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7 teenagers to have won a Grand Slam title in the Open Era

ANALYST
Feature
Published 12 Jan 2020, 19:02 IST
12 Jan 2020, 19:02 IST

Rafael Nadal at the 2005 French Open
Rafael Nadal at the 2005 French Open

Since the commencement of the Open Era in 1968, there have been 52 editions each of the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, and 51 editions of the Australian Open. Even though the Australian Open was the first Grand Slam tournament of the 1968 season, it allowed professional players to compete only from the 1969 edition onwards.

In the 207 Grand Slam tournaments in the Open Era, 54 different players have lifted a Grand Slam title. Roger Federer (20), Rafael Nadal (19) and Novak Djokovic (16) lead a group of 30 players to have won multiple Grand Slam titles.

24 other players have won one Grand Slam title apiece, the last of them being Marin Cilic at the 2014 US Open - who also happens to be the latest player to win a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.

The five-year period encompassing 20 Grand Slam tournaments (2015 to 2019) without a new Grand Slam champion is the longest in the history of the Open Era, surpassing the three-year period between Juan Martin del Potro (2009 US Open) and Andy Murray (2012 US Open) making their respective Grand Slam breakthroughs.

Most of the Open Era Grand Slam titles, 164 (of 207) to be exact, have been won by a player in their 20s. Only 14 players aged 30 and above have won a Grand Slam title.

At the other end of the spectrum, the number gets smaller still. Let's meet the exclusive group of 7 players who have lifted a Grand Slam title as a teenager.

#7 Stefan Edberg: 19 years 323 days (1985 Australian Open)

Stefan Edberg
Stefan Edberg

Stefan Edberg arrived at the 1985 Australian Open fresh off winning the gold medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

In his third appearance at the Australian Open, and 8th overall at a Grand Slam tournament, Edberg overcame John Lloyd in straight sets in the quarterfinals. The 19-year-old Swede then recovered from a two sets to one deficit against Ivan Lendl to triumph 9-7 in the fifth set en route to booking a title showdown with two-time defending champion and fellow countryman Mats Wilander.

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Riding on a break apiece in the first two sets, Edberg was in cruise control against his more illustrious compatriot, moving to within a set of a maiden Grand Slam title breakthrough. There would be no relenting from Edberg in the third.

Courtesy two more breaks of the Wilander serve, Edberg ended the two-year Australian Open reign of his compatriot and became the newest champion to hoist aloft the trophy.

In the process, Edberg became only the second teenager in the Open Era to triumph at the Australian Open, and the third teenager to triumph at a Grand Slam tournament.

You may also like: 3 youngest men's singles champions at the Australian Open

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Modified 12 Jan 2020, 19:02 IST
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