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March 17, 1996
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
JOE LYNCH: I guess this is appropriate. (MICHAEL STANDING DUE
TO CRAMPING) Michael had played for a standing room audience today
to win his second Newsweek Champions Cup and his 6th career Mercedes
Super 9 title; second only to Sampras and Agassi; each with 7.
The first question for Michael.
Q. Michael, does this mean you are cramping the reason you
are not sitting; if so, can you talk about the toll that your
matches have taken?
MICHAEL CHANG: Yeah, I just-- I just been cramping a little
bit. I was -- actually I had a couple twinges that I knew were
kind of pre-cramp stuff and going on during the match and I sat
down for a few minutes after the match and I got up and I had
a bit of a cramp in my right leg, so I have been just getting
here and there. I pretty much don't want to sit down. Every time
I do that my body stays still and kind of locks up on me, so I'm
kind of taking precautions and cramping is no fun, so just actually
pretty fortunate to be able to finish the match in three straight
today. I don't know if Paul was feeling quite as much as I was,
but, you know, for me over the last three days, you know, really
took quite a bit out of me. I didn't have a whole lot of time
to recover from the match against Andre and then, you know, yesterday
did a lot of running and today I did a lot of running, you know,
plus the weather changed a bit which made things more difficult.
Q. Can you describe what happened in the first six games?
MICHAEL CHANG: I think the first six games, I think we were,
more or less -- I think Paul was playing some of his best tennis
the first -- during the first probably three quarters of the first
set. I could tell that he was definitely out there to play.
I mean, he was running down some shots that I have never seen
him run down before. He would just stab at it, but he was getting
to the balls and making good shots off it, and, you know, I was
-- I think I kind of was able to get off to an okay start. And
Paul just, you know, came out firing away; got that early break
and I was fortunate to be able to get that break back. I think
that -- what was it -- 4-2 game when I was serving Love-40, it
was an incredibly crucial game, now looking back at it. I think
had I lost that game, I definitely would have -- probably would
have lost the first set and, you know, things would have definitely
changed from there. I am sure Paul would have got a lot of confidence
to win the match.
Q. Can you describe your unbelievable passing shot 3-Love
in the first set? Do you remember?
MICHAEL CHANG: That one, you do what you have to do. It is one
of those things where, you know, sometimes you just -- just try
to hit the shot the best you know how, and I was fortunate that
Paul didn't put that ball quite away, and I was able to get my
racket on it and hit it for a winner - yeah.
Q. Did you feel you had the match won after the first set?
MICHAEL CHANG: No. Not at all. I think in three out of five
set matches, I don't think you can ever feel that you have a match
at all; particularly after a first set like that. It was a very
tight first set. Paul had opportunities and even, you know, even
after way in the third set, I mean, I still didn't feel like it
was mine. I felt I had to work quite a bit and I had a lot of,
you know, deuce games; a lot of 30-All games, which wound up to
be pretty crucial to be able to sneak some of those games out
of the third set.
Q. Did you have air vents cut into your cap?
MICHAEL CHANG: Just holes, yeah, I just -- I just been on Tour
for a while. You just learn through experience, you just try
to stay as cool as you possibly can. I think that today, I actually
could feel the heat coming through the soles of my and you just
try to stay as cool as you possibly can; particularly on changeovers,
and for me to be able to punch a few holes in the hat, allows
me to breathe a little bit, you know, up there, so -- yeah.
Q. How hot was it on the court today? Did you see a temperature?
MICHAEL CHANG: I was told they announced 110, but I was told
it was 130, but they just didn't want to scare anybody.
JOE LYNCH: I saw 110.
MICHAEL CHANG: That is what I was told. It sure felt hotter
than that. It felt hotter. I am sure if you took an egg and
placed it on there, it would cook, cook pretty well too. So,
yeah, it is just one of those days you realize toward the end
of the week you are definitely in the desert.
Q. Why were the second and third sets so much easier than
MICHAEL CHANG: I think that the first set was incredibly crucial.
I think that he was a little bit dejected from there. I think
that, you know, I was able to move the ball around a little bit
better in the second and third sets, and I could tell Paul was
starting to get a little bit tired. He wasn't running down some
of the shots, that he was, in the first set. And you could see
it just in the way that kind of his body language was that he
was just getting very frustrated and, for me, I just tried to
stay concentrated and just tried to play even better tennis from
there; just to stay on top of him, and, you know, take advantage
of opportunities that were given to me. So I was able to maintain
Q. How do you evaluate the differences between a tournament
that has three out of five first, seconds, third rounds versus
two out of three, as far as the final?
MICHAEL CHANG: I think, you know, it really doesn't really matter
all that much. I think, you know, for here, this particular week,
as long as I can remember, the tournament finals always been three
out of five, so the players know that coming into the week. For
me, it doesn't really matter, either way.
Q. I meant the earlier rounds?
MICHAEL CHANG: You mean to have the other rounds, three out
MICHAEL CHANG: I wouldn't suggest that. I think that, you know,
that is what makes the Grand Slam a Grand Slam. It allows the
player, if you are down to be able to come back, and I don't think
that they should do that with the tournaments below the Grand
Slams. I think that it would take away a little bit from the
players, just make them very, very exhausted each day, particularly
playing every single day it would be just too much.
Q. Do you think you really won this tournament when you beat
Agassi in the quarterfinals?
MICHAEL CHANG: Absolutely not. The reason I say that is because
you never know who is going to be able to come through the other
sections. I mean, you know, Rios, both Ferreira, and Haarhuis
beat Sampras and Ivanisevic. So, I mean, you look at the draw,
you still see so many tough guys and you know that even that the
guys who aren't seeded are tough players, so by no means, you
know, do you ever feel like you have a tournament won.
Q. Michael, obviously in the past ten months or so you have
come up short in some really big tournaments, but now to finally
win a big tournament, to come through on the final day, how do
you think that will affect you confidence-wise at the French and
in other big tournaments?
MICHAEL CHANG: I think it is a great confidence booster for
me. I actually thought about that earlier today. Last few tournaments
that were really big tournaments, the Australian, the ATP Finals
and also the French Open, and actually Cincinnati, last year,
having lost it to Andre, so it was in the back of my mind, and
it is one of those things, well, you learn it from the past and
you take it and try to apply it to the future. So you never want
to think about things that will, you know, make you won't make
you play up to your potential. You don't ever want to have those
kind of mental blocks. So today was a good, you know, a good
tournament and a good victory for me, and, you know, hopefully
come the next time, that won't cross my mind and hopefully next
time I do play a Grand Slam final, or another big tournament,
I will just be able to go out and just concentrate on my game
and whatever happens is, you know, is in the Lord's hands.
Q. With this result, I understand you are going to go up
to 4, which is your career best, equaling your career best. Any
thoughts on that?
MICHAEL CHANG: I think that, for me, I have been to No. 4 before,
so I think actually I was able to get there in 1992. So actually
I had a good result here in 1992. So for me, I am not too concerned
about the rankings, just continuing to work on my game; to strive
to do well in the tournaments that I play and, you know, I know
that you will -- the other things as far as, you know, doing well
at the tournaments and ranking and stuff like that will all follow
with the hard work. I think that in all things, you know, I think
results pretty much always follow the hard work; coupled that
with a lot of good rest in between, so you have a good balance
of, you know, in your mind and as far as physically, so I will
say very that will play a very crucial role.
Q. Carl sent you a note at the end of the match with the
ball girl. Was that a note from your parents or your family to
MICHAEL CHANG: No, it was just a little stub reminding me to
Q. Your serves were like 115 range today. Is that a new
development or has that been --
MICHAEL CHANG: 115, I mean, I think that today I was throwing
in a good mix of serves. I had one serve -- actually that first
serve that was up only had 71 miles an hour. It was a kick serve,
so, it varies. I mean, I will throw in a little bit of a change
up; maybe I will hit one hard or flat, or slice one away. I mean,
the first serve, I think, it comes down to you know, a certain
amount of power, but also a great deal of placement, and if I
am able to, you know, hit a 90 mile per hour serve and for it
to be a service winner or ace that, for me, is much better than
hitting a 120 mile per hour serve that is maybe right in the guy's
zone. I think guys nowadays, they just see so many of these fast
serves that if it is within their range, I mean, they are going
to hit, not only hit it, but put you in a lot of trouble, so you
need a good balance of where to serve and how to serve much like
JOE LYNCH: I think Michael's fastest is 124 for the career.
Q. Do you feel ready to win the Lipton as well?
MICHAEL CHANG: Well, we will concentrate on it from here on
out. I have got a few days to rest and recuperate, and, yeah,
I am definitely looking forward to playing Lipton. It is a great
event there as well. And it should be a lot of fun.
Q. Can you compare your week here in 1992 to this year and
also your game in 1992 to your game now?
MICHAEL CHANG: I think many regards it was-- a bit similar.
I mean, we prepared the same and I was pretty fresh coming into
this event. I think that was something that I mentioned to you
before that I wanted to make sure that I was fresh coming in,
and, you know, when you play against the guys that you are going
to play against this week, you have to be fresh. You have to
come out and play your best tennis in order to do well. And I
lightened my schedule a little bit and I was fortunate that things
worked out quite well.
Q. Michael, do you think that you wanted this tournament
more than the other top players?
MICHAEL CHANG: I think it is hard to say. I think everybody
wants this tournament. It is a great tournament and, you know,
it is one of those tournaments that, you know, that if you are
able to win this event, it is something that, you know, you can
always be proud of it. Because the field is really tough field
and, you know, just overall, it is a great tournament, so I don't
know if I want it more than other because everyone is out there
trying their best. You go out on the practice courts and sometimes
I will come into a week and maybe not at all feel like practicing
a whole -- really, really hard; then you see all the other guys
practicing hard; it makes you want to practice hard, so, you
know, that is -- all the guys are out there. They are all giving
their best and sometimes things go their way and sometimes not.
So it is the cycle of tennis and that is just the way it is.
Q. How do you see these Super 9 events? Are they really
the biggest ones on the ATP Tour in your mind? Do you really
care about them?
MICHAEL CHANG: Well, I care about all the tournaments. I think
that, for me -- for each -- at least for me, tournaments, whether
they are big or not, some tournaments maybe they are a little
bit smaller, but they mean a lot to me just because of maybe where
it is or the people, or just a place that I really enjoy playing.
But I think that to be able to -- obviously, the Super 9 tournaments
are all going to be great events this year just with the field
that each tournament is going to have, and -- yeah, so, I do not
think you can say anything more than that. I mean, I know it
is going to be tough and, you know, the Tour and everybody else
does a great job as far as trying to make everything as easy for
the players and for the spectators and everybody else because
I think when we all concentrate on these things, improving things
constantly just makes the game of tennis a heck after lot better.
JOE LYNCH: Thank you.
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