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September 5, 1994

Michael Chang


Q. Those long rallies in the beginning of the fifth set, how much did it take you, how much--

MICHAEL CHANG: It didn't take anything. I felt really good going into the fifth set. I still feel good now. I still feel like I can go out and play a couple of more sets. So fitness really shouldn't have come into play. I don't think the fifth set was -- fifth set was decided by few points that really turned things around. I think I had a few opportunities to break Andre, to break back and had a few opportunities also to hold my own serve, and from there, it would have been a whole -- just a whole turnaround. Andre was able to get away with a few points and, you know, from there I was down two breaks and it is just -- it is tough to expect to come back from that kind of deficit.

Q. Before the second break, Michael, you seemed to be tired, slowing down, it was after your fall; were you affected by that at all?

MICHAEL CHANG: No. You know, I still feel good. I mean, I have to kind of go back and take a look at the tape to see if I actually was slowing down, but physically I don't feel tired. The match was only two and a half, three hours old. I should be able to get through those kind of matches with no problem.

Q. Your first serve let you down a little bit today?

MICHAEL CHANG: A little bit. I wasn't able -- I think my percentage on the ad court was very low. I think on the deuce side, I was okay. I was able to win a lot of points on that side, but other than that, I think my percentage was very low, so a lot of times I was trying to win points off my second serve, so didn't get a whole lot of free points and I think in many of those games, it hurt me.

Q. Michael, from the stands, it had a feel of maybe a championship match. Nobody went to the Food Court. You guys were hitting the lines a lot and everything, did it have that feel down there?

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, I think it always feels like that. I mean, you know, whenever you are at the Open it always feels like that. That is the way I take each match, in a sense. I take it as if each match is a championship match because each match is that important. You have to be able to come out and be ready to go. That is -- it is a little bit frustrating to lose the fifth set 6-1, but that is just the way it goes.

Q. We are used to seeing you, really, five sets, see you really fight out that fifth set. Are you, yourself, surprised that it got away from you so quickly?

MICHAEL CHANG: Like I said, a few points really could have turned it around. I was down 2-1. I had a few breakpoints and, you know, just wasn't able to convert there. I had that -- I won that game. It would have been 2-2, I had good opportunities to win my service game 3-2. It is a whole different story from back on serve at 3-2 versus down 2 breaks, 4-1 with Andre serving. You know, that is just the way tennis is. In these kind of matches, that is, a few points are really what is going to make the difference. And, you know, it was just-- that was just the case today.

Q. Does the showmanship bother you especially when you are waiting to serve?

MICHAEL CHANG: I am used to it from Andre. It is expected. I think that certain players, when you are on the Tour for a while, you come to know certain players what they will do; what they will do, what they are not going to do. So I am fully aware of what Andre is, you know, doing or if he is talking to the crowd, it doesn't bother me because I am prepared for it.

Q. The shot around the post -- how startling was that breakpoint shot around the post that only went about six inches above the ground; had you ever seen a shot like that?

MICHAEL CHANG: Yeah, hit one in the first match.

Q. For a winner?


Q. What happened in the first set?

MICHAEL CHANG: Sorry, who asked the question? First set, I think that for some reason, I wasn't quite used to Andre's ball. I was on my heels a little bit and, you know, wasn't quite able to set my feet straight and set up for my shots and, you know, I think that normally in these kinds of circumstances, I shouldn't be starting these matches slow; particularly today. Because the intensity was already there before even anybody stepped out on the court. You know, I am kind of disappointed with the way that the first set and the last set went and, you know, Grand Slam tournaments, you just can't do that. I think particularly against Andre, because you have to get on top of him fast, and he doesn't play as well when he is down. He plays -- he is a much better player when he is a front runner.

Q. If this as consistently sharp as you have seen him in some time; do you think he is really right on the top of his game for the first time in a while?

MICHAEL CHANG: To be totally honest with you, I don't think that he is at the top of his game. I have seen him play better, but he is playing well. I think that, you know, he is playing well, but I have seen Andre play better tennis and, you know-- we will just leave it at that.

Q. He spoke of you playing him first at Morley Field in a ten and under tournament in San Diego; do you recall that?


Q. How did it go? He thought he won, but he wasn't sure.

MICHAEL CHANG: Actually, I think it was a 12 and under tournament because he stayed at my house, so he should have remembered that. Andre and I have -- we have played on a few occasions.

Q. You were playing up?

MICHAEL CHANG: I was like, shoot, I must have been like 9 years old.

Q. What were you, about three feet tall? How big were you?

MICHAEL CHANG: I don't remember, really. I guess I probably wouldn't have been a pretty good measuring stick.

Q. Did he even do the showmanship back then when he was a kid?

MICHAEL CHANG: Yeah, he did, actually. He would hit underhand serves, things like that, but he had very short hair back then. So, you know, he didn't bleach his hair until later, so, I mean, things like that, but I think as years go by, he grew his hair long and got the earrings and gradually things started to go -- so...

Q. You said on the tube that you think you -- exposed some weaknesses in his game; would you like to elaborate on what you think --

MICHAEL CHANG: Not really. I just kind of like to leave it at that. I think that I had a pretty good strategy working for me. I think particularly in the beginning of the fourth set, I had that one break and I just held it throughout the whole way and, you know, was able to dictate play. I mean, I was able to do what I wanted to do. I was going out and doing it and being successful at it. That is the reason why I won the fourth set.

Q. Mike, this is supposed to be your best surface, you have only gotten out of the fourth round once here, how frustrating is --


Q. Twice. How frustrating or disappointing is this tournament getting for you?

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, you know, you figure -- I guess it depends; you compare things to the French Open, you can say, well, I only played the French Open once and second year, you go and you win it, but you know, everybody -- I still feel like this is a really good tournament for me, comparatively resultwise to the other Grand Slams; my results here have been pretty consistent. I am hoping over the next few years they will continue to be consistent, but the results will get better. You know, I still -- I feel very strongly in my heart that this is a tournament that I am quite capable of winning, and I am just going to keep working hard; keep on working, progressing in my game, and, you know, when the time comes around for the opportunity to be there, I am definitely going to try and take advantage of it, and win this tournament. I think that is an important attitude for me to have because if I am -- if I don't think I can go and win these tournaments, just -- I may -- even all the Grand Slams, it makes no sense for me to even step out on the court.

Q. When you get into the fifth set, do you feel that this is your special domain, that you have a special age-- because you have such a good record when you get into fifth sets, did you feel that way today?

MICHAEL CHANG: You know, it is tough to say, because I mean, I have lost five-set matches before and you can't always go by record. Record is just something that is on paper, and each match is different. Each match has different circumstances, and, you know, it is just -- you can't-- just can't expect to win matches because you have a better record than your opponents.

Q. How did you feel going into this fifth set?

MICHAEL CHANG: I felt good. I still feel good now. It is just -- ill it is the frustrating thing you know, I think that I felt good going into the fifth set, obviously, after winning the fourth set and, you know, just wasn't able to kind of keep it going. That is the frustrating part of it.

Q. Does this match do anything to the pecking order you were talking about today with the four of you?

MICHAEL CHANG: No. I mean, you know, for -- I am going to play Andre a heck of a lot more times than we have played already, and I am going to get my share. That is for sure. And he is going to have his share as well, and it is just going to be an ongoing thing until our careers wind down, until we step out on the court with canes. Because it has just been that way throughout the juniors all the way to the professionals and probably 'til the Senior Tour; it is just one of those things where you have grown up playing against each other; you know, including Pete and Jim, you have grown up playing against each other. It is just -- you know a cycle. Just reaching different levels. I think it is good in a sense because we push in the juniors, we pushed each other to get the most out of our games, then. I think now it is paying off for everyone. Everybody has got their time in the spotlight and for me, at the moment, looking at it today, I've just got to be patient for mine.

Q. Looking back at the match, what would you have done differently?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think had I had I realized some of the things that later in the match I would have tried to apply that earlier. I would have come out and applied those things right away. I knew if I am able to get on top of Andre, it is a much easier match for me to handle because he plays better when he is on top, and--

Q. Like coming in, you mean?

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, whole mixture of things. I think my percentage of winning points at the net was very, very good today. That was something I realized in the match and I was making a conscious effort to do it. And, you know, I think that I would have tried to maybe take a few more of those points in the fifth set because that is what really turned the match around.

Q. Putting aside your own disappointment today, do you think as a tennis player and a tennis fan, do you think if Agassi wins the U.S. Open, here this week it is great for tennis, it is good for tennis at this stage in the game?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think what people come to see tennis as far as what is good for the game, I believe each personality is good for the game. The reason I say that is because if you didn't have players like Pete, Stefan, myself, Courier, and everybody was like Andre, you know, there wouldn't be any -- there is no personality to clash it with. And, you know, Andre obviously makes a great contribution to the game of tennis, but you need the other guys. Because everybody has a personality. Everybody has a different style, a different game and you need it all. And I think you know, it is great to be able to have different personalities go up against each other, but I think even more important, you know, as far as tennis is concerned, it is important that tennis continues to grow; particularly in the children aspect because they are the future generations and they are the ones that are going to teach their kids and it is a chain cycle. So there is a whole bunch of things that contributes to the well-being of the game of tennis, but it is not just Andre. It is the whole sha-bang.

End of FastScripts....

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