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November 28, 1997

Michael Chang


Q. Michael, what happened to your serve?

MICHAEL CHANG: I don't know. First set was pretty much a disaster. Started to pick it up a little bit from the second set on. But the first set was just a joke.


Q. Do you feel like you're just not in rhythm on it? You don't know technically what's going on with it?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think the first set, you know, I think I was just trying to muscle it a little bit. You know, I think that I must have gotten like ten percent in or something like that. So the second, third and fourth set, I started to serve a little bit better. But, you know, still just didn't serve the way I'd have liked to.


Q. Michael, Bjorkman said that the turning point was the point you had for 4-2 in the third set. Do you agree or not?

MICHAEL CHANG: I agree it was a pretty important point. Probably, in a sense, the turning point of the match probably.


Q. What would you say was the difference between you two today?

MICHAEL CHANG: Just I think that I wasn't able to win the crucial points. I think that the momentum kind of shifted a little bit. You know, I had quite a few breakpoints and wasn't able to convert, you know, as many as I'd like to. I think against a player like Jonas who serves well, you know you're not going to have a whole lot of chances, so you need to take advantage of those opportunities.


Q. Michael, on the critical point that was just mentioned by Rino, what went through your mind when you were picking yourself up at the net after it was over, after running around doing so much?

MICHAEL CHANG: Just thinking about the next point really. That's all I was doing. You know, it was one point. It went back to deuce. I was hoping that I'd be able to close out the game, but I wasn't able to do that.


Q. Michael, it's been seven years since you've been in a Davis Cup Final. You've played in another ties, but there's a unique feeling, I'm sure, to a final. How did it feel today compared to other Davis Cup matches?

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, I think, you know, playing in a final is always exciting. This is a little bit of a new experience to play a final away. But, you know, I've played away matches before. You know, I'm used to vocal crowds. Generally speaking, it's not something that I get too rattled about. So, you know, obviously today's a very disappointing match for me. Hopefully, you know, Pete can pick it up and can walk away from the day 1-1. But, you know, I think for me, you know, besides being disappointing, you know, you feel like you let the other team members down a little bit. It's always important, I think, to get off to a good start. I wasn't able to do that today.


Q. In the last game, it seemed that you would hold, have a shot at him, then you double-faulted twice. Was that a little bit of nerves?

MICHAEL CHANG: No. I think that -- I don't think it was nerves. I felt like, you know, that was kind of an important part of the match because I felt like if I was able to hold, Jonas is the type of person where he gets tight. You know, I wanted another opportunity to break him. Just wasn't able to get that in the game.


Q. Michael, really, two points, in a way. When was the last time you felt - as you clearly do now - that you didn't do yourself justice on such a big occasion? Two: In that second set, you got him more on the defensive. Why do you think it slipped away again so quickly?

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, I think that the momentum shifted a little bit. I was in pretty good control after the second set, in a way in the third set. Jonas was fortunate enough to be able to squeak out that game. Looking back at the match, it was a pretty, you know, crucial part of the match. Sorry, I forgot your first question.


Q. Basically, when did you last feel so disappointed that you weren't able to do yourself justice --

MICHAEL CHANG: I think it's just -- you know, it's hard to say. I think I've had disappointing times in my career. You know, I think at this point, you know, I'm pretty far down there. I think it's never an easy thing to go through. Each day becomes difficult to pick yourself back up and go on and work hard. You know, I've tried to go on and work hard. You know, I always feel like -- I always feel like the Lord has his purpose for everything. It's just tough. I don't think it's any different for me. You know, when you work hard and you're still coming up short, still falling, it can get tough.


Q. Michael, was there any real difference in how you approached this match to the one in Hannover, or was it just the serve that you felt let you down today?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think that the circumstances are a little bit different. I felt like, you know, today I played a little bit better than I did in Hannover. You know, the circumstances and the situation is totally different. I don't know if you can really compare the two. In that aspect, I felt pretty prepared, you know, coming into this week. Hopefully this team will leave Sweden on a positive note.


Q. Michael, obviously the U.S. Open, what happened there was disappointing. You played very well in DC in the Davis Cup. Do you think that your problems this fall have anything to do with what happened at The Open? What do you attribute to some of the struggles you've gone through here in the last couple months?

MICHAEL CHANG: I can't explain it. I wish I could. I wish I could tell you that I've had times where, you know, I was absolutely lazy and just didn't do anything, didn't work on my game, didn't do anything. You know, it's not something that I can tell you. I can't explain it to you. If I knew the reason, you know, I would fix it, I would correct it. I would never go through -- having lost this many matches, I would never go through that without making a change, if I know the answer. I would have done it the first time around, after the first tournament. So, you know, I think you try to bounce back and hopefully Sunday will be a better day.


Q. What about the surface here? Do you think it was too fast or was it perfect for Jonas and bad for you?

MICHAEL CHANG: The surface is good. You know, I think that for an indoor surface, it's very good. You know, I felt like it's a medium-fast paced court, but that's what it's supposed to be, indoor. I don't feel like it was too quick or anything today. I had a good look at Jonas' serve. I had a good look at his groundstrokes. You know, I was able to set up for his shots like I wanted to. The surface is not a bad surface.


Q. What about the crowd and the lines calling, altogether, the situation, it was fair?

MICHAEL CHANG: It's Davis Cup.


Q. What does that mean?

MICHAEL CHANG: It means you can't come to Sweden expecting it to be, you know, rooting for the USA. I mean, it's Davis Cup. The guys are out there, you know, making the best calls that they can. Sometimes they make mistakes, sometimes they don't. They're out there trying their best. That's the way it should be.


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