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November 16, 1994

Michael Chang


Q. So, did you not play to win today, you just played?

MICHAEL CHANG: I just played today. I figured that -- I did a lot of thinking last night, today and stuff, and I knew that the way I approached yesterday's match wasn't right for me, and I put a little bit too much emphasis on winning and losing and just too much emphasis on the whole thing. For me, I just kind of went back and listened to music and stuff and realized what really is important is just knowing that -- for me, knowing that God loves me; knowing that my family loves me and it just made it a lot easier to go out and play today. I felt really very refreshed today; didn't feel like a whole lot of pressure to win or anything like that and I went out and I played and played great tennis. So, I hope that I can go out with this kind of attitude every time I step out on the court, but obviously, sometimes it is going to be difficult in certain instances because you feel like sometimes you just want to -- I don't know, you just want to win some matches. So it is difficult to get that out of your head sometimes.

Q. That was a big blow, losing to Bruguera for you really; it meant that much to you?

MICHAEL CHANG: Yeah, it was disappointing because I never lost to Sergi before and I think particularly on -- I think if it was on clay I wouldn't have felt as bad, but I think that being on the surface that I feel more comfortable than he does, and you know, it was a little bit frustrating. But I think it was good for me. It is good for me. It helped me to keep things in perspective. Still, I think the loss was good for me.

Q. In a way, that is sort of the way you have been working the last two, three years, gearing yourself and to lose to him now as opposed to two, three years ago is--

MICHAEL CHANG: You figure in the majority of the cases you have some of the best players playing against each other after so many, many years; you figure everybody is going to beat everybody unless it is Brad Gilbert and Ivan Lendl.

Q. Michael, do you remember ever winning a match in a big tournament so easily?

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, you know, I think that, you know, although the score was 6-1, 6-0, sometimes it doesn't appear to be quite so easy. These matches are still not easy to win. I think that sometimes the score can be very deceiving. I think today wasn't an extremely tough match, but I think it was still a match that I had to concentrate and I had to work hard and I had to execute. You know, you just -- it is just the way it is sometimes. I think that this surface for Alberto is a new surface for him, and it is going to take him a little bit of time to get used to it; as it is for all the players. All the players have certain surfaces that they are not quite familiar with, and it takes time. You can't expect someone to make, you know, a total adjustment right away; particularly one that doesn't quite suit your game. So it -- these things take time.

Q. Michael, if Alberto had not played against you, you should have had to play Stich. Do you think it is fair?

MICHAEL CHANG: It doesn't bother me to play --

Q. I mean, to get in your group when the group has already started.

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, that was something that they were discussing over the -- prior to this event as far as, you know, the alternating in and not just playing, but playing for prize money which is fine, but also playing for the points and eligibility to get into the semifinals. I think they took all the top players and I think it was a 50/50 split on that, so they decided to make a decision for themselves. I was one individual that voted against it, just because I didn't quite feel that it was quite fair for all the players because maybe one player is more difficult to play than another player and/or vice versa, and in those situations it is difficult. But, you know, I think that if I were to play Stich and, you know -- okay, well, take, for instance -- I think if you were to take Sergi, for instance, for the next match, I think he would much rather prefer to play Alberto than Stich. Obviously, if he loses to Stich, it is going to hurt his record in the group, but, you know, whatever happens, happens. So they made a decision and as long as the players know what the decision is beforehand, I think it is okay. If this is something that 50% of the players feel that it is okay, 50% of the players feel that it is not okay, then you have to make a decision.

Q. Just to make sure I got this, they asked you guys before you came here?

MICHAEL CHANG: Yeah, it was a rule change as far as the alternate -- before I believe the alternate was able to go on to play if someone were to get, obviously, injured before the tournament started then he would just be like a regular player in the group, but if play had already started where one person had played a match, and then got hurt and they couldn't play anymore, before the rule was that the alternate would just go in and play for prize money and that was it. Now they have changed it so that he cannot only play for prize money, but he can also, depending on how his record is, still qualify to get to the semifinals and, you know, to have a shot at winning the tournament.

Q. When did they pool you guys on this?

MICHAEL CHANG: Let us see. I made a decision somewhere around -- I think somewhere around Tokyo.

Q. Your understanding was they asked all the top tens what they or did they ask. . .

MICHAEL CHANG: Which is fine.

Q. Did you sense he was hurt?

MICHAEL CHANG: No. I didn't. Personally I didn't. I didn't feel like -- his forehand was still working pretty good. He is had quit a few winners today, but I didn't sense any -- I didn't sense any kind of pain on his part. I didn't see him grabbing his wrist or, you know, anything like that.

Q. Agassi said yesterday that he felt like the way the rules are Alberto deserves to be here, but the rules shouldn't be that way because you shouldn't be able to play the clay court circuit and get in.

Do you agree with that.

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, I think that it is a difficult one to call because you do have to give the guy credit for getting into the finals of the French Open. But on the same part, you take it into consideration he may be able to get into this event this year through his clay court results because he didn't really have any other results that helped him out as far as other surfaces, but you figure that next year it won't be the same case for him; if he is to make Frankfurt he has not only to play well in the clay court tournaments, but he has to play well on other surfaces as well because he has designated certain tournaments that he has to play. You have a Super 9 event where he has to play, you know, 7 of those events and only one -- only two of them are on clay. So, you know, in that situation, because he is a top 10 player, he is forced to play those tournaments. And, you know, that is a whole new ballgame. So I think that is one of the reasons why I think Sergi has earned more respect over the past couple of years; not just because of his clay court results, but he has been able to play better on the other surfaces and that has helped him equally for Frankfurt, so...

Q. Michael, do you think it is fair for the public that one of the players were here had lost his two matches in one and a half hour?

MICHAEL CHANG: Do I think it is fair?

Q. Yes.

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, I think you guys are getting to the point where you don't feel like -- I am sensing like you have don't feel Alberto should be here. I think that when you take a look at at what he has accomplished this year has been a great year for him. And I mean, if this were -- if this event were to be on clay, it will be a whole new ballgame. People would say that, you know, why are some of the other players in this event if it is on clay because Alberto would be doing a heck of a lot better, but, you know, it is just not so that way. So I feel that Alberto has a right to be here because he is has accomplished a lot and sure, I think over the next few years he is going to have to prove himself not just on clay, but if he chooses to just play clay, then that is his prerogative, but I think it is going to be more difficult for him to qualify for Frankfurt if he just plays clay.

Q. Agassi match?

MICHAEL CHANG: I am looking forward to it. I always look forward to playing Andre. Andre says that he is feeling well, he is playing great and stuff, and, you know, just for me, that is fine. So, I think whenever Andre has done well in some tournaments he comes out and he says things like that, which is fine, that is the way he is. And I am looking forward to it. I always look forward to play any one of my American peers; seems too bring out an extra fire from all the guys. And it should be a fun and exciting one.

End of FastScripts....

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