5 youngest ATP slam champions
In the modern era of tennis, many players rose to the highest late in their careers. But there are a few teenage stars who surprised everyone and reached the highest positions even in their teenage years. Here is a list of the 5 youngest ATP Slam champions.
5. Rafael Nadal
The legendary tennis player Rafael Nadal won his first ATP slam at the age of 19 years and 3 days. He is the fifth-youngest ATP Slam champion and already had 4 Slam main draw appearances at the age of 18. Nadal made his appearance in the fourth round of the Australian Open in 2005 which was followed by an appearance in the final of Miami Masters where he lost against Rodger Federer. He defeated Guillermo Coria and won the Monte Carlo Masters which is the most Masters 1000 title.
Once again he won against the same opponent that had the Rome Masters a few weeks later. In the semifinals, he faced Rodger Federer and claimed a four-set victory to reach the finals. Mariano Puerta waited for him in the finals and lost against the young tennis player. Nadal may have surrendered the opening set but he defeated his opponent 6-3, 6-1, 7-5 in the next three sets and won the Roland Garros 2005.
4. Bjorn Borg
At the age of 18 years and 10 days, Bjorn Borg won the Ronald Harris 1974 and became the fourth younger ATP slam champion. This tournament was his second Ronald Garros and fifth time at the Slam. At this point in time, he already had four titles to his name. He entered the tournament as the third seed after defending Ilie Nastase and Jan Kodes.
The first two rounds of the tournament were some of the best encounters and the next three matches had two five-set competitions against Erik Van Dillen and Raul Ramirez. He faced Eric in the fourth round and Ramirez in the quarter-finals. In the finals, he faced Manuel Orantes who defeated him in the first two sets. But the game turned in the next three sets and Borg won his first slam title by defeating Orantes 6-0, 6-1, 6-1.
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3. Mats Wilander
Mats Wilander won his first ATP slam in the 1982 Roland Garros at the age of 17 years and 288 days. The third youngest ATP Slam champion won his first major in the French capital, Paris. Before this tournament, he also won the boys' single at the1981 Ronaldo Garros and made his debut at Wimbledon in that year as well. He was ranked 38 in the world when he entered the 1982 tournament. He faced Ivan Lendl but before that he overcame the first 3 rounds with the loss of only one set.
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Mats failed twice a set behind but made it to the 5th place with 6-2 and faced Vitas Gerulaitis in the quarter-finals. Wilander had to defeat many legendary tennis players to claim the title. In the final, his opponent was Jose-Luis Clerc who defeated Wilander in the first set 6-1. The 17-year-old played hard and defeated his opponent in the next three sets and won his maiden Slam title. Also, this title was his first-ever ATP career title.
2. Boris Becker
The next tennis player is once again an unseeded player. West Germany's Boris Becker won the 1985 Wimbledon title at the age of only 17 years and 227 days. He entered the Championships with an ATP ranking of 20. Also, it was his fourth Slam appearance with the second at Wimbledon. He reached the third round and then faced Joakim Nystrom and Tim Mayotte in back-to-back five-set battles. Also, he defeated Henri Leconte and Anders Jarryd and reached the championship match. Everything came to an after Becker defeated Kevin Curren and won the Slam title.
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1. Michael Chang
The youngest ATP slam champion of all is Michael Chang. The young boy of 17 years and 110 days won his first-ever Slam title at the 1989 Roland Garros. Also, he is the only player on this list who won only one single major title. The former American player appeared in his fifth Slam main draw at this tournament but he could not go further to the fourth round of a major in the previous tournaments.
When he entered the 1989 French Open, he was seeded at 15th position. His journey towards the title saw huge competition against Ivan Lendl. In the first two sets, Ivan responded with a win 6-4, 6-4 but the next three sets were in the hand of the 17-year-old. He defeated his opponent 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in the next three sets and also won his next two rounds of 4 sets against Stefan Edberg. In the final sets, he won 6-4, 6-2, and became the youngest ever to win the ATP Slam champion.