March 14, 1994
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
Q. Looked a little bleak out there for a while?
MICHAEL CHANG: For quite a while, actually, very bleak.
I was very fortunate to come out of that one, you know, just
Q. Did you at all kind of at any point think, well, last
year there was Marcos Ondruska and here is Alberto?
MICHAEL CHANG: I didn't really think too much about last
year. Normally, when I have had early round defeats it is-- normally,
it is easier coming back the following year but you have no expectations
and less pressure to go out and just to perform. I think that
coming into today, there was really no wind to deal with. Surroundings
are very comfortable, very good, and I don't think there are any
excuses to come out and to play bad tennis. Everything else was
just very perfect. So today I think I had a little bit of difficulty
getting used to his ball. It is a little bit strange. I think
that Alberto is knowing more as a claycourter, and was until 6-1,
4-1 that I started to change things up a little bit and started
to come in a little bit and that opened up a whole door for me,
basically. He was having a difficult time passing and I was able
to knock off a few volleys. From then on out, things started
to turn around.
Q. Is the bounce significantly different on his forehands
because of the way it hits it? Is it difficult to get used to
the way the ball comes off the racket?
MICHAEL CHANG: It takes a little bit of getting used to,
because no one else really -- there are a few players that hit
like that, but normally it takes a few games to get used too.
Normally, after that, you are okay. He was playing some good
tennis out there. He was able to dictate a lot of the points
in the early going and, you know, I was basically more or less
on the defensive. I couldn't do a whole lot; couldn't come out
and play the way I wanted to play. When you are down 6-1, 4-1,
you realize you got to change or do something. If you just stick
with what you are doing, obviously, you are just going to get
beat. I just take a few more chances and come in, and I won a
few points and, you know, gave me a little bit of confidence and
just kept doing it, so-- but his ball is a little bit different.
I think it is -- it is more like Bruguera, that type of shot
as well on his forehand side, as well as Mancini, they have that
kind of topspin that kind of kicks away from you; Costa, same
type of forehand. Normally, it takes a few games to get used to.
Q. It seemed when you decided to come in you worked his backhand
quite a bit more than you had in the first set. Was that a planned
thing in your mind; did you notice his backhand was much weaker
than his forehand?
MICHAEL CHANG: Yeah. His backhand was much weaker than
his forehand. His forehand was the one that I was able to hit
a lot of the winners or get me into defensive positions. His
backhand more or less was to just keep the ball in play to setup
for his forehand. I wanted to try to attack his backhand and
he didn't feel that comfortable passing off that side. It was
just trying to focus upon, you know, doing what I can to get into
the net. From there, I think that I was volleying pretty well.
That gave me confidence to come in and he was missing passing
shots and getting frustrated and that, in turn, just turned the
whole match around.
Q. Time and time again this tournament we have seen some
of the top seeded players lose the first set, looked like they
were maybe in trouble in the second set, then, all of a sudden,
just turn it around. Does the fact that the top players have
been down, is that a comment on the quality of play; the depth
of the men's draw?
MICHAEL CHANG: I think over the past couple of years definitely,
the quality of men's tennis has definitely gone up. I think that
is why you are seeing as many upsets in the early rounds as you
are. No longer is it in the semis always 1-2-3-4. Very seldom
actually does that occur now. So I think that the level of men's
tennis is-- the depth is much greater and the top players know
that they have got to come out and be ready to go by the first
point and I think that you are going to have tough matches throughout
tournaments. Very seldom I think throughout the years is the
person going to go through the whole draw and expect to win each
match in straight sets; its a rarity.
Q. Just to follow-up on that. When you get to that point
where you have your back against the wall, is that what separates
the top players that they will-- that they are not going to lose,
they are going to turn it around and it is something that happened
with you today?
MICHAEL CHANG: Well, today I look at it as definitely
a gift from the man upstairs. I think that, obviously, when the
top players are down, they try to fight their way back as best
as they can. Sometimes you are going to come up a little bit short,
but sometimes you are going to be able to get out of those positions.
I think that the top players are a little bit more stubborn when
it comes to losing than some of the players who are maybe ranked
a little bit lower. I think a lot of times that is what separates
kind of the higher-ranked players from the lower-ranked players
some of the time.
Q. In the second set you were down 3-Love and had double
break points and you served an ace; do you feel you kind of turned
yourself around; that is obviously the point the match hinged
on and you really turned yourself around at that point. Did you
notice that yourself or was that a deliberate thing to send him
an ace; send him a message?
MICHAEL CHANG: It is always my intention to send him an
ace regardless of the situation; whether I am winning or losing.
But at that point I am just trying to-- trying to pump myself
up in any way that I can, basically I have got in a situation
where you know I have -- I don't have a whole lot of great things
going for me at the moment and you try to capitalize on what you
can and try to-- those shots that you are able to gain some confidence
off of you try to gain as much confidence off of as you can.
I think that is a lot of times that is-- that is part of being
able to try to fight back looking at the positive things and not
the negative things that are happening.
Q. Michael, in a best of three match situation, where does
this stand kind of as one of your comebacks?
MICHAEL CHANG: Let us see. It is hard to say because
I have had so many matches where either I have been up in this
situation or I have down in this situation. It is kind of tough
to place to be honest with you. It is kind of tough to place.
Q. Looking ahead you play the winner of, I guess, Rosset
and Rafter, what do you know about them; are you looking forward
to the next round?
MICHAEL CHANG: I have no preference. I have never played
Patrick before. I have played Marc a few times. We always have
close matches. I think he has maybe beat me one more time than
I have beaten him. So you know, I have no preference.
Q. Is there any one point that stands out in your minds?
Vicki mentioned the ace at 15-40. Is there actually a point in
the game where you broke or 4-2 that you kind of think maybe as
being the key point?
MICHAEL CHANG: I think I was only down one break in the
second set if I am not mistaken.
MICHAEL CHANG: 4-3. I think that was definitely a major
break for me there because I think that when you are-- if you
are able to break back before your opponent has got five games
on the board, it makes a bit of a difference. It gives you just
a little bit of breathing space; a little bit more breathing space.
If he has held serve to go up 5-2, your perspective changes,
so you know, basically at that point you figure 6-1, 5-2 your
back is up against the wall and he has got the knife like this,
one more game and that is it. Basically you just -- gave me a
lot more breathing space and you figure, well, you get the break
back and it is all even again and you kind of disregard the first
set and just try look at it, well, I got to really concentrate
and put my mind into it and try to beat the guy in straight sets.
Q. Actually I guess the point I looking at, he is serving
at 4-2, it is 15-All. First time to me that you successfully
been able to attack his backhand and come to the net. Hit 3 shots
in a row to his backhand and finally attacked the net with a forehand
volley. Did that point-- am I right in interpreting that as the
point when you finally had what you wanted to do under control?
MICHAEL CHANG: I don't know if that was that particular
point. I know sometime during that little span of 4-1 there,
either 4-1 or 3-All, I just started to come in more and I am not
sure exactly which point, but from then on I was you know, I think
I came in once and I might have hit a good volley or something.
You stick with what is working and obviously I was losing from
playing in the backcourt and you know; you know, point by point
and pretty soon points turn into games, games turn into sets and
by the end of the match you say hallelujah.
Q. In the last set when you got on the role he came back
and broke you to make it 4-2. It looked like maybe that was an
opportunity for him to get back. We asked him about it. He said
he was a little tired at that point. You seemed to just crush
it right then and run it out.
MICHAEL CHANG: 4-2 was actually still a very good game.
I knew that I had the comfort of being up 2 breaks, I wasn't
that comfortable; still I didn't feel like I had it in the bag
or anything. Because when you know that the previous set you come
back from 4-1 kind of the tide turns, you don't want the same
thing to happen to you. You try to make the extra effort to concentrate
just a little bit more than what you had been.
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