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August 28, 1996

Michael Chang


Q. Evaluate your performance tonight. Looked like you were right on.

MICHAEL CHANG: Tonight was definitely a better match than my first match. Last couple days, I was struggling a little bit. I think today things definitely felt a lot better. I'm very, very happy. I have to praise the Lord for the victory. It was a tough match. Neville is a good player. He was definitely having a good time out there. He enjoyed himself. I think maybe he wasn't quite used to the circumstances. He was definitely enjoying himself.

Q. Is it tougher for a player coming in here with this type of crowd? Do you think that's pretty distracting for them?

MICHAEL CHANG: Not so much for Neville. He seems to really get into it. I think some places players really click and other places not. I mean, some places players have a tough time concentrating. I think it depends on their personality, or a guy like Stefan, for example, when he first came here wasn't used to it. He was able to block things out and be focused. I think you learn a lot through experience, just playing in front of the crowd here.

Q. He talked about it gets kind of frustrating, you hit a good shot, Chang hits it back; you hit a good shot, Chang hits it back. Can you tell a frustration with a player when they're hitting good shots and it's coming back at them?

MICHAEL CHANG: Sometimes. You know, it depends. It depends. I think maybe if someone's out there and feels like they're hitting a lot of great shots in order to win points, they should be winning them, you can see their frustration. It's kind of good that they have that mentality because -- it definitely helped me out. I'm going to go out and chase every single ball. Sometimes they're going to have to hit an extra ball, sometimes a couple. It works out well for me.

Q. Do you come into this type of tournament right from the start thinking, "It's a tournament I can win," or is that something you kind of develop as you get into the rhythm the first week and get into the second week?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think definitely you come in here with the attitude of going out and thinking, you know, you can win. I think for me it's important not to think so much of that, but just to concentrate on my job here and really go out and concentrate point by point, take things little by little. I think that seems to work the best for me.

Q. What do you think of your next opponent, Spadea?

MICHAEL CHANG: Vincent is a very good player. We had a really tough match earlier in summer. He's definitely a very talented player. It's going to be a tough match.

Q. Do you go into this year's tournament learning from previous tournaments here and maybe things that happened in years past here, or do you look at it as a totally new experience?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think you're constantly learning things, definitely. You're always learning things from previous years. You take that, and that's where experience comes into play. In certain situations, you know how the crowd will react, maybe certain conditions at the Open. I think that's all part of it, you know. I guess that's part of any tournament really. When you come in, you're comfortable with the surroundings because you know where everything is and stuff. It definitely makes it easier.

Q. I heard a player say each match in this tournament is like a building block for the next match. If that's the case, are you on course to where you want to be at this point, in this round?

MICHAEL CHANG: Preferably I would not want each match to be a building block in that I get better by each match. Preferably I'd just like to be at my best and just keep it there, you know. Obviously sometimes you're going to have a lot of tough matches, some days where you don't quite feel as well. You go out there and go out with your best game. Sometimes it's your best; sometimes it's less than that. Regardless, you go out there and just try your hardest.

Q. Most Chinese people watch our news. Would you like to say something to our audience? Could you say something today?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think for me, you know, I've definitely got a lot of support from the Chinese people, not only actually in China, but also here in the States, around the world. It's been great. I think that's one of the things that I really enjoy about going over to Asia, the support, the encouragement that I get. I hope that in the years to come, there will be more and more Asian tennis players, not only playing the Tour but doing very well. I'm very thankful for their support and for their encouragement.

Q. Have you been to China or to Taiwan? Do you plan to visit?

MICHAEL CHANG: I have been there actually on a number of occasions in the past five, six years. I have played in both places. Reception that I've gotten has always been very positive. It's actually a pretty nice feeling to be able to go out and feel their support.

Q. Can you tell the differences with the training of the Chinese player or training here, what the differences are? Do you think they need more technical training or something like that?

MICHAEL CHANG: As far as in China?

Q. Yeah.

MICHAEL CHANG: I think for one, first and foremost, court availability is one very big difference in the States versus in China. In the States, obviously you have courts everywhere. At least on the west coast, there's courts in just about every single high school and college. It's not difficult to find court time - although I hear it's pretty tough here in New York - that's the first step. I think in China, you have to build facilities where people can go out and play. I mean, that's the start. To see people play, see the game grow, that's the starting point. From there, you have to get more youngsters involved in the game and excited about it. That's really where tennis kicks in.

Q. Do you know at this time there's a Taiwanese women's player.


Q. Yes.

MICHAEL CHANG: I've known her for a while.

Q. What do you think about her?

MICHAEL CHANG: She's a good player. She has definitely done well over the past couple years. I believe her ranking is somewhere in the 20s or 30s. I think it's great. She's definitely been playing some great tennis.

Q. As a role model for Chinese Americans here, what are the suggestions for people that want to do just like you do?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think the first thing that people notice about me is there's nothing different. I'm not any bigger than they are; I'm not any more special than they are. I'm just pretty much your average human being. First of all, God blessed me with this talent to play. Second of all, I had a loving family to support me and guide me and really take care of me along the way, always been very encouraging whether I won or whether I lost. Tennis was something that we always did as a family. I think that is something that will be important for all kids, for all children, whether they play tennis or not to have that family bond and family support. I definitely know I wouldn't be where I am without them.

Q. I'm impressed with your concentration. Do you have special training, mental training?

MICHAEL CHANG: No, not really. I think for me it's just taking things point by point. I think going out there and knowing what I need to focus on and concentrate on. We always say a prayer before each match just to really kind of make sure that our priorities are straight and set. Other than that, just go out there and concentrate on that yellow ball, just try to go out and play the best tennis I can.

End of FastScripts….

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