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November 19, 1996

Michael Chang


Q. Michael, you obviously got a bad call in the third game of the second set. What was worse, the bad call or your ability to see it replayed to make it all the more frustrating?

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, both. For one, I felt like it was a bad call, that is why I questioned it immediately. I think it hurt even more when I saw the ball is like two inches inside the line. So, I think that the thing is that you figure that if it is that much of a difference, I mean, if it is kind of close, you can understand there can be an error. But, on a call like that, it doesn't make sense. These guys are seeing balls that are going so fast and they should be able to pick up on something like that. So, I think it made a huge difference obviously in the match because I feel like it cost me the game. Obviously, Richard was playing some great tennis - no question about that. But, you know, I feel like I was holding my serve fairly well; was still able to still be in there and that took a lot of pressure off him because he knew that he had a break and didn't have that pressure of having to hold serve in a sense because he knew he had that break. So, obviously, it is very frustrating for me. So, hopefully something like that won't happen again because at this level one point can make a huge difference. Today was pretty good evidence of that.

Q. Still you had a lot of problems with his serve reading his serve. Was he serving unbelievable today?

MICHAEL CHANG: Yeah, he was. Richard was definitely serving very, very well. I felt like I couldn't really pick up where he was serving. So, you know, I think in that aspect, it was you know that you want to be able to get him into a tighter situation where maybe he will tighten up a little bit and maybe not serve as well - get him into like maybe a tiebreaker or something like that. But, you know, I wasn't able to do that. So grant it, he did play some great tennis today.

Q. How does that quality of serving measure up to the other great serves in the game?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think it is very difficult to say because all the other guys have days where they serve this well too. So, it is difficult to really say. I can recall at Wimbledon, got to the finals, was averaging 35 aces per match. Everyone has days where they serve exceptionally well and today was definitely one of those days for Richard.

Q. Were you surprised to see him play this way because he has been injured; hasn't had the best practice in the last few weeks? Were you surprised?

MICHAEL CHANG: No, not really. I think that I felt like I thought maybe I would have definitely a few more opportunities to break him. But Richard comes into this event having nothing to lose. He didn't expect to come into play and he knows that, you know, he more or less is the last guy in and I think, you -- I think I heard earlier in yesterday's press conference he was just saying that he was happy to be here. So, obviously he is very relaxed and it showed today on his service and the way he played. So, yeah....

Q. Different situation for you; do you feel more pressure?

MICHAEL CHANG: I don't feel that much pressure. I really don't. I think that, you know, I treat each match the same and still want to definitely go out there and try to play my best tennis. I don't feel any added pressure. I just don't. I have been in this situation before and I feel like I know how to handle that and put things into proper perspective.

Q. Is it difficult to play him because you never know what to expect? He has a lot of ups-and-downs.

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, I think once you get on the court and play a few games you know -- you kind of know how well he is playing. Obviously everybody prefers to play him when he is not playing so well, but, obviously that is not always the case. So, yeah, I mean, you still try to go out and concentrate on your own game and you hope that your best game is still better than his best game.

Q. Yesterday one or two of the players were suggesting that the court seemed to be a little bit on the slow side?

MICHAEL CHANG: Who was saying that, maybe Boris?

Q. Two. Yeah. He was one.


Q. It certainly didn't look like that today.

MICHAEL CHANG: No, it was not. This surface is very fair. I think that if you have -- if you make that surface any faster than what it is, you know, you are going to have a new record in aces. Today I don't know how many aces Richard served today, but if that court is too slow, then something is not right. I think this court is very fair. I mean, I can go out there and get aced that many times and still come to you and tell you that the court is fair. So all and all, you have to realize that these are the best players on all surfaces, and not just indoor. So, when you take that into consideration, you have to pick a surface that suits not only serve and volleyers, but also baseliners. But, I think generally speaking indoors will always tends to favor a serve and volleyer much more so. Because they don't have to deal with outside factors like the sun, like the wind. Everything is in controlled conditions. So, that normally makes for more consistent and more accurate serve.

Q. What do you think about the temperature in Hannover? Is it a difference?

MICHAEL CHANG: It did snow one year in Frankfurt, so -- I am not sure exactly which year. This is definitely a lot colder than where I come from. But, it is nice to see snow. It is nice to know -- obviously, this event is indoors. I don't think it really makes that much of a difference.

Q. Besides the snow, the kind of organization for the Championships, 15,000 people?

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, I think they have done a great job. I think the facility has done a first-class job. I think that the stadium looks beautiful. I think it is a great place to play and I don't see anything really wrong with it. So hopefully -- I know that each year -- the first year always tends to be a little bit chaotic sometimes, but even this year, you don't feel that. At least the players don't, I don't think. So, they will learn from this year and make up for it next year, so that next year will be an even better event.

Q. In some sports they try and stop showing controversial points on the screens, although, they have the technology. Do you think at more and more tennis tournaments showing these points to see whether a ball is in or out is necessarily a good thing?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think it is a good thing. I think we actually should go back there and play that point as if it was in. (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER) I don't know if Richard wants to go do that. I am ready to go. It doesn't matter. I mean, obviously everyone is going to make mistakes. You hope that they are not going to make, you know, mistakes that are too obvious, but I don't know in any sport that actually reverse calls. I know that they did that in the NFL for a little while. I am not sure if they still do that or not.

Q. For instance, today would it have been better for you if you hadn't been able to see the replay?

MICHAEL CHANG: No, because I was still able to concentrate. I was still able to concentrate and focus on the rest of the match. So, for me, obviously it didn't make a difference. But, I felt like the ball was -- it was in because otherwise I never would have questioned him in the first place without even seeing what was up on the monitor. Knowing the great technology in Germany I did look up to see whether the ball was in or out.

Q. Does the fact that this is a World Championship put any extra pressure on you?

MICHAEL CHANG: No, it doesn't. I feel like it puts a little bit of extra excitement. I think that being in an event like this, where you have got the 8 best players in the world, obviously is a very special event. And, you realize that not everybody gets a chance to play. So, this is kind of like one of the opportunities where we all come together and just kind of go at it, which is nice.

Q. What do you think of the Grand Slam Cup? What is the meaning of the Grand Slam Cup?

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, strangely you would bring it up at this particular event. I think that the Grand Slam Cup is obviously a great event as well. I think that it is a little bit different in the format being that, you know, only takes a Grand Slams into consideration. But, I think when you look at things at this particular event these are the best eight players throughout the whole year talking indoor, grass, clay, hard court, and these are the best players. So, I think that Germany has a lot of great events. That is, for sure, and Grand Slam Cup is definitely one of them.

End of FastScripts....

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