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September 10, 1992

Michael Chang


Q. Michael, can you tell us what was the book you look at the beginning of the match?

MICHAEL CHANG: That is just my player book.

Q. What is it exactly?

MICHAEL CHANG: That is just my player book.

Q. What do you write in it?


Q. How to play this match, things like that?

MICHAEL CHANG: No, I mean, I try to learn from every match. I just basically try to learn from all my matches, whether I come out on top or whether I lose. I try to improve on it as it gets better and better, and you know, that is just for me. It works well.

Q. What does it mean to you to be in the semifinals of the U.S. Open?

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, I think for me this year in particular, you know, I haven't had great results. I haven't had great results in the Grand Slams and I think that coming here and getting to, you know, past the round of 16 was an accomplishment because I have been stuck there for a few years. To get to the semis is even better. I think for me, you know, it is important that I not go into the next match kind of like satisfied. Because I think that I have to keep my head down, keep working at it, give myself the best chance to try to win this tournament, but you know, getting to the semifinals, for me is actually my second best effort in Grand Slam tournament, so I am pleased with that.

Q. Michael, you mentioned that you try to learn something from every match. What did you learn about playing against an injured player in your match with Lendl in the French Open in '89?

MICHAEL CHANG: Well, I think that for today, I actually thought he was cramping. I didn't realize that it was actually an injury. I didn't see -- he didn't seem like he could get up for the overheads so well. Whenever he came in, I tried to throw up a lob. I didn't want to change my game to all of a sudden keep the ball in play, make him move because Wayne is a good enough player if he gets the right ball whether he is injured or not, if he is in position, he can hit it. Basically, I tried to stay on top of him. I tried to keep with my own game plan, and you know, not let the injury thing bother my performance. If he was going to win, he was going to have to do it playing better tennis. I think in the fourth set, he did do that. He held serve throughout the whole set, and played a good tiebreaker, so he deserved to win that set. The fifth set, I think he got a little bit tired second game. I think he hit a few unforced errors. I think that was maybe a little bit of a let-down during the fourth set, you learn a lot. That is one thing that is difficult to teach, you kind of have to experience it yourself as far as playing injured player or playing a player who is cramping, because it is something that it is easy to say, well, just focus; just stick with the game plan, but it is tough to get it out of your head. You know, it is something that you kind of have to, I guess, kind of go through. I think everybody has had matches where they know that their opponent was injured going in. It is something that you have to just concentrate on your own game.

Q. Talk about that shot you made at the net breakpoint, in the third set that gave you 5-3 lead when you had to kind of twist around; you were set up for the backhand volley; he kind of was going to pass you on the forehand side; you had to kind of twist in the air to put that one away. Do you remember much about that point?

MICHAEL CHANG: I actually do. I went to cover the line. I didn't he -- I thought he was just too far out to hook it back crosscourt. I was just covering the line. I was surprised he got it back. I just kind of stuck my racket out, and you know, just lucky to get the ball and -- the racket and it went in. I think he was a little surprised I got it back; then he missed his backhand.

Q. Were you at all upset about being moved off the stadium court?

MICHAEL CHANG: No, not at all. I think that in a situation where Mal and I-- we kind of discussed it. We were like, well, you know this Lendl/Becker match could go long. In fact, if we did play after that match, we wouldn't have finished 'till like, I don't know, three o'clock in the morning. Which would have been a joke, and neither one of us really wanted to, whoever won, didn't want to play two days in a row. And you know, so we didn't really have any bother about playing in the grandstand. Same -- I didn't talk to Wayne before the match here, but I had no objections playing in the grandstand.

Q. Since winning the French at such a young age Michael, you had a bad injury; then your ranking fell a pretty good amount. Did you ever doubt at any point in your own mind that you might never come back to reach a final four?

MICHAEL CHANG: I think everybody has their doubts. Everybody has their doubt, but I think it is something that you know, I think whether it is in your tennis career; whether it is in life, you know, everyone is going to have their ups and downs, you can't just say I will just take the ups, and leave the downs. That is the way life is. And I think that for five years that I have been on tour, I have learned that the times when I am down is really the times that I have learned the most, and it has helped me to persevere, you know, persevere not only my tennis game, but in my life and mentally, because it does play in your mind. You go into tournaments and you lose first rounds, time after time, and it plays with your mind and it is something that you just have to kind of persevere at, and know that you just have to keep working at it. Things will eventually come back up, and it is just a matter of getting through that period. It is true that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. You have to keep-- you just have to keep walking until you see it.

Q. When you came out on tour, you know, first game out on tour you were always playing big matches against players that had more experience than you. Last two, you have been more experienced. How much did that contribute to your victory in the last two matches?

MICHAEL CHANG: I don't know. It is really tough to say because you know, Mal and Wayne, they have been on tour for about, I'd say about three years, three and a half years, so I haven't been on tour as any really that much longer than they have. You know, I think that they both had their fair share of tough matches. Wayne played an earlier five set match in a tournament and, you know, he got to the semi-finals in Australia Open, and I believe he got to, like, round of 16 at Wimbledon. He knows how to play. And he knows how to play in the big tournaments as well as Mal. I think that, you know, as far as like going a little bit farther, I think it is going to take a little bit of time as far as maturing, and realizing that you are capable of going out there and winning a Grand Slam because both those guys definitely have the potential.

Q. Michael, you don't have a good record in tiebreaks. Might it be that because your game is so much geared for the longhaul, that tennis in little short bites is not for you?

MICHAEL CHANG: What is my tiebreak record?

Q. Something like six and ten.

MICHAEL CHANG: Six and ten? Well, I think it is important that when the tiebreakers come, I have had a few matches. I played Rosset earlier in the year. I won that one 7-6 in the third. It is funny, I don't remember the tiebreakers that I lost. I know I lost one today. You know, I don't know what to say. It is tough to kind of work at it. I mean, tiebreakers is really, you know, comes down to, you know, a few points here and there.

Q. You went often to the net today. Was it only for this match, or are you trying to improve it more and more?

MICHAEL CHANG: I am trying to improve it more and more. I think that as I play tougher guys, as I play guys who are always coming in, it doesn't matter -- I guess, it doesn't matter if they are ranked high or low, I could be able to mix it up. I have to be able to kind of keep them honest. If I let a guy like Wayne come in all the time; always be on the offensive, puts myself in a difficult position, and you know, with the way that everything is -- the technology of rackets, the courts, the balls, everything getting a little bit faster, it is becoming more and more difficult to be able to win that way.

Q. Who do you prefer to play, Lendl or Edberg?

MICHAEL CHANG: I have no preference, really. I have no preference.

Q. How do you match up against either of these guys?

MICHAEL CHANG: I lost to Lendl last three weeks, so it is funny because I played Ivan -- I have always lost to him two out of three sets, except for one exhibition in ATT, I played him twice -- three out of five sets, and one was in the French Open and the other one was last year in the Grand Slam Cup and I won both of those after I was two sets to love down. So I don't think that the strategy for me is to lose the first two sets in order to beat him.

Q. Edberg has his fourth match point now. Would you have any advice for him?

MICHAEL CHANG: Serve and volley.

Q. Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts....

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