September 4, 1993
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Q. Michael, do you have problems with cramps?
MICHAEL CHANG: I don't want to have problems with cramps that is why I'm standing.
Q. When you are down a set and a break normally, usually no big deal. When you are playing him, how big a deal? Were you concerned?
MICHAEL CHANG: It is a very big deal. Reason being I think I was very fortunate to squeak out of that second set. I don't -- I don't remember being down a break. I am not sure; maybe I was. But I know that at 4-4 he had a breakpoint to go up 5-4 and serve for the second set. And really all night I have had a lot of difficulty breaking him. I had a few opportunities here and there, but nothing-- not a whole lot of chances, so I was very fortunate to get a few breaks and able to hold my serve.
Q. Is it just a matter of timing his serve or timing his ground strokes?
MICHAEL CHANG: The thing is you can't just against Bernd, you just can't be just content to get the ball back off his serve. Because then he rips the next one and, you know, a lot of the times tonight either they were clean winners or I just couldn't do anything with the ball and I hit him another short one. In a sense, he kind of really just kind of goes for broke almost, you know, when I am out there. I feel that is what he is doing. But what is frustrating is that the good percentage of the time he is making those shots. He missed a few, but he made quite a few as well. You know, for me it was important to try to make the most of, you know, the break opportunities that I had.
Q. When you saw that there was a possibility of playing again after playing him back-to-back earlier in the year, is that something that obviously you are looking at your next match, but are you looking at an opportunity to make up for what happened in Paris or --
MICHAEL CHANG: No, not so much. You know, I tried as much as I can to always strive ahead; always to look forward, you know, regardless of past matches or what have you. A lot of times if you think about past matches, it is very easy to get into a negative frame of mind. For me, I have been taught to always press -- to press on ahead, you know, just to basically to try to kind of like, you know, do my best, to kind of run for the prize type of thing; just keep my head focused and not worry about the past. Even good things, I think, as well. You know, it is important -- it is nice to have good memories, but I can't dwell so much say I don't-- I didn't like the French Open in 89; I want to strive for better and bigger things. That is a-- that is-- that is important for me.
Q. He said he had problems with the lights. Did you have problems with the lights returning?
MICHAEL CHANG: No.
Q. If you had lost to him you would have been 0-4 against him. Is there anybody that is 4 and 0 against you or better?
MICHAEL CHANG: I have lost to certain players like I have lost to David like the last five times.
MICHAEL CHANG: Wheaton.
Q. But you have beaten him before?
MICHAEL CHANG: I beat him the first time I played. I have lost to Lendl just about every time -- I think every time after I beat him in Paris. So I think I had a stretch last summer in fact, he beat me in Cincinnati, beat me in New Haven, beat me in Hamlet. He beat knee in Tokyo. He beat me 4 out of the five tournaments that I played.
Q. But no one -- there is no one who you haven't beaten and they have won 4 matches against you or is there at least four matches because all those other guys you have mentioned you have beaten at least once.
MICHAEL CHANG: I have lost to Boris twice, I think. Hopefully nobody gets any higher than that.
Q. Marc Rosset in Hamlet beat you with that big booming serve and potentially you could meet Sampras in the quarters with his service on. Do you think you can beat someone-- do you have the game to beat someone with a buying booming serve?
MICHAEL CHANG: Nowadays there are a lot of guys out there who are always booming their serves. Today was a pretty good example. Bernd is not as quite as good as Marc but he still got it in there very good. At the moment I have no concern about Pete because I have a very, very tough match whoever I play the next round either Goellner or Ferreira. Both have very, very big serves. So you know, I have got another match still to think about. I really shouldn't be looking too far ahead and one match ahead is a little bit too far for me.
Q. Going into a match like this, you are thinking about what you have done this summer in terms of the kind of success you have had since Wimbledon it is not just the individual matches against players; you are just thinking long-term and overall.
MICHAEL CHANG: Yeah, I think as far as my game is concerned, you know, because it is important for me to make the most out of the talent that God has given me because if I am just content to just always work on my ground strokes; always work on retrieving balls, sooner or later it is going to wear out. You know, guys nowadays are constantly improving their game. They are getting bigger. They are hitting stronger, hitting more powerful. It is important for me to expand my game to come up with some big serves here and to come into the net; to make the place at the net. I think in turn, with the way the tennis is going now, the power direction, I think in a sense it has benefited me because it is kind of forced me to work on other parts of my game that I wasn't -- that weren't really my strength.
Q. Are you comfortable at the net?
MICHAEL CHANG: I am getting there. By no means am I a Stefan Edberg at the net, but I feel that it is coming along. I think Carlos helped me a great deal with that. And you know, hopefully I can only get better.
Q. Chris Evert had an interesting comment the other day where she said she couldn't say that she was the best player of all time, but she felt she was one of the best competitors of all time. Could you talk about your competitive fire; do you think you are the best competitor in the game now that Connors is gone?
MICHAEL CHANG: No. I don't think so. It is tough to label something like that to a 21 years old. To guys who have been around so much longer than I have. Obviously Jimmy is a great competitor, he and Chris, but I think there are a lot of great competitors out there. Sometimes you may not see them at the top of the rankings, but you know, a lot of them are you know, really good fighters. I think Aaron Krickstein is a great example. He has had so many five-setters over the past few years and is able to come out on top quite a good percentage of the time, and Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, a lot of good competitors out there. So I think it is matter of just -- of going out and taking a closer look.
Q. In the last game you were visibly determined. Is your killer instinct now stronger than it has ever been and how long has that been the case, if so--
MICHAEL CHANG: I don't know. It is tough to say, for me I knew that game was very, very important. Obviously if I had lost that game things could have turned around dramatically. I knew that-- I just knew it was a very big game. When you are up 5-4 and serving for the match, obviously something like that you just don't want it to get away. So you do your best to concentrate as hard as you can on the things that you have to do.
Q. As a follow-up though, how comfortable are you with the evolution of your killer instinct you said at the Hamlet last week that you wanted to work with it?
MICHAEL CHANG: I don't know if it is so much of a killer instinct. I think it is more or less wanting to just give your best, I think more or less. Each player, I think knows what he or she can and can't do and obviously you just try to make the most out of what you got. I think killer instinct, as I think mental toughness comes in where you are just very concentrated. You do little bit of extra so you don't make an unforced error or do something stupid. You make the extra effort to you know, to concentrate just that little bit more on the ball. That is pretty much it, I would say.
Q. Curious about how did the rain delay affect your play?
MICHAEL CHANG: Rain delay didn't affect me. I think had it been during the match, it would have been a little bit more difficult, but I got a nap in the rain delay so it was okay for me.
Q. Can you talk about the difference tonight playing him in the French and did you change any kind of strategy even subtle changes in strategy?
MICHAEL CHANG: I made a few adjustments coming into this match. Obviously, you just really kind of dominated the match in the French Open after the first set. You know, I think that I didn't I didn't change a few things. I think what helped me was that the surface was suited more to my taste than his. I think that that -- I had to make a few adjustments. I do not think I should say anymore other than that. I have lost to Bernd three times, so I don't want to give him anymore.
Q. Thank you.
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