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August 31, 1994

Michael Chang


Q. Cramping?

MICHAEL CHANG: No, no, just avoiding it, make sure I don't. It's pretty chilly out tonight, so it's easy to stiffen up. So basically --

Q. Do you guys ever make it easy, the two of you?

MICHAEL CHANG: No. We just -- we play very similar styles, and I think that we both play pretty consistent tennis. And if I come in, if I don't come in on a good shot, Mal is going to pass me and if Mal doesn't come in on a good shot, I'm going to pass him, and if it's one of the though types of matches that you -- you know, when you see your name next to it, you're going to have a lot of long rallies, a lot of long points and you expect a tougher match regardless of the score. I think that the only match that we ever had that was kind of one-sided was earlier this year in Atlanta and that was on clay. But other than that, we go back and forth. I lost to Mal earlier this summer and we just play a heck of a lot of close matches.

Q. Does that make a rivalry -- does that make it fun for you?

MICHAEL CHANG: It makes it fun if I win. Obviously, you're not going to be able to win all of them, but I think it's exciting whenever you have these kinds of matches. The way it is and I think that if all the matches were always zero and zero and zero and one, very much one-sided, tennis wouldn't be as exciting as it is. You know, it's -- a lot of it nowadays is the tough matches on top of that, you've got contrasting styles and contrasting personalities on top of that, too. I think when you mix all that together, there's always an exciting match going on somewhere on the grounds.

Q. Huge crowd tonight; does that tell that you people like your kind of style. I mean, it was bigger than the Becker crowd that came to see you play this kind of thing; does that tell you anything about people liking you, your style?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think Mal has a pretty good following here in New York, and I can remember that even when we played here a couple years ago, it was packed as well. I know that New York has a pretty good Asian population, so I've got my side rooting for me and I think that people realize that they're going to see a heck of a lot more shots being hit from the back. I think Mal and I, we're not players that really are able to, you know, serve you off the court or blow you off the court with one shot and do it for the whole match. We're the types of players where we work the ball around and try to set up shots and set up shots to attack and come in and -- I don't know, it's more or less like a chess match in a sense, and a lot of it I was able to execute a lot better and able to do it more consistently.

Q. Considering the match two years ago, was it important then for you not to go to a fifth set tonight?

MICHAEL CHANG: I try not to take it into the fifth set because I know that -- I know Mal is not going to get tired out there and fifth set is always a tough situation because from there it's really anybody's match. And even though I was down 3-Love, I realize there was only one break and I didn't want to give Mal anything. I wanted him to earn every point that he won. I definitely did not want to get into the fifth set. I was pushing myself, particularly at the end, to try to close out.

Q. Michael, earlier today we were talking to Sampras about whether or not a male like Steffi could ever totally dominate the tour --


Q. We were comparing the men's tour with the situation with Steffi Graf, that could any man on this tour totally ever dominate the tour. And Pete was asked that and he said nobody since Lendl, but he thought he might be able to do that. Do you think-- do you think he could separate himself that much from everybody else?

MICHAEL CHANG: Pete is a very talented player and obviously he's got a lot of capability, but I think that in this day and age, you know, I could be wrong, but I don't think that that's possible. Comparatively to Steffi Graf, there aren't a whole lot of players, man or woman that's even dominated tennis like Steffi. If you look at it that way you've got to go back to Martina and Chris and Lendl for three years, and McEnroe, Connors, but I think that -- to dominate like Steffi, I think is -- it's tough to compare for her -- I mean I'll give you an example. A few years ago she played in the French Open final show won 0 and 0, that's total domination. I just don't see that happening in this day and age.

Q. Because the of the depth on the men's tour?

MICHAEL CHANG: Because of the depth on the men's tour because there are so many talented players. Although Pete is very talented, it's going to be something that's very, very tough to do over an extended period of time. You know, Jim Courier did it for, you know, maybe like a year and a half somewhere around there, couple years, but then it's tough after that because you have to maintain a certain amount of, you know, work ethic and sooner or later it's going to take its toll. I'm not saying that Pete can't do it, but it definitely takes a very, very special person to do that and also depends on a lot of the other guys as well. Because there are a lot of other guys who haven't reached their full potential yet and that's something we're going to have to wait and see.

Q. Michael, you said you've been working on your serve a lost specifically what have you done to improve it?

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, today it kind of faltered a little bit. That's been one of my problems. I think I've been able to have one day where I serve really well and the next day where I don't serve so well and that's what I'm really working on, to try and become consistent and I just made minor adjustments here and there like ball toss, little things like that. Worked on trying to get a little stronger, upper body strength and Carl has just been kind of at me a little bit just real minor things because sometimes that can really make the difference.

End of FastScripts...

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