The 7 youngest French Open men’s singles champions: Where would Carlos Alcaraz sit with 2024 triumph?

Michael Chang French Open champion
Michael Chang is the youngest French Open champion in history.

The French Open seems more open than ever in the men’s draw, with doubts about several key protagonists heading into Roland Garros.

Among those under scrutiny is world No 3 and two-time Slam winner Carlos Alcaraz, who has struggled all clay season with an arm injury.

Despite his physical struggles, the 21-year-old is still the bookies’ favourite to win the title and claim his first French Open crown.

Victory would make him the sixth-youngest champion in French Open history, joining a list of greats who have triumphed at the event early in their careers.

We look at the seven youngest men to claim the Roland Garros title.

Michael Chang: 1989 – 17 years, 3 months, 7 days (at the start of the tournament)

US star Chang turned 17 just months before his first and only Grand Slam triumph in 1989, becoming the youngest man in history to win a Slam; a record that looks unlikely to go anytime soon.

The 15th seed famously came from two sets down in his fourth round match against top seed Ivan Lendl, before beating Ronald Agenor and Andrei Chesnokov to reach the final.

There he beat third seed and former world No 1 Stefan Edberg in five sets to claim the title and write his name into the history books.

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Mats Wilander: 1982 – 17 years, 9 months, 2 days

With only Chang and Boris Becker (who won Wimbledon in 1985) ahead of him, Wilander’s 1982 French Open win makes him the third-youngest male Slam champion ever – and second at Roland Garros.

The Swedish ace had never won an ATP-level title before the tournament and was the junior winner just 12 months prior, but beat the likes of Lendl and Vitas Gerulaitis to reach the final.

And former winner Guillermo Vilas proved no match in the final, with Wilander winning in four sets to claim the first of his seven Grand Slam singles crowns.

Bjorn Borg: 1974 – 17 years, 11 months, 27 days

One of the biggest icons in tennis history, Borg was just shy of his 18th birthday when he began what proved to be the first of six successful Roland Garros campaigns.

The third seed battled past ninth seed Raul Ramirez in the last eight before a semi-final win over Harold Solomon powered him into a maiden major final.

After falling two sets down, he dropped just two more games as he defeated Manuel Orantes to claim the first of 11 Grand Slam singles titles.

Rafael Nadal: 2005 – 18 years, 11 months, 20 days

The ultimate ‘King of Clay’ was only 18 years old when he made his French Open debut in 2005, though stormed to the first of his 14 titles in Paris – and turned 19 while doing so.

Nadal eased past compatriot David Ferrer in the quarter-final, before beating world No 1 Roger Federer in four sets to reach his first Grand Slam final.

The fourth seed was a significant favourite against unheralded Argentine Mariano Puerta and duly prevailed in four sets to start his dominance at Roland Garros.

Gustavo Kuerten: 1997 – 20 years, 8 months, 16 days

One of Roland Garros’ most popular champions, Kuerten emulated Wilander by winning his first ATP-level title at the French Open by winning the tournament in 1997.

After beating 1995 champion Thomas Muster in the third round, the Brazilian then beat reigning champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the quarter-final on his way to reaching a first Slam final.

And there he beat another former French Open champion, claiming the first of three Roland Garros titles aged 20 thanks to victory versus Sergi Bruguera.

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Jim Courier: 1991 – 20 years, 9 months, 10 days

One of the most respected pundits in the game, US ace Courier was just 20 when he won the first of his four major titles in Paris back in 1991.

The ninth seed entering the tournament, Courier shocked top seed Edberg in the quarter-finals, before beating eventual Wimbledon champion Michael Stich to reach the final.

A new Slam winner was guaranteed when he faced compatriot Agassi in the final, but it was Courier who prevailed in five sets to claim the title.

Carlos Moya: 1998 – 21 years, 8 months, 29 days

Now most visible as a coach of Rafael Nadal, Alcaraz will be looking to knock former world No 1 Moya down a spot when it comes to becoming one of the youngest French Open men’s champions.

An Australian Open runner-up the previous year, Moya was 12th seed at Roland Garros in 1998 and defeated third seed Marcelo Rios in the last eight, before beating compatriot Felix Mantilla to reach the final.

And he overcame another Spaniard to win his sole Slam, defeating Alex Corretja in straight sets in the final.

Alcaraz will be 21 years and 21 days when action starts this year, meaning he will leapfrog Moya should he triumph.

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