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August 7, 2000

Michael Chang


(interview in progress)

MICHAEL CHANG: Obviously you work hard to get the service break and you hope that you are able to hold your own serve and I just didn't do a very good job of that tonight. I am not sure how many times I got broken, but normally it is more difficult to break serve than to hold serve. So just one of those matches where it was just tough to deal string together some good points.

Q. On a day like today when you are out, how important is it for you to have that L.A. victory and say: I know I can do this?

MICHAEL CHANG: Yeah, I think it is very important. Like I said, I think it is a great confidence booster for me regardless of what happens in the tournaments around L.A., so I think that it is important for me to, like you said, to realize that I am capable of playing some great tennis out there. Either way, I know that going into the Open I am going to have a lot more confidence then, let's say, I did last year, for instance. So that, for me, is important. I think, yeah, I mean, it has been tough the last couple of weeks, but God has a plan; try to make the most out of these couple of weeks, work hard, be fresh, ready to go come New York.

Q. In a certain way you have to get used to again doing well every week like you had in the past, it has been awhile since you won a tournament, mentally had a little let-down; hard to keep that up again (inaudible) --

MICHAEL CHANG: It is a little bit to a certain degree, yeah. Like I said, it has been awhile obviously since I have won a title, so obviously coming off of L.A. it is a pretty big high for me, so an emotional victory for me and, generally speaking, in the past, maybe it wouldn't be as much of a high because it was something that I was a little bit more used to. But after the last couple of years, things obviously have changed and the perspective has changed. To be back in the winner's circle is something that is pretty neat and pretty special. So I think it does take a little bit of getting used to that and kind of kind of relearning your ropes, so to speak, and I think in certain aspects I feel like I have kind of started my career over a little bit. So I am just trying to obviously stay positive. I am not going to allow myself to get too down when I lose matches.

Q. Does that feel kind of weird to kind of a have a rebirth or whatever?

MICHAEL CHANG: A little bit. But I think it is good for me. Because obviously if I didn't feel that way, and I have been (inaudible) -- then something wouldn't -- you don't have that same freshness, that same starting-from-scratch-type-of-thing so I think it is a good thing.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MICHAEL CHANG: I think Cincinnati has always been a great stop for me on Tour. There is no question about that. I mean, even the first year I came, unfortunately, you are not able to do as well as you'd like every year, so those four years that I got to the finals are pretty nice and sometimes you are going to be able to do well and sometimes you are not. Even though I will come next year to Cincinnati and I won't be saying -- I won't be saying: No, I don't want to go to Cincinnati because it is a great place for me and even though I lost first round this week, it is still going to be a great place.

Q. Did you feel your people out there, your Cincinnati crowd pulling for you?

MICHAEL CHANG: It is always nice to have the crowd's support here. Just not here, even when I am just around the city and stuff. That is pretty nice to have it almost as if I come from Cincinnati for one week and it is almost as if I kind of live here. So that is the way I kind of feel when I come here. Obviously it feels good to have support and encouragement coming from the places that you play. Cincinnati is one of them.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MICHAEL CHANG: I think it depends. I don't know exactly what they are shooting for, so I think it really depends on what their purpose is for it. I think if they are aiming for something like the Lipton or Indian Wells, obviously they have got the men and women playing, so I don't know exactly what they are shooting for. For the most part right now, they do have a great facility.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MICHAEL CHANG: Obviously then I think you got to add some stuff, to add some room, some more courts, then you have got make more room for sure. Particularly if it is a big large women's tournament, so, yeah, then I think that is for sure. Then the guys -- you got a lot of guys. You got a bigger draw now than you have had in the past. You have got a straight 64 draw. It is not a 48 draw anymore so you have got a lot more guys playing.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MICHAEL CHANG: I think Pete's reasoning for him is obviously the schedule is pretty tough. It is tough to go back-to-back on major events. So he realizes that you still have quite a few tournaments the rest of the year and I think for him he just feels like it is too much tennis. I know that some of the other guys have felt that in the past and chose not to play the Olympics. That is their choice.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MICHAEL CHANG: In sports, yeah, in tennis, I think the Olympics is -- obviously it has its place, but I think to say the Olympics is kind of -- for instance, in comparison to tennis it is not quite the same because tennis is still relatively a new sport in the Olympics comparatively to some of the other sports that have been around for so long. So I think with tennis still people identify the bigger events obviously with the Grand Slams and stuff more so than the Olympics just because they have been around longer.

Q. (inaudible)

MICHAEL CHANG: I feel obviously schedule-wise it works out a little bit. I am going to Asia right after, so it is in the same vicinity and I felt like, well, this may be my last opportunity to play the Olympics, so I felt like might as well take advantage of that opportunity and hopefully do something great over there.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MICHAEL CHANG: I think the Olympics is something that is special now in the aspect it doesn't come around very often, so I wish that in some instances I do wish they change the format a little bit to make it a little bit more team versus team concept. I know there have been times like in Barcelona, they had two players in the first round from Germany so it a little bit different. So I feel like it might be a good opportunity to be a part of that.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MICHAEL CHANG: Yeah, I mean, for sure. To a certain degree, yeah, not every one gets an opportunity to be a part of the Olympics. It is based upon, obviously, where you are from and ranking, stuff like that. So it is not something that everyone can play. So in that aspect, it is an honor to be given the opportunity to do so.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MICHAEL CHANG: Everyone has their own reasons. That is all I can say. Pete probably will give you his own reason this week if you ask him. I would imagine he'd probably just tell you the schedule is pretty tough. Because we play a lot of tennis throughout the year, so it -- and Australia, it is not exactly close. So it is a pretty long haul to go down there.

Q. Hanging around Cincinnati this week?

MICHAEL CHANG: I don't know. I think I might go back home probably.

End of FastScripts….

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