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August 8, 1997
MIKI SINGH: First question for Michael.
Q. Was this a pay back for last week?
MICHAEL CHANG: No. Not really. I think that last week was Gustavo's time and this time
was my time. You know, it just really kind of seemed to reverse roles a little bit. But,
yeah, just almost a complete reversal actually.
Q. Talk specifically about what you think you did better and maybe what he didn't do as
MICHAEL CHANG: I think tonight, you know, it's a little bit more focused. That's partly
due to, you know, how bad I lost to him last week. You know, I think overall to be able to
play a little bit better tennis this time around. I didn't miss too many balls, and was
able to kind of keep him moving and be on the switch side of it. You know, Gustavo's
missing a little bit more than last time. And, you know, I felt like we were having some
good play tonight. I was able to really just, you know, stay focused. That is really the
important part of my game out there.
Q. Anything in particular that you noticed about him that he wasn't (Inaudible.)
MICHAEL CHANG: I think tonight actually it's a little bit difficult to say. Because,
you know, last week we would get into some rallies and for some reason, I wasn't able to
stay with him. You know, kind of slow getting to the balls and if I did get to the ball,
they would land short and he'd be able to set up and hit winners. And if Gustavo is able
to set up for shots, he can really be dangerous. He's accurate, he hits the ball with a
lot of pace, and, you know, there's not a really a whole lot you can do. But you know,
tonight, you know the wheels seemed to be there a little bit better and I was able to hit
with him a little bit more. And more for a few more errors.
Q. With your experience, did you feel that getting a second look at him so quickly was
MICHAEL CHANG: I think it's always good. You know, I think that even if I were to lose
tonight, you know, I think that regardless I would be able to learn more for the next time
that I play him. And that's pretty safe to say for all my matches. You know, just trying
to constantly learn new things and you know, just make things a little bit easier next
time around. And you know, it's just part of learning from your mistakes or learning from
what the other guy is able to do well. And you know at the moment, not a whole lot of
people are familiar with Gustavo's game. You know, he plays a unique style. And, you know,
he takes a lot of people by surprise. And that can be dangerous, which it has been this
Q. Is he the type that's either really on or really off. You know what I mean? The way
he hits the ball with such pace, either it's there or not there?
MICHAEL CHANG: It's difficult to say right now, because I don't know his game that
well. I've seen -- I don't know if he's really the type of player who really flip flops or
not, because when I think about the French Open this year, he really put everything
together. He didn't have really have one good match and then you think normally when a guy
had a big win he kind of looks down a little bit. He didn't seem to have that. So, you
know, if that's the case, then maybe not. But then, you know, I think it's at this point
in time it's probably a little bit difficult to say. I don't know his game well enough. I
probably maybe get a better idea toward his results this year. You know if he's had more
mixed results rather than more consistent results. But he's young and stuff, so things can
Q. Can you talk a little bit about Muster and that match?
MICHAEL CHANG: Well, you know, again Thomas is never an easy match. You know, we've had
a lot of tough matches and, you know, tomorrow's not going to be an exception. You know,
funny thing is that Thomas has been playing better on hardcourts this year than he has on
clay, which is a little bit uncharacteristic. And, you know, he was able to -- he's
playing well this week so you know tomorrow I'm going to expects a lot long rallies and
long points, and you know a really tough match.
Q. Does it help at all that he had a marathon and you had the fastest match of the day?
MICHAEL CHANG: No. I don't think so. I don't think so. I think if it were like five
sets, maybe, you know, having to come back the next day, but I don't think so.
MIKI SINGH: Any other questions?
Q. Have you seen much of him on the hardcourts this week any time recently?
MICHAEL CHANG: Not a whole lot this week, because he's been playing more on the other
courts, and ESPN hasn't been covering him as much as maybe I would have liked at the
moment. (Laughter) so I caught the last point of his match today. But, you know, I think
that Thomas is always a great competitor and he's always, you know, a great fighter as
well. And tomorrow, you know, I'm going to have to be able to play consistent, aggressive
Q. I was one wondering if you had any insight as to why he's performing on hardcourts
almost better than clay?
MICHAEL CHANG: I don't know. I don't know. Have you asked him?
Q. Yeah, I did?
MICHAEL CHANG: What did he say?
MICHAEL CHANG: Technically I would like to play my claycourt game a little better.
Q. I don't know if we can reveal that.
MICHAEL CHANG: That's okay. I don't know. I really don't know. You know, it's strange,
because over the past couple years his claycourt play have been phenomenal, and who would
have guessed that this year he would have struggled as much as he did. When he first lost
in Monte Carlo see it was like, "Oh, wow, he lost first round. " But then, you
know, lost early started, losing early, you know, it's like, "What's going on?"
So, yeah, your guess is as good as mine.
Q. (inaudible.) I mean it's going to be a totally different match than yours today.
MICHAEL CHANG: Yeah.
Q. So it wouldn't be anything that would look like your match, I wouldn't think?
MICHAEL CHANG:: I'll probably volley tomorrow left-handed (Laughter) Actually I did
catch a little bit his match last week against Santoro. Each week is a new week. I feel
like I know his game pretty well, and he knows my game pretty well. I'm looking forward to
it. You know, you always get excited when you go up against top players I think,
particularly against Thomas. You know he's going to be fired up. And tomorrow I'm looking
forward to it. I'm excited about it.
Q. You talked a lot about how you like it here and things have always been well for you
here. Anything that you've done in particular that you've done different this week, any
relaxing or interesting things that you enjoy here?
MICHAEL CHANG: I bought a Walkman man at Circuit City. Haven't used it yet, but I
bought some speakers, too.
Q. Did you use your Discover card?
MICHAEL CHANG: (Laughter). No. Actually not. Well, if they put the commercial on, the
commercial with all the things that I bought on this card, you would have too long of a
commercial. And I'm not kidding, yeah. So other than that, it's been trying to prepare for
matches and you know, just pretty much relaxing. You know, watching -- playing a little
bit of e-mail. Nothing too out of the ordinary. But this place has always been a relaxing
place for me. I don't know, it just seems like it. People here are very friendly, very
easy to get along with. And in that kind of atmosphere it's easy to relax and just come
out and practice hard and come out and try to play the best tennis. And you always get
good crowds here, too. I feel that's important, because I've played in front of crowds
that haven't been all that big at some tournaments before in the past, and it's a little
bit difficult to play sometimes. So it's nice to see enthusiasm and support of such a
great event. Obviously the field helps. They do a great job of running the event here for
the players, and I'm sure for you guys, too, and for all the people that come out.
Q. Do you have mood shifts in tournaments, say in Flushing Meadows and Cincinnati,
everybody is so friendly and pleasant here and suddenly you're thrown into a Major. Do you
find yourself shifting in your mood and perhaps trying sort of -- paranoia is not the
right word, but --
MICHAEL CHANG: Freaking out?
Q. Freaking out a little, yeah. I mean here you are out in the corn field and there you
are with --
MICHAEL CHANG: Sometimes you actually want to pee your pants in New York. I'm kidding.
No actually not. There's always something positive about each place that I play at. And
that's something that is important, because if you go out with a positive attitude and a
positive perspective about things, it's going to reflect on how you play and you with
mannerisms. New York, sometimes that's true. It can be a little chaotic. But positive for
me Flushing Meadows is right close to Chinatown, so there's good food. I stay with family
so it's a little bit relaxing to maybe feel like I'm almost at home. Get reacquainted with
my relatives and, you know, we're staying like 15 minutes away from there. We don't have
to worry about traffic. I feel there like there's positives about each place, but some
places just seem to stick out a little bit more. You know, the only exception that I might
say where I haven't had as much success, where I've enjoyed myself just as much is
Memphis. Which was actually was exciting to break through and win this year for the first
time. I haven't had all that much success there, but it's a place that I really enjoy. You
know, once again, it's the people. For some reason the people have a great deal of
influence on me. Memphis is one of those plays where it's a country club setting, and if
you had people who were a little bit more on the wacky side or a little bit more on the
crazy side, you could not have an event there. And so, you know, if there's a place where
you maybe don't have the same feeling, I always try to find the positives.
Q. You're finding a positive. You're not going in complaining, saying, "Oh,
God." You're really looking for a positive look, is that it?
MICHAEL CHANG: Yeah, sometimes. But sometimes I don't have to look for it. You know,
you know it's kind of like when we are on a plane and we're going to land in Cincinnati,
it's like, "Yeah, we're in Cincinnati now." So yeah, but other places you do
have to make adjustments. There's no question about that. There are certain things you're
to the quite used to, whether it's the food or the surroundings or the people driving the
wrong side of road. You know, just different things. Hopefully it'll have a better effect
on me at Wimbledon. The last couple years have been a bit rough.
MICHAEL CHANG: Yeah. Well I don't drive there. I yeah -- can you see that? Front page
tabloid: "Chang gets into accident driving on wrong side of road." Not good.
That wouldn't be good.
MIKI SINGH: Anything else?
End of FastScripts