for youngest male champion at a major. The following story was published on June 5, 1989.



AP Sports Writer

When his legs knotted up, his body dehydrated and he was warned for time-wasting, Michael Chang’s brave rally to remain in the French Open tennis championships seemed a lost cause.

Then, the 17-year-old from Placentia, California, went for the only option left to try and beat the world’s top-ranked player, Ivan Lendl.

He went for Lendl’s mind.

“I had to try something,” Chang said. “I tried to break his concentration.”