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November 18, 1995
Q. Been a long time since you beat him. Why do you think it happened today and how do
you feel about it?
MICHAEL CHANG: Well, I think Pete probably could have said the same thing a few years
ago and, I think, partly today was one of those days where a lot of things were just
working really well for me and just combination of a lot of things. So you try to learn
from your previous matches and learn what you did right and what you did wrong and what he
does well and you just go out with hoping that everything is working and today was just
one of those great days for me.
Q. Michael, you have played a lot over the years. You played in the juniors. You played
through the pros. How would you rank this in looking back at your other wins over Pete?
MICHAEL CHANG: I kind of think that they were all big matches regardless of whether we
have played in the first round of a tournament or not. They have always been big matches
for both of us, just because we knew that, you know, we had grown up playing against each
other and we are always pretty pumped when we play each other; not wanting to give the
other any kind of edge at all; just wanting to continue to get better and better and, so,
it has always been like that. We almost feel like whenever we play, it is like the finals
of a tournament, so, it just kind of comes with, you know, just playing each other through
so many years.
Q. Since playing him when you were younger, your style has evolved more than his has;
is that safe to say?
MICHAEL CHANG: I think it has been both. I think that growing up with Pete didn't -- he
wasn't very tall, so, he didn't possess a very big serve and wasn't -- didn't have all
that great volleys. He still had the big forehand and had a pretty good two-handed
backhand; then Pete started to change his game a little bit, started coming in a little
bit more, and started to grow a little bit taller, so everything else started to click for
him, changed to one backhand, started serve and volley. Started serving well, during the
past few years, he really managed to get things down. He is a lot stronger mentally, so,
you know, I think for me, I have tried to change my game a little bit over the past few
Q. From '92 to now, is it different than the way you would have been playing early in
the '90s, attacking him and everything?
MICHAEL CHANG: Yeah, I don't think I had that ability back then to do so. For me, to
beat Pete back then, it was just running down a lot of balls and make him play an extra
ball or, more or less, kind of wear him out. So, you know, I just -- you can't expect to
beat Pete that way now. It is just different -- unless he -- unless he doesn't get any
sleep at all before.
Q. Is it more enjoyable to beat him when you are aggressive and you are the one taking
it in your own hands as opposed to wearing him out?
MICHAEL CHANG: I think it is always nice to be able to win matches where you go out and
you win them, rather than the other person losing the matches to you. I think there is a
certain amount of satisfaction in that, so...
Q. You always seem to be building, adding to your game. Coming into the tournament this
year, your record in Frankfurt hadn't been great. Any objectives that you came in with
this year for the tournament; things were looking to try to do or try to accomplish?
MICHAEL CHANG: Actually, before this event started, I wanted to be able to finish No. 4
at the end of the year. That is something I haven't done to date, so, that was my initial
goal coming into Frankfurt. And just to be able to do better than I had in the past. My
record isn't all that great, but each year is a new year, and you hope that each year you
get a little bit better. I think this year has been a good improvement. Hopefully, we will
take things another step further from here.
Q. Are you going to watch this match?
MICHAEL CHANG: I have been. I have been.
Q. How long did it take you to feel at ease serving big like you do now? How many years
had you worked on your serve the last three years?
MICHAEL CHANG: Probably more than that.
Q. So how long did it take for you to feel at ease with your serve?
MICHAEL CHANG: I think it is still to the point where, you know, it is not -- I want to
be able to be able to serve, you know, each time I come out and play just consistent, good
solid percentage, and just good solid serving. Every now and again, my serve will kind of
go off and that is something that I am continually working on. I think when you start off
serving, you start off going for big serves, you maybe make 10%, you just continue to work
at it, your percentage gets a little bit better and your accuracy and, for me, just
working hard with Carl, solidifying simple things, like toss, and stuff like that, and
trying to get a little bit stronger - a combination of things helped out.
Q. Which percentage of your training, your practicing, is about serving?
MICHAEL CHANG: Which percentage?
MICHAEL CHANG: I would say, you know, definitely a pretty good percentage. I think,
still, the meat of my game is still my groundstrokes. I am not going to neglect that. I am
not going to, all of a sudden, become a serve and volleyer, for example, it is just not my
strength to do that. My strength is still my groundstrokes and up here (POINTING TO HIS
HEAD) and being able to move around the court and I work on all the other things to
compliment that game.
Q. Were there any times during this year when you said to yourself you wouldn't succeed
in changing your game or not; you were always sure that you would improve that way or --
MICHAEL CHANG: I never thought that there was -- if I were to work on certain parts of
my game, that it would damage my game. If it didn't help it, it would just kind of stay
the same, so that has been my approach and just, you know, I felt like I didn't have much
of a choice. Guys are getting bigger; arms are getting longer; serving bigger, and hitting
bigger. For me to come out and expect to win matches defensively, you know, day after day,
and expect to be in the top 10, it is just too difficult and so I had to make a change. I
didn't have a choice. So, in many aspects, it was very good for me because I think that I
am learning to become more of an all-court player. So in turn, I think it has helped me to
become a better player.
Q. Is there anyone who comes to mind, who you have played over the last few years, who
has added to their game as you have, added a serve or gotten stronger in a particular area
that is really something that one can see; is demonstrable like your serve is, the fact
that your aces have increased?
MICHAEL CHANG: Actually over -- since professional, I can say that Pete is a good
example coming in from juniors to professional, but from professionals on, I really can't
say. I really can't pinpoint one particular person. I think a lot of players have always
had a lot of talent in certain aspects of their game and, you know, take a guy like
Ferreira, for example, when he came on Tour, he had all the shots already, and a guy like
Boris he had the shots already. So, for them, it is just a matter of continuing to get
better in those areas. But I think that as far as, you know, working on really
concentrating on other aspects of my game to go from a defensive player to an aggressive
player and be successful at it, you know, I don't think that I feel like in my heart that
no one has taken the time to work on those things quite as much as I have; maybe they
didn't need to quite as much as I had to either. So, you know, I think in that regard, the
hard work definitely paid off. And now I am seeing good results and on top of that,
everything has just been very, very blessed by the Lord, so...
Q. Michael, you were serving at 3-2, second set; he gets a breakpoint on you first one,
I think, you come up with a service winner; hit another ace 2 points later. At that point,
are you thinking big serve; get it over with or how do you approach it mentally when you
get up against a wall like that?
MICHAEL CHANG: It depends on the situation. For me, obviously, it is nice to be able to
hit the big serve and just get out of a situation like that. I know what it feels like to
be on the other receiving end of that. But for me, it varies from person to person, from
player to player and what I feel like is my best play in that situation.
Q. You realize that the more you win, the better you play now, the stranger it seems
that you are not going to be playing in the final in Russia -- the better you are playing,
the stronger it seems, if you end up winning this tournament, that you aren't going to be
a part of the team in Russia? Do you wish you could go as well as you are playing now?
MICHAEL CHANG: It is not something that has really necessarily been that much on my
mind -- I mean, I have thought -- no, I take that back. I have actually thought about it a
lot with Pete and Jim here, but, you know, the situation is very different. This is, you
know, I don't think you can really, you know, just go by these -- although, I am playing
well here, Russia is a different circumstance and different surface, and --
Q. But you were in the French Open Finals?
MICHAEL CHANG: Yeah, that is true. But I think things are pretty much set for the Tie
there and I don't think you can complain with having the No. 1, No. 2 player in the world
and a two-time French Open Champion, I don't think that you can look at that team and say,
oh, that is not the best team going or that is not one of the best teams going.
Q. Did you want to be asked? Would you like to have been asked this time?
MICHAEL CHANG: Well, I heard something that from -- I guess Jim said that he thought it
would be a little bit unfair for him and maybe for some of the other guys if I were to
play because I didn't, you know, didn't play throughout any of the other Ties. I was
actually initially planning to play the first Tie which was supposedly going to be on the
west coast, United States, after the Australian and I think things got messed up from
there, but, you know, as far as Davis Cup goes, I think Gully is pretty set in his mind. I
think he is pretty confident that Andre is going to be able to not just be there, but, you
know, play great tennis in order to bring the Tie home.
Q. Still would you have liked to have been asked or not?
MICHAEL CHANG: Yeah, you know, obviously it would have been nice to have been taken
into a bit of consideration. I felt that that really wasn't something that really
happened. From the time that Andre and Pete said, well, we are going to play the rest of
the year and then it was it. Once their word was said, that was it, so, you know, I think
in that regard, it would have been nice to have been kind of kept up-to-date on some
things instead of having to hear them secondhand, but -- yeah.... But I think things will
Q. Do you feel that the team would be stronger with you than without you?
MICHAEL CHANG: I don't think it is something that you need to worry about. The team is
set and I -- yeah, I don't think it is necessary to kind of go into that, so....
Q. Apparently there are some telephone calls from people who have been watching the
television in England from my newspaper and they just wanted to know about Michael's
t-shirt - why you are wearing a t-shirt. Is that --
MICHAEL CHANG: I don't classify it as a t-shirt.
Q. It is not classified as a t-shirt? Is it right that you had to get special
MICHAEL CHANG: I did double-check with the ATP. Actually I wore a shirt earlier in the
year that was black and blue and white that was also like that. Put it this way, it is
kind of the new trend for the '90s - we will put it this way. (SMILING) kind of knocking
Andre a little bit, yeah, so, we will leave it at that.
End of FastScripts