Michael Chang was just elected into the tennis hall of fame (1/23/08). It’s an amazing accomplishment when you consider all that he had to overcome in his career. He was never blessed with any of the god-given talent or ability that many of his rivals possed and he was almost always the smallest/shortest player in his matches. Still, he managed to climb to the peak of his sport thanks to his incredible work ethic, unrelenting determination and awe-inspiring heart. No one hustled more than Michael Chang, period.
The first thought that pops into any tennis fan’s mind whenever we hear the name Michael Chang is the 1989 French Open champtionship that he won. It is considered one of the biggest upsets and greatest underdog performances in sports history. What he accomplished transcended sports in many ways. He taught us all that we can make our dreams come true even when all odds are against us. The lessons learned from his incredible feat can apply to business or just life in general, not just sports. Despite all logic and facts, David slew goliath. The giant wasn’t just Stefan Edberg the legendary Swede that he defeated in the finals to win his one and only grand slam title of his career, but Ivan lendl in the semi-finals. Lendl at the time was in the midst of dominating run in his career (he would reign as #1 player for a record 270 weeks!). By all accounts, Michael Chang should not have even shown up for the match. Not only did he show up, he gave us all a legendary experience that no one will ever forget. His heart on that day alone earned his spot in the tennis Hall of Fame.
Here are some
Here are highlights of the final against Edberg including the winning moment. Notice the scores as Chang was down two sets to one and a few games in the fourth before staging another comeback to cement his spot in sports lore.
Here’s a nice 25th anniversary feature