25 years later, Chang reflected back on his professional tennis career and Asian American athletes such as Jeremy Lin, according to the Asia Society.
Winning the French Open in 1989 brought an overwhelming amount of attention to Chang, not only from the sports world, but from the Asian American community.
“The crowds and attention were tremendous at times and it was hard to not want to do well when I was there. It just goes with the territory and you learn to embrace it and enjoy it,” said Chang.
Chang understands what Jeremy Lin is going through now. He says all the attention showered on Lin is well deserved.
“After all, how many Asian Americans have done really well in professional sports over the past 10 years? And Jeremy’s success is unique because he is the first Asian American to break thru in the NBA, so the attention is well deserved. Hopefully in the coming years, it will be more commonplace and I actually believe it’s starting already in junior tennis here in the U.S.”
Like Lin, Chang is Taiwanese American.
You can read about the advice Chang offers other Asian American athletes today, his thoughts on his most memorable match and the state of tennis today in the Asia Society.