THE MATCH I REMEMBER
I had an occasion to see the spectacular Grand Slam Open Lawn Tennis tournament held in Paris. I, of course, did not go to Paris. But I enjoyed it live on my television set in my room. It was a 3-hour 41-minute battle on center court at Ronal Garros. The match was between Michael Chang and Stefan Edberg. Michael had started his professional career only a year and a halfback. Defeating Edberg in the final at 17 he became the youngest American to be grand slam Champion. He also had the record of being ever the youngest to win the Paris open.
Chang began the match with an ace. He put constant pressure on Edberg who committed two faults. Chang too double faulted. Chang’s superb back hand cross court pass gave him a 3-0 lead. Edberg put pressure but lost the set 6-1. His defeat roused him to action and he won the next set by 6-3. The set was rather crucial for both. A half volley gave Edberg a 4-3 lead. Even the back hand supremacy did not help Chang. Edberg stuck to an attacking serve and volley game. He won the third set by 6-4. Now he had a two set lead. Chang remained on the defensive.
The next game was tense for both. But now Chang, revitalized, tried to bring back the brilliance of his first set. He did, but not to that extent. He moved to 5-3 with his magnificent backhand play. Edberg lost the set 6-3. The fifth set was to decide the fate. In the first game Edberg broke Chang. But he lost his own service. Chang then held service and broke Edberg for a 3-1 lead. He gradually moved to 4-1. Edberg was not able to show brilliance and lost at 6-2.
Chang who belongs to California whose parents had immigrated to the USA from China won the Paris Grand Slam for America. The victory was worth $ 291,752 for the youngest lawn tennis player. I just envied Chang for the fame he acquired at my age.