Former tennis star Chang enters International Hall of Fame

July 13th, 2008 - 10:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Newport (Rhode Islands), July 13 (IANS) Former French Open champion Michael Chang has been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Chang, 36, won the 1989 French Open at age of 17, becoming the youngest man to win a Grand Slam singles title. The Roland Garros title before Chang was not claimed by an American male in 34 years. His two-week run was highlighted by defeating world No. 1 Czech Ivan Lendl in five sets in the fourth round and Swede Stefan Edberg in five more sets in the final.

“I think any generation that follows our generation its tough to compete,” Chang , who was inducted Saturday, said in a press conference. “As an athlete, I used my speed, agility and quickness to go out and play against the big guys.”

In his 16 years of career, Chang reached a career-high world ranking of No. 2 and was ranked in the Top 10 for seven years. He captured 34 singles titles, while finishing as a runner-up on 24 other occasions.

Chang was a finalist at the 1996 Australian Open and a semifinalist there in 1995 and 1997. And in addition to his Roland Garros win in 1989, he also reached the French final in 1995.

“For me, I think the Lord wanted me to win to put a smile on Chinese peoples faces,” Chang said.

Inducted posthumously were contributors Mark McCormack, the founder of International Management Group, and Eugene Scott, the founder, editor and publisher of Tennis Week magazine.

Monica Seles, the former World No. 1 and nine-time Grand Slam champion, presented McCormack during the induction ceremony. McCormack, once dubbed the most powerful men in sport, was the founder, chairman and CEO of IMG and died in May 2003.

Scott was a former US Davis Cup player, promoter, tournament director, executive, agent and attorney, who founded the magazine Tennis Week in 1974. He was presented by three-time Wimbledon champion and former No. 1 John McEnroe.

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