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August 9, 1996

Michael Chang


GREG SHARKO: Michael advances to the semifinals here for the fifth straight year.

Q. Are you thinking about getting a second home here?

MICHAEL CHANG: It has been a great place for me to play tennis. I think that ever since I came the first year, it was a place I felt very comfortable. Obviously, Paul has done a great job to make it very comfortable for all the players, and just a great event to be at. I think that is, you know, very evident in the field that he gets every year. I think it is one of the tournaments that guys really go out of their way to play. And the only guy that is not playing this year is Boris because he is hurt. So, you know, it is just -- overall it is just a great event.

Q. What do you think the secret is to your own success here other than the surface suits you?

MICHAEL CHANG: I don't know. It is just one of those places that you like the setting. You like the atmosphere. You like the people, and I think for most players, places that they feel, you know, where they can just kind of fit in and really don't have to go out of their way to do things or to, you know, maybe find things to eat or just little things like that, you know, they are going to play a lot better. Just seems like that is the case.

Q. What are you most pleased about with your own game tonight?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think I was able to hang tough throughout the match. He had a few breakpoints against me today and was able to come out with a couple of big serves which definitely helped out and, you know, not to get frustrated when Goran hits aces by me. I had that breakpoint at 4-All and, you know, serving 3 aces to win the game, but I think just to have a real good positive mental attitude and just going out there and giving my all.

Q. Any weaknesses that you noticed?

MICHAEL CHANG: Not a whole lot. I think Goran actually served better today than he did against me at the Lipton. He was getting a pretty good percentage in, that I could tell, and I really didn't get a whole lot of chances to break him. I really only had three games to really break him and I was able to convert on two, which, you know, really made a big difference and overall, just a very close match because he had break chances too.

Q. He said that he didn't play well; that you really didn't have to do too much.

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, I think that, you know, Goran was definitely going for his shots. I mean, that is really his style. He is going to make some errors. He is going to make some winners as well. Maybe he felt like he made a few too many errors tonight, but as far as his serve goes, which is something that you really can't ignore, I felt he was serving quite well, so, you know, Goran has his own opinion of his own game, but .... Yeah......

Q. Can you talk about your serve? He thought that you were serving better against him than in the past.

MICHAEL CHANG: Percentage-wise, I think I was getting more first serves in. I was winning pretty good percentage off my -- you know, getting a few free points here and there which definitely helps out. You know, Goran is going to really go for his groundstrokes and he is going to take chances; particularly, if he is able to hold serve, you know, comfortably, so, you know, serve was a big factor for me tonight.

Q. Have you made some more adjustments on your serve since that time or just hitting it harder?

MICHAEL CHANG: Just continuing to work at it. Just continuing to try to refine it and solidify it, so , yeah....

Q. In what way are you trying to solidify it?

MICHAEL CHANG: Practice more, you know, concentrate a little bit harder when I am out on the practice courts and trying to really get that good rhythm down.

Q. Talk about how your match tomorrow.

MICHAEL CHANG: Thomas is obviously having a great tournament. I have never beaten Thomas. We played three times last year and he got me twice pretty good and first time we played was really an awkward match, but he was able to, you know, come through in that one and, you know, so I will have to try something a little bit different tomorrow and hopefully we will get a better result, so, you know, Thomas is playing some great tennis over the past couple of years and, you know, obviously winning today against Pete, his confidence is at a high.

Q. What do you mean an awkward match?

MICHAEL CHANG: I won the first set 6-0; I was down 5-Love in the second. Brought it back to 5-4; was serving to go 5-5 and lost my serve. Then I lost third set 6-0. It was just really strange.... Yeah, just.... I don't know.

Q. When was that?

MICHAEL CHANG: That was last year, Philadelphia.

GREG SHARKO: In the Final.

Q. Any disappointment of not getting a crack at Pete, you know, with the points--

MICHAEL CHANG: I don't think -- you try not to think about the points, you know, everyone is good. You look at the guys in the quarters in this event, I don't even think there has been a Grand Slam this year where you have had that tough of a field, you know, it is really incredible. I have said before that this tournament is really like a miniature Grand Slam; just that the draw is smaller and you are not playing three out of five sets, but the field is incredible, and you -- if you know you are not going to play Pete, you are going to play somebody just as good. At this moment, Thomas is playing some great tennis.

Q. I meant in the sense that he is the No. 1 player and you have obviously been moving up; just from a sort of confidence-builder, kind of thing, if you can play and beat --

MICHAEL CHANG: I think it is always nice to play the No. 1 player in the world regardless of whether you win or lose against him. It is just nice being on the same court and having that opportunity to beat him. But sometimes you just don't get that chance, and you just go about your business and you go out and you concentrate on who is next to your name on the draw. Because sometimes you look too far ahead, and well, I play this person there and this person and there maybe you get your mind off things and you are not able to get there and the other person doesn't get there. So you just take things match by match. It holds true in this day and age of tennis that really it is -- really a few points here and there that can make a huge difference. Sometimes guys don't wake up on the right side of the bed and they fall short.

Q. What about Thomas?

MICHAEL CHANG: Thomas serves very well. He has got a big first serve and he hits very consistent, very hard off both wings. You know, he has definitely been able to pick up his game over the last couple of years. He has really made his move and made his mark on the Tour, so, you know, those really are his strengths.

Q. What is it about his serve? Is it just the pace or are there other parts of it that are going to be difficult?

MICHAEL CHANG: The pace, and the placement, yeah, I think it is pretty -- I think for all the big servers, it happens to be that way, you know, combination.

Q. How much pace do you think you have added to your serve from now to a year ago?

MICHAEL CHANG: I have added a few miles per hour, I think.

Q. A significant amount, you think?

MICHAEL CHANG: From last year, maybe I think maybe on an average, maybe about three, four miles per hour, maybe, I think.

Q. I mean, from 100 and --

MICHAEL CHANG: I probably was, on the average, probably 111 to 113, somewhere last year, so....

Q. Now you are up to 115, 17?

MICHAEL CHANG: Somewhere around there, on average.

Q. Do you know what the fastest is you ever served?

MICHAEL CHANG: Served a 127 last week.

Q. That was your all-time high?


Q. Is it equal parts of concentration and consistency and longer racket?

MICHAEL CHANG: It has been a combination. Obviously the racket has really helped me out. But I have also worked very hard on my serve and, you know, tried to get a lot stronger upper bodywise and I think, you know, it has been a combination, so.....

Q. When you saw that 127 count on the clock, did you take a step backwards and surprise yourself? (Inaudible.)

MICHAEL CHANG: Yeah, I think it was nice, but I actually had one last week that was 496 on the radar gun, but for some reason nobody counted it (LAUGHTER) But it didn't mess up on any of the other serves, unless -- it had to have been right.

Q. The martian came down?

MICHAEL CHANG: I don't know. It had to be right. They didn't turn it off. I don't know why no one has said anything about it because I really -- I asked the umpire, I said I want credit for it (LAUGHTER) but it was nice. It -- I think it was secondary to winning the point.

Q. The point --


GREG SHARKO: Anything else?

Q. Did you win that match -- oh, yes, you did.

MICHAEL CHANG: I did. Actually I made a remark to Richard. Richard is like, "yeah, right." He didn't take it seriously.

Q. But you are keeping it in our own personal record?

MICHAEL CHANG: I am keeping it in my mind. Every time somebody brings it up, who has got the fastest serve, I have got to put my two cents in there.

GREG SHARKO: Well, with the win tonight, Michael joins Agassi and Enqvist as returning semifinalists here. And he has also improved his match win streak up to 13 since Wimbledon. Okay?

End of FastScripts….

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