For tennis professional winning a Grand Slam in a ultimate achievement in any stage of his career. Yet to do so in the teenage marks an absolute testimony of the player’s potential. We look at the players who managed to win a Slam before turning 20 in their career.
7. Björn Borg at Roland Garros 1974
The Swedish sensation was the King of slow clay at Roland Garros as well as the fast courts of Wimbledon. The super Swede won his 1st Grand Slam in the 1974 French Open at the age of 18 years and 10 days.
This would be the 1st of Borg’s 6 Slams in the French Capital before the Swede retired at mere 25 year old.
6. Mats Wilander at Roland Garros 1982
Following his idol Björn Borg, Wilander became the 2nd player in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam in the teens. He also did so on the Clay of Roland Garros in 1981 when he was aged a mere 17 years and 293 days.
Wilander would follow this win with 2 more at the French Open, marking him as a 3 time Roland Garros champion.
5. Boris Becker at Wimbledon 1985
The German star nicknamed Boom Boom stunned the world when he won a Wimbledon title at the mere age of 17 years and 228 days.
It was a mutual love affair which lasted for many years where Becker would contest in 7 finals and win 3 championships. The Becker-Edberg rivalry saw its finest showpieces on the grass courts of Wimbledon itself.
4. Stefan Edberg at Australian Open 1985
If Becker announced himself in July 1985 at Wimbledon, his great rival Stefan Edberg would do so 5 months later in December that year at the Australian Open.
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The Swede famous for his wonderful net game won the Australian Open that year at the age of 19 years and 324 days. Edberg was the 3rd member of the Swedish tennis triumvirate following his countrymen Borg and Wilander.
3. Michael Chang at Roland Garros 1989
The red clay of Roland Garros has been stage to many historical moments. One such moment arrived in 1989, when a Chinese teenager took the World by storm by winning the French Open at 17 years and 110 days of age. He did so in 5 grueling sets, going neck to neck with one of the then best players of the world Stefan Edberg of Sweden.
French Open 1989 remained Chang’s only success at the Grand Slam level and he was the 1st Chinese and youngest male player ever to win a Slam. Both these records remain intact even today.
2. Pete Sampras at US Open 1990
Pistol Pete was a dominant force in Men’s tennis in the 1990s. The holder of 14 Grand Slams, Pete won his 1st at the US Open in 1990 defeated his long term rival Andre Agassi. Sampras then aged only 19 years and 29 days defeated the then big names like Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe on his course to the championship.
Pete won 5 US Open titles in his career along with 7 Wimbledon and 2 Australian Open titles before retiring. Incidentally Pete’s last slam win would also come at the US Open in 2002, his last tournament.
1. Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros 2005
The genius that Rafa Nadal displayed at Roland Garros was evident since he first played there. Rafa won the French Open in 2005 at the age of 19 years and 3 days. He became the 1st person since Mats Wilander to win a Slam on his 1st appearance there.
Since then Rafa’s legend in Paris has been growing with the Spaniard collecting a record breaking 12 titles. Nadal is not looking to halt his journey in Paris and looks good for few more before bidding adieu.