home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


August 26, 2002

Michael Chang


MODERATOR: Questions for Michael.

Q. What happened in the tiebreaker with the Cyclops?

MICHAEL CHANG: I hit a good serve. Apparently when I had hit a serve, the Cyclops from the Stadium Court went off. You know, Francisco I guess initially thought it was from his side. You know, by that time the point was already over. I was kind of looking over at him. He was kind of like, you know, "What's going on?" The umpire was, "That wasn't this Cyclops." You know, I knew it was from behind me, but it's strange that it was fairly loud. That was the basic ruling. Had nothing to do with what was going on on our court.

Q. Your serve was in?

MICHAEL CHANG: It was in by like three feet. I mean, it wasn't really that close, unless there was a mouse running around in there.

Q. Roger was in here talking about confidence.


Q. Confidence. Obviously, that's something that's plagued you pretty much up until Cincinnati, would you say?


Q. Can you identify with what he's going through? Could you talk about what you've done to jump that hurdle?

MICHAEL CHANG: I can't really say what's going through, you know, Roger's head. I can really only tell you what has been going through mine. Pretty much for me, you know, it has been a difficult road this year. But still, you know, I look at each day as a new opportunity. You know, Cincinnati was a good confidence booster for me. To be able to beat a guy in the Top 5, you know, for me is great. To be able to have that kind of win, to be able to get any kind of wins right now, you know, is great. I feel good about where I am. You know, I'm pretty relaxed coming into this year's Open. You know, I think it's a little bit uncharacteristic in certain aspects because in past years I've come out -- I always tend to be a little bit more tense knowing that I'm a contender. You know, just tend to be a little bit more tense. This year, you know, I'm taking everything match by match, point by point, really waiting to see how everything goes. You know, I feel like it's easy for me to come out and to swing away, go for my shots. Yeah, it just seems a little bit easier, this year's US Open. I don't feel a whole lot the pressure.

Q. Does that mean you're conceding that maybe you're not a contender?

MICHAEL CHANG: No, no, I'm not really looking at it that way. I'm just looking at it, you know, like I said, just taking everything point by point, not really looking at everything as a whole. You know, for me, I'm through the first round. You know, it's one under the belt, so I feel good.

Q. You talk about serving and volleying more. You tried to put this pretty much in your game this year. How do you feel about that?

MICHAEL CHANG: I would serve and volley a little bit around grass court time. But, you know, it really hasn't been a staple for me. I'm trying to mix things up, trying to do something different. You know, I've been playing the same style of tennis for so many years. You know, I'm a very stubborn person. It's been difficult to get away from what has worked for so long. You know, I realize that I'm in the twilight, you know, of my career. You know, I feel like if I don't change something, don't do something, then the results maybe are going to continue the way that they have. That for me is not something that, you know, I want to really be a part of. So I go in and make some changes in my game, really see what happens.

Q. Do you feel for yourself, your generation, like a last stand for a generation that typically in this country has carried men's tennis for so long?

MICHAEL CHANG: If you're talking about the older American boys, for the next year, two, three, I would say yes. You know, we've been playing on tour for quite some time. You know, I think they know it. They know they're not going to be playing for five or ten more years. Obviously, all of us would love to be able to go out on a high note. I think that's any professional athlete's dream. But, you know, we're definitely toward the twilight of our careers, you know, want to give it our last good run, last good effort.

Q. For years and years people were really stunned by your speed, quickness, retrieving ability. Now people are saying that Lleyton's is either equal or greater than yours. What would your assessment be of Lleyton's speed, quickness?

MICHAEL CHANG: Lleyton is a great mover, there's no question about that. You know, in comparison to me, I think it's a little bit difficult to say. You know, he anticipates the ball very well, and he plays very well when people give him a target. You know, he seems to do very well against players that are always coming at him, hitting big serves. He just matches up really well. Last year's final is a great example of that. He's got a good pair of wheels, for sure.

Q. What is the key? Is it explosiveness? Is it anticipation? Is it pure speed? How can you assess those elements?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think someone can be a great mover, but when you add anticipation and when you add, you know, a certain attitude of not wanting to give up. I think Lleyton has a great fighting spirit. No doubt that helps him win a lot more points than, say, if he was just a great mover. That is for sure. I think he's able to put all those things together. It's part of the reason why he's as successful as he has been the past couple years. He doesn't have a huge weapon, but he does everything well, and he fights.

Q. Who is the quickest guy you played in your career?

MICHAEL CHANG: I don't know, they're all fast now (smiling). Johan Kriek was pretty fast. He was definitely very fast. Some of the young American boys are very fast. Ginepri is pretty quick. A lot of great movers.

Q. How does the quickness now compare to when you first started?

MICHAEL CHANG: I'm not really sure because, you know, I think coming on tour I always felt like I was the quickest on tour. I never really thought about who was the second quickest. You know, I think that the game has definitely changed over that period of time. Guys are hitting harder, you know, being more aggressive. I'm sure that me getting older, I probably lost a little bit here and there. Yeah, it's kind of hard to say.

Q. When you were attending high school, did they ever try to get you to go out for track?

MICHAEL CHANG: No, because ironically I hate running (laughter). I really don't like long distance running. I'll do some sprints.

Q. But in terms of the sprints, one thinks you could do that.

MICHAEL CHANG: No, I think it was difficult, too, because when I was in high school, I was actually playing for the tennis team as an eighth grader. I wasn't really attending the school. Eighth grade and ninth grade were actually back in the junior high. I enjoyed playing for the high school team. Yeah, Carl and I had a lot of fun there.

Q. When you see the ranking, you're out of the Top 100 now. Does that demoralize you, motivate you? How do you feel when you see that number?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think in certain aspects I feel like, you know, it releases a lot of pressure. I don't know if that sounds strange or not. You know, I come out and play matches. I don't know if a whole lot of people expect me to win anymore. Maybe my attitude has changed a little bit. Maybe it's helped me to relax a little bit. I think if I'm able to go out and relax, I seem to play better tennis. I won a lot more matches over the past few weeks than I have the entire year. Maybe attitude, just a way of looking at things, maybe that's helped me to play better tennis.

Q. Does that cross your mind much, that number, or do you try to ignore it?

MICHAEL CHANG: No, it really doesn't cross my mind a whole lot. I think when you've played at the level that I've played, anything outside the Top 10 in certain aspects, you know, is just a number, unless you're obviously trying to get into tournaments and stuff. Obviously, that's going to be a factor for me the rest of the year. I'm just so used to being up in the Top 10, that if I'm out of the Top 10, it's kind of like, "Well, my ranking is out of the Top 10."

Q. Would you ever consider having to qualify for tournaments?

MICHAEL CHANG: I have. I have. I've done it on a few occasions. I have. I played a handful of challenger events this year, trying to get some matches under my belt. You know, in certain aspects I realize the big tournaments are big tournaments. If I want to go and play them, my ranking is not there, I don't get a WC, I'll take the time to play qually events.

Q. This not necessarily serve and volley style, but coming to the net every point, is that fun for you?

MICHAEL CHANG: It is. I'm having fun. I think you can only track down so many balls after so long. I'm having a lot of fun. I probably hit more winners at the net over the past few weeks than I maybe have in my lifetime (laughter).

Q. Do you consider, "What if I'd been a volleyer my whole career"?

MICHAEL CHANG: No. You probably don't either. I'm having fun.

Q. When you get involved in one of these marathon matches, 3 hours, 13 minutes today, do your thoughts go back to the classic marathons you played against Edberg, other people here?

MICHAEL CHANG: No, no. The match with Edberg was very long. I think the match that's around three hours, two and a half hours, generally speaking, is the norm for three-out-of-five-set matches. Not a whole lot.

Q. You spoke about maybe doing missionary work in Asia. Do you have in your own mind some vision, whether it be in big cities, countryside, anything in particular?

MICHAEL CHANG: I really can't say where specifically. I think I would like to tie in tennis, you know, with the ministry work. Come the day I retire, I'm still going to be involved in tennis. I love teaching the kids, helping them improve. It would be great to see some of them excel and to be able to come and not only play on the tour but to be able to make it on tour. I think there have been a lot more Asians that have been making their way in the Juniors. It's really great to see. It would be nice to be able to have a few more Asians playing and doing well.

Q. Does Srichaphan's success touch you?


Q. Does Srichaphan's win yesterday, reaching the final in Washington, does that touch you?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think it only can help tennis in Asia, particularly in Thailand. Paradorn is a great guy, very well-mannered, hits the ball very hard. Actually, Asian-wise I get along pretty well with Paradorn and Cecil.

End of FastScripts….

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297