Michael Chang French Open [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Michael Chang French Open

reckless
09-27-2005, 12:20 PM
Hi all

This is my first post here. I have always read about the famous match between Ivan Lendl and Michael Chang at the 1989 French Open. During this match Chang started to cramp heavily and used many novel tactics to stay in the match. These included the infamous underarm serve and when he walked up near the T line to make Lendl double fault.

Since I was only 5 years old when the match took place, I wanted to know what some of you thought about the matter.

Do you think Chang's tactics were fair or were they a form of 'cheating'?

How would you feel if one of today's players used similar tactics?

joycomesmorning
09-27-2005, 01:07 PM
Cheating? You're kidding right!!

Chang wasn't "playing" hurt ... he could barely stand up...

It was amazing, totally amazing...to see this kid (barely 17 years old) giving it everything he had just to stay on the court....

It will forever be one of the matches of which everyone speaks...

And this give 100% of yourself, 100% of the time became the trademark of 5'8" Michael Chang...

The crowd was going wild ... the commentators were sure he would have to retire ... but he kept on plugging away ... and NOT ONE PERSON who witnessed that, including Ivan Lendl, ever suggested that this was gamesmanship!! NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!!

jcm

reckless
09-27-2005, 01:11 PM
relax man, I just wanted to know, because I've never seen the match before.

TheMightyFed
09-27-2005, 01:19 PM
haaa some fresh news from the tour !! :devil:
this match was epic for several reasons: Chang was very young and quite unknown, Lendl was back at the very top with a great record in 89, and above all there were two points that will remain forever, because this was the demonstration that smart human tricks are superior to perfect oiled robotic mechanics: the underarm serve (winning serve), and the double-faulting of Lendl on match point while Chang is almost on his service line...
nobody expected that to happen and this RG was blessed really as Chang won as the youngest GS winner of all time, beating in finals Edberg, in which would remain Edberg's best occasion to complete the career slam. :worship:
btw if you want to watch it you can buy the DVD on ebay, there are long rallies but it's always funny to see old school outfit like Lendl's tight shorts and adidas just ironed white polos, his tiny racquet head and scarily long rituals :devil:

Duncan
09-27-2005, 01:34 PM
i would love to see this match !

Rex
09-27-2005, 04:23 PM
i was born in that year- what a year to be born..........

TheMightyFed
09-27-2005, 04:28 PM
For Rex and other young fans, from Wikipedia:

The Classic Match vs Ivan Lendl (French Open, 1989)
Michael Chang's most famous match took place on the way to winning the French Open title in 1989. In the fourth round, he faced the World No. 1 and three-time former champion Ivan Lendl. Conventional wisdom made Lendl the heavy favourite to win the match against the 17-year-old Chang.

Everything seemed to be going to expectation when Lendl comfortably took the first two sets 6-4, 6-4, and then broke Chang's serve in the opening game of the third set. Then Chang's fight-back began. He broke back immediately and went on to claim the third set 6-3. Part way through the fourth set, Chang experienced a severe attack of leg cramp. Fighting to stay in the match, Chang resorted to some novel tactics. For a period he began taking all speed out of the match by playing "moon balls", and he wolfed down bananas and drinks at every opportunity. Lendl, who was known to be one of the least easily fazed players to grace the court, completely lost his rhythm. He began to swear at the umpire and the crowd, especially after losing a key point in the fifth set when Chang shocked him by delivering an under-arm serve. Chang later explained, "I was trying to break his concentration. I would do anything to stay out there."

Barely able to stand, and screaming with pain after many of his shots, Chang continued to battle on. Despite being on the verge of physical breakdown, he fought his way into the position of a 5-3 lead in the fifth set with two match points on Lendl's serve. Aiming to break Lendl's concentration one more time, Chang stood well inside the baseline, almost at the T-line in the centre of the court while waiting to receive Lendl's serve (normally an almost suicidal position when facing an opponent's serve). The tactic worked as Lendl produced a double-fault to give Chang victory. Chang won one of the most memorable matches in tennis history 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in four hours and 37 minutes. Chang sank to his knees and broke down in tears at the conclusion of the match. Seven days later he would go on to become the youngest male champion in French Open history.

Rex
09-27-2005, 04:33 PM
thanks mdhurbert sounds like it was great- it seems pretty ligitimate......if not that.....i would say heroic............nice.

NYCtennisfan
09-27-2005, 05:44 PM
That was one of the biggest upsets I have ever seen. It was a slight, inexperienced, short Chang at the age of 17 going up against a legend and winning. He should've been blown off of the court but did everything he could to stay alive. A truly great match and great effort by Chang. I still can't believe he won to this day.

Winston's Human
09-29-2005, 02:53 AM
I remember watching that match and I was stunned that Chang had Lendl so off-balanced.

It was very unlike Lendl who almost never lost matches that early in Slams. However, the match did give viewers an early glimpse of the Chang trademark of fighting until you have nothing left.