A different specimen of fortitude it was, a match that lasted for 5 hours and 26 minutes to be precise, went on and became the longest match in the entire US Open history.
The match came so close that Stefan’s perfect volleys were being countered by Chang’s perfect returns, making each rally breathtaking to watch.
Chang took the lead in the first set with five games to two, but Edberg did not give up till a tiebreak. Eventually, he lost the tiebreak and the first set went to Michael Chang.
In the second set, the match took an opposite turn. Edberg took the lead with 4-0, only to see Chang come back to lock the game into a tiebreak again. Nevertheless, it was still Edberg that won the tiebreak.
The third set went to Stefan Edberg, 7-5. In the fourth, the Swede missed the chance to end the match and allowed Chang to push the game into a final fifth set.
This is when the battle for endurance became most obvious. Both were physically tired, and the battle was led in the minds of the players.
“I’m fighting for my life out there,” was Edberg’s most vivid recollection of the third consecutive Open match in which he needed to overcome a fifth-set deficit to prolong his title defense.
But 5 hours and 26 minutes after Chang, who hadn’t gotten this far at a Grand Slam since his 1989 stint at Roland Garros, and Edberg squared off in relatively friendly fashion, both barely had the energy to walk out of the stadium.
Fatigue, said Edberg, the exhausted winner by a slender 6-7 (3-7), 7-5, 7-6 (7-3), 5-7, 6-4 margin, can blur the difference between the conqueror and the vanquished.
This match was unbelievably one of the most physical, testing, and corporeal matches ever played or witnessed.