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November 13, 1995

Michael Chang


MICHAEL CHANG: I think Thomas obviously a very, very tough player. I think he puts very good hard work in and I think it's -- well, obviously, he's had a very successful year on the clay this year and he is starting to play very good and has a good chance as well. He's a tough player.

MICHAEL CHANG: I think it's a day-by-day thing. Sampras is going to be a very difficult match to make. (INAUDIBLE) I'm looking forward to it. I think for me, you know, I haven't beaten Thomas this year, but tomorrow is a new day and another opportunity, so, I am excited about it and very much looking forward to it.

Q. Any strengths and weaknesses?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think his strength is he has got a very good forehand. I think he's very much a fighter and I think maybe weaknesses, it's probably -- for him, he would probably feel (inaudible) given a choice, he much would rather have this World Championship on clay than anything else.

MICHAEL CHANG: You know, to be honest with you, I don't know either of them very well at all. You know, I just, yeah, I just didn't know either of them. I think they've had a great impact on the game of tennis and, you know, I think that definitely they would be remembered for it and I'm sure people closest to them will remember who the people they are on and off the tennis court, but for me, I didn't really get that opportunity to get to know either of them. I think definitely for Bobby Riggs, I think that is very much, for sure, the battle of the sexes and also I think that is the way he approached things. I think he was very much a, you know, a comic in many ways, so, what I understand. And, you know, as far as Pancho Gonzales, I've heard that he was just a great tennis player. You know, just a very, very talented tennis player and he was very, very good at what he did.

MICHAEL CHANG: I'm not going to Moscow. I think it's going to be a very tough Tie. Being American, I hope the U.S. wins. I think, actually, it is a little bit in question who's going to play for the Davis Cup. I know I talked to Yevgeny and Alexander in Tokyo and it's going to be played on the same surfaces in the same venue. Going to be played on the same surface in the same venue.

MICHAEL CHANG: I think that whenever you play against those two players, it's going to be a tough match and Moscow is going to be even more difficult, but I think the U.S. players have been, you know, gotten a good taste of what it is like to play the Davis Cup and that kind of experience and that kind of pressure and as far as the U.S. team, it's a good team. They will be able to come through. I think it should be a great time.

MICHAEL CHANG: You know, I honestly don't think it's going to happen because I think if the situation came, I think he would have contacted me already to be honest with you. I think that -- I really think he probably thinks that and he is going to play, otherwise. I think he is not the type of person that likes to do things last minute, I don't think, and I think that Gully would have notified me already. Because Davis Cup is not that far away at all. Tomorrow is another day and another opportunity and the way I look at it, if at first you don't succeed, you try try again.

Q. And do you have another game in comparison to the other two matches?


Q. What do you think about Muster's game now on a faster surface?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think Thomas has definitely improved in other parts of his game. I think that everyone knows that he is a great clay court player. It gets worse for the rest of us that he can play on other surfaces as well. Thomas is a tough competitor regardless of what you play him on and I think here is going to be no different; particularly to be playing in the World Championships here. I think all the players have a great deal of respect for Thomas and what he's accomplished and we're definitely not going to take him lightly at all. He is definitely going to be a tough competitor and tomorrow is no exception.

MICHAEL CHANG: I feel pretty good. I had to take last week off. It was a short week. I feel pretty good.

MICHAEL CHANG: I think it's been a very good year. I'm excited that (INAUDIBLE) first time that I finished in the top four in the year, so it's really, really an accomplishment for me. I think things are coming along and I think that -- I don't think I'm that far off. In a sense (INAUDIBLE).

Q. Apart from yourself, who else do you think has a chance?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think everybody does. I think everything here has shown through the years they play good tennis and (INAUDIBLE) it's not going to be easy matches and if there is some player who's not playing so well regardless of where -- (INAUDIBLE) everyone here is playing great tennis. That's what you got to expect and everyone out here, they are trying their hardest and a match is a big match and just you got to (INAUDIBLE) everyone out here is trying their hardest. Every match is a big match and you just -- I think it's very important to me, but the great thing about college is there is no time for you. You can go in anytime you want to. You don't always have to go to college right after high school. That's the idea of preference. In some cases, like mine, it's very different and after my career is over, I would like to go back to school. It is something that I definitely will consider. I think I would like to major in something in the field of biology or something along those lines. I have to wait and see how things go. I know that even after tennis, I will still been involved in tennis in one way or the other. I think a lot is having to do with (INAUDIBLE) tennis is so much a part of my life and this is still my way of getting out into the world.

MICHAEL CHANG: I think tennis to the community is very brand new and I think if you look at today, a year ago and look at some of the tournaments and look at how many names are Asian and it's incredible (INAUDIBLE). When Carl and I played, there were two. Carl and myself. I think it's a brand new ball game and I think in the next five or so years, I think you're going to be seeing some very, very good Asian tennis players.

MICHAEL CHANG: Actually, I did something for them early in the year. I played to help children become a little more aware (INAUDIBLE) and develop some for the reserves of the national parks. I hope so. I feel like for me, you know, a lot of what I do off the court has to do with nature and woods. Wishing I could be up there. (INAUDIBLE). I think it is just a lot of politics and a lot of things (INAUDIBLE). I don't think I can get away from it but in some instances, it's difficult to deal with because you want certain things and maybe some other people don't want things done the way you want them. It's politics. I'm not saying that I don't have anything. I'm just saying I don't think necessarily the way politics is -- (INAUDIBLE) politics in general. We talked about things that whether it has to do with business or things like that, just everything. (INAUDIBLE) I like to say like "here it is," this is the way I feel," and someone else might not want to do the same. Instead of having to go through different channels, you have to say what you have to say. You have to lay it out and that's it. Politics, to me, is just like beating around the bush. Qatar?

Q. Yes.


Q. Why?


Q. The newspaper wrote you are not coming.

MICHAEL CHANG: I think scheduling was a little bit difficult.

Starting from 3rd of January, yeah.

Q. Three years we are expecting you to come. Next year?


Q. Are you coming this year?

MICHAEL CHANG: I'm not coming. Next year, no.

Q. 1997 will you be there?

MICHAEL CHANG: Possiblity. I always say a possibility because I never know.

MICHAEL CHANG: I think it's very important for me because I I have a lot of support in my family. I think with me at least I have one member to come with me which I think is great. You know, you are able to go out to eat and see different things and do a lot of things. I know that it is called one of the biggest ATP Tours in the world. (INAUDIBLE).

Q. Do you practice only with your brother? You don't have your own player for practice here?

MICHAEL CHANG: I don't need it. Because Carl is a good enough player. Carl is a great player. I don't feel that's necessary. I don't think it's necessary at all. If you look at some of the coaches that produced best players in the world, I don't think (INAUDIBLE) was ever in the top 10. You look at who else is there (INAUDIBLE). He was never a top 10 player, so, I don't think it's necessary. I think it depends, you know, to be a great coach takes a lot of (INAUDIBLE) and also dedication and hard work to put in.

Q. Do you think it's important for the German spectators and yourself that Andre Agassi is not here?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think it's very important that Andre is not here. I think Andre brings a lot of spark to the game. I think he will definitely be missed this week, but sometimes these situations happen where somebody gets hurt and you can't really deal with it and there are options, but I'm sure that Andre will be watching on TV and he will be missed here.

Q. Do you have a special relationship between your racket and yourself?


Q. Is there a special relationship between your tennis racket? Is there a relationship or is it only an instrument?

MICHAEL CHANG: Not really. I do what I want to do. And that's about it. I don't talk to it or anything, if that's what you are talking about. No, I think it's a very hard piece of equipment. I think that it plays a lot sometimes in how well you play. Sometimes if you don't have the right racket, it's going to make things more difficult. But for me, I have what works for me and that's all there is to it.

Q. What do you know about Enqvist?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think I actually got to play Thomas twice this year. He is still a very young player and I think he's going to continually improve. I think he has got a great serve and good power stokes. He really is starting to put things together week after week and he will definitely be very, very tough, not only this week, but in the years to come.

Q. When you played for the first time here as you will be doing, do you feel something special?

MICHAEL CHANG: Yeah, the first time I came here or the first day? I'm sorry? It depends on Thomas. You know, I think it depends on how he looks at it. He can look at it in the sense that, you know, maybe he might get a little bit in awe of the whole situation being one of the best eight players in the world or he can look at it and be very excited and has a great opportunity to kind of show the rest of the world that he is here to stay, so I think it depends on Thomas's attitude and the way he approaches things.

MICHAEL CHANG: I think last year was a pretty good opportunity. You know, but that is something I don't really want to dwell on because it's gone already. I don't think that each -- that any years are better than any other one really in a sense because everyone is good. (INAUDIBLE) they are good whether they are playing baseline or not. They are all good players and you have to beat them in order to get there, so it really doesn't matter.

Q. What have you been doing for the last week?

MICHAEL CHANG: I was in Paris. I played Paris and then I went home.

Q. Went home?


Q. And some days of rest?

MICHAEL CHANG: Rest and work. No, I think it was just difficult in the schedule because I know Qatar is two weeks before the Australian, right? So it was a little bit difficult and this year, things are a little bit more difficult because Carl is getting married in December and, you know, so we had to work through a few things and actually I'm not playing anything before the Australian Open. I have a couple of expeditions, but I'm not playing any tournaments or anything prior to the Australian Open. You know, we always consider, you know, playing Qatar. Maybe, we always keep our options open.

MICHAEL CHANG: It's difficult to say. I will say this: When you refer to the best player in the world, No. 1 player in the world, if you think about it, there is all different aspects put together. Let me just think about that. Thomas this year will be number one on clay, there's no question about it. (INAUDIBLE).

MICHAEL CHANG: I think one of the reasons when you hear a guy like Andre say "whoever wins the U.S. open between the three of us should be No. 1," I think he really meant that when he said that.

MICHAEL CHANG: I think Thomas has had a great year. There's no doubt about that. (INAUDIBLE).

MICHAEL CHANG: I think that one of the greatest advantages (INAUDIBLE) I get a chance to travel around the world and just have that kind of exposure either through the press or TV or through personal contact and that, for me, is, like I said, (INAUDIBLE) I don't think I would have the opportunity to touch as many people's lives. That's the advantage that I see and I feel (INAUDIBLE) but I think as far as disadvantages, I think that certain periods of time you have to realize that even when you want to be recognized, it doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get it. Some days you want to go out and have a quiet dinner and be on your own and not have to worry about it, you know. (INAUDIBLE).

Q. Is it uncomfortable being watched?

MICHAEL CHANG: Sometimes. (INAUDIBLE). Maybe not quite that bizarre, but it's funny because you might go and do things and some people might be subtle in the way they do things and look at you and, you know, they are looking at you and they try and go about doing things and see what you're doing and who you are with and sometimes they try and follow you inconspicuously and kind of looking at you and they (INAUDIBLE) that's part of it. But the majority of the time, I don't look at that as a negative thing. (INAUDIBLE).

MICHAEL CHANG: In essence, it was more of my dad's decision than my decision because I was away at the time. But this is something that's good to do. (INAUDIBLE). I think one of the reasons that my dad was so willing to do it is because we realize when we were growing up, we didn't have that much financial stuff. Most of the stuff was always coming from my parents and the money was very, very tight and sometimes we only have enough money to give lessons to one of us, so the other one would stand on the side an watch. So, I think in that sense, when you think about the kids and stuff (INAUDIBLE). I think for kids, in particular, many times they get their hopes up. You mean atmosphere?

Q. Yes.

MICHAEL CHANG: I think atmosphere is great here. I think that in Germany, it has always been great regardless whether you are playing in Frankfurt. The people bring a great amount of excitement to the game and particularly here because it is the best eight players in the world - except for Agassi who was hurt - I think when you come here, it's definitely an experience. It's not like a regular tournament, then again, all tournaments in Germany are (INAUDIBLE).

MICHAEL CHANG: I was planning to be in the group with Andre and Boris and maybe Enqvist, but this will work out okay for me. I don't have a preference because everyone is good anyway. You have to play your best tennis regardless, so, it doesn't really matter.

MICHAEL CHANG: That's actually not true because I did play Davis Cup in both '89 and '90

Q. You miss it or you don't care? Would you like to be in the finals or it's not so important?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think to be part of the Davis Cup team is very special. I think, I mean, I look at it on paper, the U.S. should have won the last few years as well as the next few years to come when you look on paper (INAUDIBLE) over the past few years, I think there have been a few differences between, I think, the players and the USTA a little bit, you know, just little things that I don't feel like it's -- I don't feel like a Davis Cup team is a team. I feel that it's kind of like, well, two players they go and they play a team and you're the team for this week and someone else plays and you're the team for now, I don't feel like it's a team effort. I don't have anything against the players or Gully, but I think one thing about the Davis Cup is they are the easiest to get along with and deal with. But it's just frustrating having the Davis Cup on the west coast of the United States. It is just frustrating to have instances come about like having a Davis Cup on the west coast of the United States and all of a sudden, they say there's no venue in the west coast and have it in the east coast and it didn't suit any of the player's schedules and they didn't take that into consideration and also to hear who is going to play the Davis Cup through the press rather than notifying me first. I didn't feel great about that either. You know, for this year and ever since Andre and Pete decided to play for the rest of the year, I pretty much said, okay, well, that's that. So as for the years to come, I hope that things will get better for everybody where everybody is feeling happy about playing Davis Cup and make the time in their schedule in order to accommodate it.

MICHAEL CHANG: I think definitely Pete and Andre are rivalries. I think that was pretty much a pretty good accomplishment through this year I think Thomas play on the clay was a very good accomplish for Thomas and the game of tennis. I think many players don't have a chance to do that. I think had Andre won the U.S. Open, I think we could have said the same for Andre and coming it (INAUDIBLE) but it wasn't meant to be and I think that, you know, you look at some of the other situations maybe some things that maybe aren't as quite as public, like Stefan Edberg, for example, and playing how many matches he has and, you know, just a lot of things and on the women's side to see Monica come back and playing -- not just playing, but playing great tennis. I think it is wonderful for the game and it is good to see her back (INAUDIBLE).

Q. The atmosphere in Frankfurt, is it good between the players?

MICHAEL CHANG: Yes, very good. I think on the court we try to beat each other as much as we can, but after the court, it's very good. I think Davis Cup is a little bit different because it's a team effort. You are there and you know you are not competing against your own teammates so it's different. In the U.S. Davis Cup we go together and eat together and help prepare each other for matches, but here it is a little bit different in that regard because it's individual competition.

Q. You're going to play Moscow?


End of FastScripts….

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