Michael Chang charged onto the international tennis scene and shocked the world by upsetting Ivan Lendl and Stefan Egberg and becoming the youngest player in history to win a Grand Slam event. After that French Open win, he publicly thanked his savior, Jesus Christ. "Without Him, I'm nothing," he said. Boos and cheers followed. Criticism flowed freely. Veteran players and observers of the professional tennis tour laughed in anticipation of when Chang would fall.
None of it troubled Chang, who continues to stay focused on Christ and among the top tennis players in the world. Says Chang of his regular public praise of Christ: "I've just received so much joy, so much love, and so many blessings from the Lord. When something good happens to you, you want to share it with people!"
At just 5-feet-9, 150 pounds, the 1992 Olympian is small for his success. He says his keys to victory are intense physical and spiritual workouts. The spiritual is as important to tennis as the physical, and it is more important in life overall.
"I do a Bible study first thing in the morning and also at night," Chang says. "Throughout the day, I'll pray whenever because the Lord is always there. He teaches me a lot through circumstances in my life, whether it's a tennis match or other things that are going on. Trying to stay close to the Lord can be very difficult by yourself, so you ask the Lord to help you. You ask Him to be your first love and your first priority. Life will have its ups and downs, but regardless of what's happening in our lives, if we're focusing on Him, we'll have the joy that He gives us."
Chang asked Jesus Christ to lead him through life during his first year on the pro tour. He sees God's timing, saying, "Before all the fame and money, the Lord was there teaching me His way first."
Michael trusts that God's hand is upon him at all times.
"I think there's a confidence knowing that everything is in God's hands," he says. "I see so many things happening in my life and I know that they aren't just mere coincidences. I know that the Lord loves me, that He looks out for me and that He will always be with me and walk with me. It just brings me a great deal of satisfaction and comfort to know that no matter what happens, He will always take care of me."