Originally Posted by falstaff78
... teenage major finalists are almost exclusively a 1980s phenomenon...
Great analysis !
I suspect this was because of the catastrophic change in racket technology around that time.
The 1981 Wimbledon final was played with wood conventional rackets. In 1982, Mats Wilander won the French Open with a graphite mid - the Rossignol F200. The new graphite rackets allowed the young guns to slip past the old guard for the most part except for McEnroe who had adopted the Dunlop Max 200G in 1983. From then on, it was oversize graphite all the way with perhaps the zenith being Chang sneaking past Lendl on his way to winning the French open in 1989 using a prince graphite.