French Open Championship
In the 90s American tennis boomed because of Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier and? Michael Chang.
He used to say: ?For me, I think the Lord wanted me to win to put a smile on Chinese people’s faces.?
And now Chang is most known of two things ? he is the youngest Grand Slam Champion ? at age of 17 and also that he is coach of Kei Nishikori the Japanese uprising star and already one of the most marketable player. In 1989, few people thought that young American named Michael Chang would beat the No. 1-ranked tennis player, Ivan Lendl, in the fourth round of the French Open and Stefan Edberg in the final. He beaten also young Pete Sampras in the second round 6-1, 6-1, 6-1.
25 years after Grand Slam victory in French Open
But back in the days young Michael distinguished yourself playing his clashes by bigger extended tennis racquet and one of the best footwork on the tennis court ever. Besides he had superb forehand which given him enormous number of winners, good lob and well return.
Chang implemented into the game of Kei new quality. ?The Samurai? has got so far seven tournament titles and is ranked in ATP TOP 10 ? close to Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic when we take into consideration the players from the generation which is predicted to rule in the upcoming 5 years like some experts are predicting ? and moreover he is very dangerous also on the clay courts like on the hard courts which seems to be his natural surface as he was upbringing in tennis craft in Bradenton in Florida – one of the most recognizable tennis places on the world.
Chang talking about Kei interviewed by New York Times said: ?He?s still learning, but I think he is definitely a little bit more calm and a little bit more relaxed than I am.?
With his Chinese-Taiwan origin but representing United States in competition ?the flying dancer? won his first ATP tournament having 16 years and 7 months ? it was in San Francisco and ?the rookie? have beaten Johan Kriek in the final (two Australian Open champion). Chang is now aged 42 but he is in great shape in general and he has great impact on Kei.
His pupil is now the best ranked Asian player while Li Na of China retired from professional tennis in September (she is still active as an ambassador of WTA Championship in Singapure and iconic player for Nike company).
Best of Michael Chang
Hisquotes like: ?As long as there’s pasta and Chinese food in the world, I’m okay.? or ?All of the Spaniards are really talented. I don’t know what they eat.? are proves that Michael pay big attention on food and he has got interesting sense of humor.
Try, try, try, try, try again
Here are the tips of Chang to get better in life and court:
- ?You can work really hard, but if you’re not training in the right way you’re not going to improve and get to the level that you want to.?
- ?If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try, try, try again.?
- ?As an athlete, I used my speed, agility and quickness to go out and play against the big guys.?
The Man from New Jersey had won 34 professional tournaments in the ATP, he achieved 24 finals including two Grand Slam finals (Australian Open, US Open). Engaged in charity actions he wrote in year 2002 his autobiography book called: ?Holding Serve: Persevering On and Off the Court?. His best ranked position was number 2 player in the world in 9th of September 1996.
There is no doubt that Chang as a coach and his fantastic experience is a great value for any tennis athlete having him in the box so we could say that if Kei Nishikori will be out of injuries for the most of his career the future on the court will belong to him with Michael Chang as a friend and motivator right beside him.
By Jan Stanski