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December 12, 1992

Michael Chang


Q. Michael, this isn't meant as a criticism, just out of curiosity. What do you after the match? You must go through some stuff.

MICHAEL CHANG: Normally, I have learned from past experiences that when you come off and you play a tough match and it is over for quite a long period of time, if you are coming in, you are very warm because you are sweating and if you come in and you sit down, your body just kind of goes like that (indicating down.) I have been in situations where, a good example is I had played against Andre Chesnakov in the '89 French Open in the semi-finals. That was a long match. Straight after the match I did two TV interviews. I went to get up and I couldn't get up anymore; just my legs, and the rest of my body just started cramping. I just want to avoid that. When you have a tough match, really whenever you do any kind of exercise, you need to have some kind of cool-down period to take a little stress off your heart, and for me, that is going back into the lockerroom, stretching, changing clothes, taking a shower, letting the body kind of recover, and just so it is not so much of a shock where all of a sudden you are running and then you just stop. You have to keep on moving, you learn a lot from that. Jimmy Connors in fact learned that during the U.S. Open, in one of his late-nighters, and he had that time where he was cramping after his match. The reason being is he went and he just -- he sat down to get a massage and that is just -- it is just a no-no, I mean, you just don't want to go through that kind of hassle. I regret having to make you guys wait, but sometimes I have to do what I have to do.

Q. Michael, the last year you were here in the final. Two years ago in the semifinal. Now again in the final. Everybody says that this court is very quick; it is very difficult to return, and so on. How do you explain it and what do you expect about the match tomorrow that whoever you have to play, you have to play a big server, Stich or Sampras?

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, I got a pretty good practice today. I think, you know, as far as returning serve against some of these big guys, I think Goran hits the four corners pretty well. A lot of instances you kind of have to take a few chances as far as where he is going to go. You try to make the most of every opportunity, whenever he hits a second serve at least to get it down to make him volley, and hopefully either you will get a few errors or you will make a few good returns. That will help you to break and hopefully eventually win the set. But, you know, it is -- I think it is something that you just have to keep working at it, and you try to frustrate your opponent a little bit at times and really just take it point by point. I know that it is a pretty quick surface and I know that tomorrow I am going to play another serve and volleyer, but I will just try and go in with the same mentality, try and go in point by point and not worry about the aces or the service winners, because that is really against Goran, Michael or Pete, it is almost a given, so you can't really get frustrated about it because, you know, it is going to happen.

Q. Michael, leaving out the question of money, what else is it that makes you perform so well here because you are very consistent in Munich?

MICHAEL CHANG: Actually, prior to playing the Grand Slam Cup, I had played in Munich during the BMW Open and I lost first round, so I guess that you can scratch that about always playing well in Munich. But you know, I think that it is great to be able to come to a place where the people are very enthusiastic. I think it is also great to come to a place where, because there is only 16 players -- actually 18 players, you know, with the two alternates, you really get treated very much in a special way and I think that normally you don't see that kind of treatment because, you know, at least the tournament is -- at least 32 singles players, plus you have doubles guys, and you don't see that kind of -- just that kind of catering type of -- I mean, they just cater to us and everything seems to be taken care of. Really. It is the last tournament of the year, everybody is enjoying themselves and every time you go back to the room, there is some little gift. Couple of days ago, I got like one of those Indiana Jones hats. It is a nice atmosphere. It is a nice place to come to. I think that that is part of the reason why-- besides the money, I think that is part of the reason why from the first year compared to this year, really very few people have dropped out of this tournament, and I think that because probably the word is getting around that this is a very, very well-run tournament and something that the players can look forward to and enjoy.

Q. What do you think was the most important thing about the match? What do you think was the most important thing today that the fact that you-- your consistency or the fact that Goran can never -- he goes up and down all the time and you can never really tell how he is going to be.

MICHAEL CHANG: I think that the first set really was very close. I think really it could have gone either way. He played a great tiebreaker, hit like four aces and one service winner; nothing you can do about that. A few good returns. Second set and the third set, he didn't play as well and I was able to get a couple of breaks in the second and was able to pull out the third set and then he started to put things together again. He was able to actually break back in the fourth set, after I got an early break and I got another break, and next thing you know, you are in the fifth set and it seemed as if -- especially the last game, it seemed that, you know, although the whole match was really riding on a few instances on one point, whether to win it or to lose it, he was like playing as if it was like the first point of the match, just kind of whacking away, and getting a feel for everything, and you know, a lot of those match points, I mean, he just hit just some tremendous shots. That was obviously a very critical game of the match because, had he won it, he would be back on serve and it is difficult to break Goran, and really it is anyone's match. But I tried to play consistent tennis throughout the whole match. I felt that I accomplished that to a point -- to a point and really the kind-- the rest is up to Goran; if he hits great shots, you can't do anything about it. But if he misses it, that is to your advantage.

Q. Michael, has he established himself, Goran, as No. 3 or No. 4 in that top echelon; is it because of lapses like he had in the second and third set today, does he still have to show everybody else that he still belongs in that kind of area, that kind of ranking?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think Goran has proved himself as far as being one of the best players in the world at the present time. I think if you take a look at his results, I am sure he has had a few points where he has been a little bit spotty, but you know, he had a really good Wimbledon and I think also he played very, very well in Frankfurt, winning three matches very, very convincingly, and I think that he has beaten just about everybody on the tour and I think that that counts for something, and I think that players know -- top ten players know especially that when they play Goran now, it is not just, you know -- it is not just a young kid from Croatia; it is-- I think, it is more of a young man now, and I think that really, over the past year, he has really put his game together and I think that, as he gets a little bit older, gets a little bit stronger, he can only get better, really. Hopefully not too much better, but I think that he has definitely established himself. Hopefully not any taller either.

Q. Michael, last year, you had to fight five sets against Lendl. Then the next day you were very tired against Wheaton. What is the condition today and what do you recall of last year? Were you really tired? Was that the reason why you lost to Wheaton in your opinion; maybe it was part of it?

MICHAEL CHANG: I don't think that was the reason I lost to David last year. I think he just played some great tennis. I think I was a little bit tired. That is pretty natural after playing five sets and winning like 8-6, 9-7 in the fifth. I think it is pretty normal, so -- but I feel -- I feel pretty good. I think that against Goran, the points are a little bit shorter than against Ivan. Hopefully I will feel good waking up tomorrow and come out tomorrow swinging and playing well.

Q. Michael, just one thing. I think it was in the fourth set, Goran spent some time talking to the umpire; then he went back to receive a serve from you. He kept talking to the linesman behind you and you were trying to serve. Did that sort of not put you off or anything? It was quite a long time between the point.

MICHAEL CHANG: Did I lose that game?

Q. I can't remember.

MICHAEL CHANG: If I did, it did. If I didn't, it didn't.

Q. There was a long time because he spent --

MICHAEL CHANG: No. I don't think so.

Q. I guess you don't remember it?

MICHAEL CHANG: I remember it because I remember the umpire moving back and forth, and everybody laughing, so -- I think for me you come to expect certain things. Some things like that are going to happen. You are going to have disputed calls and it is going to take a little bit of time. It is something that you have to learn to cope with and learn how to handle it.

Q. Considering it was only the second time you had played him and he played quite well against you in Frankfurt, were you a little surprised when he folded in the middle set; his game fell away --

MICHAEL CHANG: I think it might have been a little bit of a -- little bit of a let-up from the first set. I think that, when you have a very tight first set and it comes down to a tiebreaker, I think it is pretty natural to kind of start off the following set a little slow. You know, I think he played a better third set than the second set, and gradually started to pick his game up again and realized that he better get going otherwise the match is going to be over. That is really what he did. And, you know, I think that that is probably what made it so tough to win it in the end. He was back to playing, playing very well, and the last game was pretty evident of that; he was cracking a lot of second serves that he didn't really do that consistently prior in the match, so --

Q. Thank you.

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