Exactly two decades after he stunned the tennis world at Roland Garros by becoming the youngest men's grand slam champion, Michael Chang is still raising eyebrows whenever he travels in China. 'Young players look at me and ask: 'Are you really Michael Chang?' There's still this misconception you have to be big and physically strong to play tennis, but then they see I'm no taller than they are,' he said. Approaching the 20th anniversary of his victory in the 1989 French Open final over Stefan Edberg when he was 17, Chang spent this week in Shanghai, appearing as a special guest on the popular youth TV show, The Prince of Tennis. The American-born Chang plays a tennis coach in the second season of the 20-part series on Dong Fang Wei Shi (Dragon TV), which will be aired in August. 'I can speak Mandarin here and there, but it's too difficult to memorise all those lines in Chinese so I talk in English and they dub it over,' he said. 'It's been fun ... a little nerve-racking at times, but when I mess up people have been really patient with me.' During his latest trip to China, the 37-year-old Chang reflected on the legacy left by his one grand slam singles victory. His unlikely path to glory saw him twice come from behind in five-setters, defeating world number one Ivan Lendl in the fourth round and third seed Edberg in the final. The way the diminutive teenager overcame cramps and served underarm to upset three-time champion Lendl - a comparative giant of the game both literally and figuratively - became part of sporting folklore and inspired a generation of Asian athletes and fans. 'It's amazing over the past 20 years how many people have told me they were actually there in stadium for that match versus Lendl,' says Chang, who retired from the ATP Tour in 2003. But while the memories live on ('as I look back it's almost as if it's yesterday'), the predicted boom of Asian - and specifically Chinese - men's champions inspired by Chang, hasn't materialised. With the career of Thailand's former world number nine Paradorn Srichaphan still in limbo because of a chronic wrist injury, Asia's top-ranked player is Taiwan's Lu Yen-tsun at 66. China doesn't have a man in the top 500 but Chinese women continue to excel. 'These things take time. Tennis is still relatively new in China and quite expensive to play,' Chang said. 'The men's tour is tough, but I want Chinese players to look at me and say, 'If he could do it, then why can't I?'' Chang has dabbled in coaching, working with Peng Shuai in 2007, and setting up the Michael Chang Tennis Academy at Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen last year. But the partnership was short-lived as Chang and the Mission Hills management had different visions of how the project should unfold, parting ways in April 2008. 'I enjoy coaching very much, although it can be a difficult job as there is much more to it than just teaching,' said Chang. 'I like the fact that as a player I have more control over the outcome, rather than having to sit and watch.' Last October, Chang acquired a mixed doubles partner for life, marrying WTA Tour player Amber Liu, a fellow Chinese-American who is 12 years his junior. Liu (below), who accompanied her husband to Shanghai, has been coached by Chang for the past two years. Also last year, Chang - a four-time grand slam finalist who won more than US$19 million in prize money during his career - was inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame. He won 34 career titles and reached number two in the ATP rankings. 'My youth was an advantage to some degree. I didn't realise the significance of what it meant to win a grand slam at such a young age,' he said. 'I learnt some key life lessons during those couple of weeks, like how you can't afford to give up.' The fact that Chang's 1989 French Open run coincided with the student uprising in Tiananmen Square makes his memories of the victory more poignant. 'When I wasn't practising or playing, I was glued to the TV watching Tiananmen,' he said. 'I don't question why the Lord made me Chinese: it was to help take peoples' minds off what was happening because halfway across the world a Chinese guy was doing something good to put a smile on their faces.' Even in June 1989, Chang's outspoken Christianity and love of China were intrinsically linked: 'God bless everybody, especially the people of China,' was his simple message after the final against Edberg. Today, he keeps busy with the Chang Family Foundation, which uses sports to promote Christianity around the world, and is learning about commercial real estate as part of the family business. He still plays regularly, having committed to four Champions Tour events this year. In November, Chang will join seven other legends, including former world number ones John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg, at the inaugural Chengdu Open, Asia's only stop on the 12-event tour. 'I'm very excited to play in Chengdu, especially against Borg whom I have never played before,' he said. 'Since it's in China I feel a special calling to be part of it.'