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November 17, 1994

Michael Chang


Q. How good is he at the moment?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think Andre -- I'd say maybe of the field here, probably Andre and Boris are probably playing the best tennis at the moment. But it is something that is going to have to carry on through day after day, and that is sometimes a difficult thing to do. But I think, of the two players, I would say both those players are probably playing the best out of the rest of the field.

Q. Stefan Edberg was saying earlier that Andre is playing far more intelligently this year; gotten rid of the crazy shots. Do you find him more consistent?

MICHAEL CHANG: What do you mean "crazy shots?"

Q. I don't know, that is what Stefan said.

MICHAEL CHANG: I think -- I don't necessarily think he has changed anything. I just think that maybe he has gotten a little bit better at doing some things. I think he is a little bit more consistent now. I think that he is a little bit fitter, which helps him to move around the court a little bit better; that can also tie into his game. If you are a little bit overweight, you are not going to be able to move around as well; obviously not able to get to the ball and not able to hit it the way you want to hit it.

Q. How would you characterize your own game?

MICHAEL CHANG: I feel pretty good. I feel like I am heading in the right direction, and that, for me, is very important. And, you know, I will take a good look at this past year and try to learn from those things that I can learn from and take it into next year and try to come up, you know, each year a better player. And I feel like I am making progress, and I feel like as long as I am headed in the right direction, that is the way I want to go.

Q. You sort of put in a real good effort today. You tried real hard against Andre. Is it frustrating to play so hard and still lose?

MICHAEL CHANG: No, no. I think that, you know, a lot of it is -- you know, a lot of times you are able to learn a lot more from your losses than from your wins, and regardless -- I know that each time I step on the court, I am trying my hardest anyway, so I know some days I am going to be able to come out on top. And I am going to have some difficult days where I might come up a little bit short, but I feel like, for me, as long as I go and play the game that I want to play and, you know, go out and try to accomplish what I want to accomplish and if the guy's a little bit better than me on that day, then you take your hat off and you move on.

Q. Michael, who has got the best chances to win the tournament?

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, I think Boris has got a pretty good chance, obviously, being 2 and 0. Andre -- you know, I think that the other group is pretty -- there's a few things that could still happen because Stefan lost to Pete today; it creates a little bit of an interesting scenario in that group. Our group, I think, you know, depending on how Sergi does today, obviously if he wins, then that means I get to go home a little bit earlier, but, you know, I think it is tough to say. I think that each day really is a whole new ballgame. Some days you just wake up and you don't quite feel as good and you are not able to go and play the way you have been playing, and I think particularly this week for the guys that have to play back-to-back tough matches, sooner or later it is going to take its toll; not just because of the two tough matches, but also because it is the end of the year and naturally when you approach the end of the year, guys are a little bit more tired. And maybe some guys have been on the Tour for a little bit longer, longer stretches than some of the other players, and a lot of things can happen. So, going to have to take it day by day and take it from there.

Q. Michael, Berasategui has been taking a beating in these press conferences, but how fair would it be really to rotate the surface and to give the clay court guys more of a chance?

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, I think that as far as taking a beating in the press room, no offense to you guys, I think all the players have their fair share. I think that this particular situation, given Alberto's choice of surface, I would say he would have chosen clay. But I think that I said earlier this week that I felt that an indoor surface of this speed suits the players pretty well. I mean, if you would take an average of all the surfaces throughout the year, clay is really the only time of year where the surface is slow. Other than that, you have -- you know, you start off down in Australia, which is not slow, then you come in, you play a little bit of indoor tennis, which is always quick; you play, you go back outdoors, go back out there, go over to Asia, it is all hard courts over there, then you play a season for clay, and then grass court season which is fast, then you come back after that, you know, play hardcourts again, which is fast, and after that, you go and you play indoors again. So, throughout the year there is not a whole lot of slow surfaces, so I think that people were saying how our group was a little bit weaker. Obviously, it was a little bit weaker comparatively, but I think if you were to stick it on clay, our group would definitely be a lot tougher in a sense.

Q. Do you have any specific goals for next year?

MICHAEL CHANG: That is something I probably want to think about. Obviously I want to be able to constantly improve, and I think if I am able to do that each day, just improve on something, then everything else will follow. I know that I will have more opportunities to win Grand Slam events. I know that I will have the opportunity to beat top players; it will come more and more. I think that all ties into what I want to accomplish as a tennis player to win each Grand Slam at least once because I feel that is something that a lot of the players have not been able to accomplish for quite a long time and, you know, hopefully No. 1 is somewhere around the corner, but I think as long as I keep my head focused I will be trying to improve; I think everything else will follow.

Q. Pete said he is not going to play Davis Cup next year. Andre said it too, essentially. Do you have think thoughts since you are the next in line that you want to play or do you know yet?


Q. I guess Pete hasn't said for sure. That is true, but more or less, he said he is leaning against it.

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, I haven't really, you know, I haven't made any clear-cut decisions one way or the other. I had thought about it and maybe there was only, I think, over the past few years I haven't played Davis Cup since 1990, so there has always been a couple of guys a little bit better than me as far as ranking-wise, and, you know, just have to take it from there. I know Tom is here this week scouting a little bit and seeing how the players are playing; how they are feeling. I am pretty sure that he is going to get a chance to talk to everybody and, you know, it is just something that we will just have to take Tie by Tie.

Q. But for like France first rounds you don't have any --

MICHAEL CHANG: I am considering it. I am considering it. But I am not definite either way.

Q. Which are your first four tournaments of next year in 1995?

MICHAEL CHANG: I don't know actually. To be honest with you, I do not know exactly what I am going to do prior to the Australian. But I do plan to play the Australian next year. It is on my schedule, and after that, it is a little bit up in the air at the moment, so when the time comes, you will know.

Q. Michael, Andre said that he -- after the match in the U.S. Open he heard some comments from you about his weaknesses; he went back and watched the video --

MICHAEL CHANG: I was very stupid. I shouldn't have -- I pulled a rookie move.

Q. Do you think that way?

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, I am not -- well, in a sense, I am -- yeah, I mean, I should have known, I mean, I have done the same thing. I mean, I have had instances where I have lost to someone; they have said something in the paper; I just happen to read the paper the following day, and next time I play him I go and I beat him. So it is something that I have learned. I think that Brad Gilbert brought a little bit more thinking into Andre's game, obviously. Brad himself is a total thinking player. He is not a power player. He is not -- he is just a smart tennis player, and, you know, I -- I am learning a few things. I am constantly learning things each time I play Andre, and this time I just won't be so stupid to say that I discovered any.

Q. Do you want to say what his weaknesses were today?

MICHAEL CHANG: Today, Andre played some good tennis today and I think that he was a little bit better than I was. I think that it was nice to have my family on the sidelines and have a great crowd and it was just nice to play in front of this kind of atmosphere here in Frankfurt. I hope to be back here next year and many years to follow.

Q. I think your serve was perfect today. Did you do a lot more training with your serve?

MICHAEL CHANG: A little bit. A little bit.

Q. Because it was perfect. I thought that was Ivanisevic out there.

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, I could have used his 25 aces, but I am working on it. It is getting better. It is getting better. It is coming along, and I -- hopefully, I look forward, hopefully, to one day where I will play a guy like Goran and I will have more aces like him.

Q. I hope so too?

MICHAEL CHANG: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts....

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