Tennis365’s Top 10 youngest Grand Slam winners
Every now and then a youngster will burst onto the scene and take the tennis world by storm by winning a Grand Slam.
We know the likes of Boris Becker, Michael Chang, Monica Seles and Martina Hingis make the list, but read further to find out where exactly they feature.
10. Rafael Nadal (19 years, 3 days)
The year of 2005 is where it all began for the appropriately named ‘King of Clay’. In his first ever visit to Roland Garros, Nadal would go on to win the French Open as he beat Mariano Puerta from Argentina to become only the second player after Mats Wilander to win the title at the first time of asking.
9. Bjorn Borg (18 years, 10 days)
The pioneer of a distinctive style of play so often seen in today’s game. Borg, known for his ability to hit powerful ground strokes at the baseline, became the first teenager to win a Grand Slam singles title when he beat Manuel Orantes in the 1974 French Open final in five sets.
8. Mats Wilander (17 years, 293 days)
Wilander exploded onto the tennis scene when he won the French Open in 1982 as an unseeded player. The Swede defeated Argentine Guillermo Vilas in four sets to claim the title. He is also the only player to have won all four Grand Slams before the age of 20.
7. Boris Becker (17 years, 228 days)
Becker made the tennis world sit up and take note of his prodigious talent when he beat American Kevin Curran in the 1985 Wimbledon final in four sets. At the time he was the youngest-ever Grand Slam champion while he was also the first unseeded player to win the Wimbledon title. The German won six Grand Slam singles titles during his distinguished career, including three at the All England Club.
6. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (17 years, 174 days)
The Spaniard beat Jana Novotna and Mary Joe Fernandez en route to reaching the 1989 French Open final, where she saw off the challenge of world No 1 and two-time defending champion Steffi Graf in three sets. She would go to win two more titles at Roland Garros in 1994 and 1998.
5. Michael Chang (17 years, 110 days)
The great defensive baseliner’s career saw him only win one Grand Slam title, coming in the 1989 French Open final. Chang beat the reigning Wimbledon champion Stefan Edberg in five sets, making him the youngest male winner of a Grand Slam title.
4. Maria Sharapova (17 years, 75 days)
The Russian rose to fame after claiming the 2004 Wimbledon title. After seeing off Ai Sugiyama in three sets in the quarter-final, she then overcame the challenge of former SW19 champion Lindsay Davenport in the semi-final before upsetting two-time defending champion Serena Williams in the final.
3. Tracy Austin (16 years, 270 days)
Austin won two Grand Slams in her career, both at the US Open. Her first win at Flushing Meadows in 1979 made her the youngest-ever winner of the competition as she claimed wins over Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert en route to the title. Evert was looking for a fifth consecutive US Open title, but the young Austin stopped her in straight sets.
2. Monica Seles (16 years, 189 days)
The Yugoslav-born American claimed the huge scalp of the great Steffi Graf in the 1990 French Open final to win the first of her nine Grand Slam titles. At the time she was the youngest Grand Slam winner while she remains the youngest-ever French Open winner.
1. Martina Hingis (16 years, 177 days)
Hingis broke Seles’ record in 1997 after beating Mary Pierce in the Australian Open final. The Swiss teenager also became the youngest world No 1 in the same year and went on to win every single Grand Slam apart from the French Open. She won five Grand Slams, but it was a case of what might have been as her career would be foiled by injury as she failed to win a major after the age of 18.
By Zach Holland
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