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View Full Version : Your thoughts on Michael Chang. A solid career?


lemurballs
02-24-2005, 06:54 AM
How would you sum up his career? No doubt a tremendous talent as a youngster. However, seems like his game couldnt evolve later in his career, where he struggled. Personally, one of my heros growing up.

http://www.lemurballs.net/images/chang.jpg

Kobble
02-24-2005, 07:17 AM
He relied on speed, and that is the hard way to win. So, it is really no surprise that his career didn't last as long. I would have liked to see him win another major, but so many other players had the firepower to knock him down on other surfaces. However, winning the French proves just how good he was from the baseline. The man had big sponsors, big wins, and a career I would take anyday.

Marius_Hancu
02-24-2005, 07:21 AM
He could have done more had he been better coached in his junior years in terms of S-V play, i.e. to have used that effectively from time to time.

Too much of a baseliner for my taste, but a very solid player.

tennissavy
02-24-2005, 08:54 AM
Michael Chang was a "one hit wonder" and I always considered that underhanded serve sneaky. I don't care if one is injured either; if you must serve that way then continue to do so the entire match not just when you're losing. Hingis was guilty of the same sneaky play. I have no repect for the underhanded serve even if it the rules of tennis permit it.

Rabbit
02-24-2005, 09:23 AM
I think overall, Chang had a fantastic career, better than 95+% of the pros that play.

What hurt Chang, IMO, was the lack of a real coach, his brother Carl just did not fit the bill IMO. Also, Chang's determination to change a winning game also hurt him. He and Rios faced the same vertical challenge. Rios chose to vary spins and placement on serve rather than develop power. I think Chang would've done better to follow Rios' example.

ibemadskillzz
02-24-2005, 09:29 AM
after he went to his brother as a coach, he failed at everything. He needed a real coach, his brother is bad as h***.

atatu
02-24-2005, 09:39 AM
If anything he overachieved, and he'll be in the Hall of Fame. He won one grand slam and made the finals three other times. He made the final of every grand slam except Wimbledon, not to mention achieving a #2 ranking and earning 20 million in prize money. I'll take his career over Rios any day. It's easy to criticize his brother's coaching job, but with that type of success, would you have changed your coach ?

Colpo
02-24-2005, 09:40 AM
Unfortunately, and being totally honest, my most lasting memory of Chang will be the dread I'd experience over the years when, after having set time aside to watch some TV tennis coverage, I realized that the entire two hour coverage block was going to be devoted to Chang against some early-round vic (similar to the sensation I get with Agassi nowadays - when did Andre get so boring?). IMO, he wasn't a guy you wanted to build your afternoon coverage around.

Further, similar example: ever get stuck with Chang as the "prime" match for that evening's US Open ticket? The only reason the USTA could arguably even think of pulling this off is because Chang was an American, but nobody in my party or that I was sitting near could manage to muffle their groans. And then knowing that you'll have to hump back to town on the 7 afterwards ... oh brother

He did play an exceptional match against Skoff in the Davis Cup, and his run at the French was impressive and out of his mind. But even then, the underhand serves to Lendl were cheap - name one player who'd stoop that low (please, don't tell me about injury or cramps - he finished the match, right?). Didn't matter to Chang, since he really didn't have any relationships in the locker room among his fellow pros worth preserving or cultivating.

On the plus side, hard worker who made the most of his skills - doesn't mean I have to like watching him play, though!

goober
02-24-2005, 09:49 AM
Michael Chang was a "one hit wonder" and I always considered that underhanded serve sneaky. I don't care if one is injured either; if you must serve that way then continue to do so the entire match not just when you're losing. Hingis was guilty of the same sneaky play. I have no repect for the underhanded serve even if it the rules of tennis permit it.

If you get beaten by a underhanded serve,the shame goes on you, especially on the pro level.

Well it is hard to call somebody a one hit wonder when they maintained a top 10 ranking for like 10 years and ranked #2 in the world with 37 singles titles. Sure he won only one grandslam, but he got to the finals and semifinals of the US Open, French and Australian. I think his career could have been better with a better coach kind of like Paradorn's career would be better with a coach other than his father.

Rabbit
02-24-2005, 09:59 AM
If anything he overachieved, and he'll be in the Hall of Fame. He won one grand slam and made the finals three other times. He made the final of every grand slam except Wimbledon, not to mention achieving a #2 ranking and earning 20 million in prize money. I'll take his career over Rios any day. It's easy to criticize his brother's coaching job, but with that type of success, would you have changed your coach ?

Great points. Kinda hard to argue with success.

Camilio Pascual
02-24-2005, 10:14 AM
Michael Chang was a "one hit wonder" and I always considered that underhanded serve sneaky. I don't care if one is injured either; if you must serve that way then continue to do so the entire match not just when you're losing. Hingis was guilty of the same sneaky play. I have no repect for the underhanded serve even if it the rules of tennis permit it.

Style points are for figure skating.

baselinebrawler
02-24-2005, 10:31 AM
I agree with goober. To remain in the ranking that he had for that length of time takes some talent and something that Chang never lacked hard work and heart. You could never sleep on Chang during the match because you never really knew if he is gonna get to the ball you hit or not. He has had a career that any journeyman would kill for.

On a personal note my favorite memory of Chang was when he won the FO and when they asked him what was his formula for success he replied "My success comes from Jesus Christ for without him I am nothing" (after which the french crowd booed him). He just won what most would believe to be the hardest tennis tournament to win and instead of putting the spotlight on himself he puts it on Jesus. -simply in a class by himself.

Chang = my tennis hero.

alan-n
02-24-2005, 10:57 AM
If my life depended on it, I'll would have Chang playing. He did all he could with his abilities and fell one step short of #1... He was a couple of offensive strokes short of winning a couple of more grand slams but its hard to fault someone who left everything they had on the court. Also about the "underhand" serve vs Lendl, geez can't fault the guy to much considering how much he was cramping in the match and had to come up with an effective serve... Its not like Chang was crossing the line and berating his opponents with "comeons!".

IOP
02-24-2005, 11:27 AM
IMO, Chang's career was fine up till the point he lost to Rafter at 1997's US Open semi. He was winning in tier 1, 2, and three events frequently and was in GS finals up to that point.
The brother thought one of the missing ingredient for Chang to be #1 was his stamina to perservere and maintain body strength to hit with power for 6 straight matches in Grandslams to get to the final. So, a training regime designed by Carl that eventually overtrained Chang was one of the causes.
By the way, as a speculator, I think there were two other issues that contributed to his downward slide.
[1] Carl shouldn't have sat alone at the stadium for an hour after Chang's lost to Rafter because Chang would face the question (in EVERY EVENT thereafter) of whether what Carl did was because he thought the ONLY chance to win another GS was squandered. You don't see other coaches / parents doing the same after losses because they assumed future chances exist, no matter how elusive.
[2] Prince Sports System. They axed Chang's contract some time around 99, after he fell out of the top 30. Chang had to face the question of why there was no longer a 'P' stenciled on his racquet ? People not only assumed, but tell him to his face that he must have been ostracized because nobody believed in him anymore.
Put yourself in the same situation, how encouraging could that be for anyone ? It's like you had just gone through a divorce and every other person you met was asking you if it was due to some chronic erection dysfunction and laughed at you not only behind your back but in front of your face as well.

Nyl
02-24-2005, 11:39 AM
i definitly give chang the credit for his career. very solid career. he holds one of the all-time best hard-court record and he was one match away from #1. His tennis not only built himself a fantastic life but also inspired many people in terms of tennis through his mental toughness and the never give up mentality. and dun forget he's the youngest ever to win a GS....unfortunately his career slipped becoz of the injury...

StupidCupid
02-24-2005, 11:43 AM
For those who criticized Chang:

[1] Name me another player who, with similar background and physical attributes of Chang, had achieved even a fraction of what Chang achieved in the open era. If there is one, please advice.

[2] So, you do think your standards are higher than Lendl's ? As far as I know, Lendl did not despised Chang in anyway due to the underhand serve. In fact, in their future encounters, Lendl had exchanged sincerely kind words with Chang in every occassion (don't ask me how I know this, ask Mr. Lendl himself if you have a chance or through someone who knows him) even though Lendl had to face the question, 500 times, of how he felt losing the match and the underhand serve from Chang ?

Datacipher
02-24-2005, 11:56 AM
3 things:

1.I think everyone makes WAY too much of the underhanded serve legend. For those who did not see it, it was ONE point, it did not draw an error, in fact Lendl jumped all over it with a huge forehand, it was Chang's reply that won him the point.

2.I think Chang did evolve, some changes were beneficial, others are debatable...but at least he tried. No other player in the open era has shown as big a commitment to change his game and use the new game in actual matches. His serve, his volley, his groundstrokes(on the rise and harder), his tactics(attack the return, play up on the baseline, work into net). Ultimately the pinnacle was beyond his reach, but even Agassi(who really disliked Chang and insulted him many times) grudgingly admitted(in mid 90's) that Chang improved "7 percent" every year.

3.Chang was the greatest fighter I ever saw, I've seen some greats, Connors, old Agassi, Courier, Gonzales, Hewitt, but none match Chang. Chang looked the exact same way, when he was down 1-6,2-6,0-5 as when he was up by the same score. He could lose 20 points straight, then win one point to save a match point and he'd be pumping his fist quietly and talking to himself like he thought he was on a comeback! lol. It was almost pathological. The other thing that puts him beyond those guys is that even in matches he got blown out in, I'd carefully watch him as he threw everything but the kitchen sink at the guy, trying to find some way to eke out points. He'd serve and volley on clay, he'd throw the worst junk a pro will ever use, he'd try to hit the cover off the ball in his version of Fernando Gonzalez....anything....and despite all that, he always did it with class and sportsmanship.

Datacipher
02-24-2005, 12:16 PM
On a personal note my favorite memory of Chang was when he won the FO and when they asked him what was his formula for success he replied "My success comes from Jesus Christ for without him I am nothing" (after which the french crowd booed him). He just won what most would believe to be the hardest tennis tournament to win and instead of putting the spotlight on himself he puts it on Jesus. -simply in a class by himself.

.

BeaselineBrawler, I think this is a great point. I feel as though Chang took way too much unfair criticism for his religious beliefs. A product of the anti-christian bias that now subtly exists in our culture. Yes, he did say a couple and I mean a COUPLE questionable things when he was in his teens. But most of the time, he did not push it unless it was in direct answer to a question and it was obvious he was sincere about it. Yes, he brought it up from time to time, but it was clearly an important part of his life. By all accounts he didn't just talk the talk but walked it also. That's a heck of a lot better than what Agassi was doing, saying he was a Christian then walking around telling everyone to F off, let alone what some supposedly Christian celebrities have done. Yet, nobody blasted Agassi for that.

I couldn't believe the crowd reacted that way....(in a day and age where every gansta rapper and every big star comes up and "thanks God" for the award for the song they wrote about how many people they've killed) you'd think they'd have a little more respect for a persons beliefs even if they dont' share them.

I know hearing a guy talk about God, when you don't share those beliefs can grow tiresome, but I thought it was nice to see a guy bring it up openly without having a hidden agenda, trying to sell me something or tweak his image(as mentioned, if anything it hurt his image).

atatu
02-24-2005, 12:56 PM
I know I'm getting off topic...but I can't help it. If there's any anti-Christian bias in our "culture", it's a result of the extreme right trying to impose their "morals" on the general public. They think Spongebob Squarepants is *** because he's holding hands with Mr. Starfish ? That is promoting a "****sexual agenda" ? You've gotta be kidding me. As far as Chang goes, I think it's safe to say he's the only #2 in the history of tennis who admitted to being a virgin (see his book), but I still liked the guy.

Kevin Patrick
02-24-2005, 01:04 PM
Very well said Data. I really like your comment "No other player in the open era has shown as big a commitment to change his game"

As we all know the pros can do everything in practice, but very few are willing to take this kind of gamble on the court. Chang might be just as boring as today's baseliners, but at least he was willing to take chances.
When Chang won the French in '89, I got the sense that players & the media really thought he would have no chance of remining an elite player for long, due to his limited, retrieving game. Chang remained in the top 10 for close to a decade, in an era of many big servers & faster surfaces.

Initially, I wasn't the biggest Chang fan, but was won over by that 'willingness to throw everything but the kitchen sink' at any time in any match.

I was just watching the '93 US Open QF vs Sampras(score 6-7,7-6,6-1,6-1)
McEnroe was gushing over Chang's willingness to come to net, even following returns in to net to knock of some very impressive volleys. The 1st 2 sets were very close & intense. Then Sampras went into the zone, hitting winners from everywhere. Chang didn't look the slightest discouraged when he was down 5-1 in the 4th set, still taking chances, still pumping his fists.
During the post match interview he was questioned about his netrushing tactics. He said "I know I can't beat Pete just playing from the baseline, you have to be willing to mix things up."
Watching Chang mix things up & still lose convincingly is far more interesting to me than watching Hewitt get bageled by Federer for the umpteenth time doing the same exact thing over & over again.

Also, injuries which took away Chang's speed caused his decline, not the 'game passing him by' like so many seem to think.

Datacipher
02-24-2005, 01:06 PM
I know I'm getting off topic...but I can't help it. If there's any anti-Christian bias in our "culture", it's a result of the extreme right trying to impose their "morals" on the general public. They think Spongebob Squarepants is *** because he's holding hands with Mr. Starfish ? That is promoting a "****sexual agenda" ? You've gotta be kidding me. As far as Chang goes, I think it's safe to say he's the only #2 in the history of tennis who admitted to being a virgin (see his book), but I still liked the guy.

I'm sure that is part of it Atatu as well as crooked televangelists and many other Christian posers who have smeared the name in the eyes of the public. That's a huge can of worms to open up though. I admire him saying that he is a virgin...that sure isn't easy to do or admit...lol. We need more celebrities who have strong morals and stand by them....I've pretty much given up on even athletes as role models....partly for their scandals, partly for the massive unspoken doping. I wouldn't want my kids emulating this.

Kevin Patrick
02-24-2005, 01:34 PM
Off topic Data, but this talk of Agassi's christian beliefs caused me to remember this story from Mike Agassi' book:
Apparently Agassi was interested in Graf in the early 90s & had his agent try to ask her out for him. She declined because she thought he was some sort of religious fanatic because of his 'born again' label.

Datacipher
02-24-2005, 01:39 PM
Very well said Data. I really like your comment "No other player in the open era has shown as big a commitment to change his game"

As we all know the pros can do everything in practice, but very few are willing to take this kind of gamble on the court. Chang might be just as boring as today's baseliners, but at least he was willing to take chances.
When Chang won the French in '89, I got the sense that players & the media really thought he would have no chance of remining an elite player for long, due to his limited, retrieving game. Chang remained in the top 10 for close to a decade, in an era of many big servers & faster surfaces.

Initially, I wasn't the biggest Chang fan, but was won over by that 'willingness to throw everything but the kitchen sink' at any time in any match.

I was just watching the '93 US Open QF vs Sampras(score 6-7,7-6,6-1,6-1)
McEnroe was gushing over Chang's willingness to come to net, even following returns in to net to knock of some very impressive volleys. The 1st 2 sets were very close & intense. Then Sampras went into the zone, hitting winners from everywhere. Chang didn't look the slightest discouraged when he was down 5-1 in the 4th set, still taking chances, still pumping his fists.
During the post match interview he was questioned about his netrushing tactics. He said "I know I can't beat Pete just playing from the baseline, you have to be willing to mix things up."
Watching Chang mix things up & still lose convincingly is far more interesting to me than watching Hewitt get bageled by Federer for the umpteenth time doing the same exact thing over & over again.

Also, injuries which took away Chang's speed caused his decline, not the 'game passing him by' like so many seem to think.

Totally agree with everything you said Kevin. You're absolutely right that many questioned whether Chang could remain at the top, I can think of many doubters, but going back to Agassi, later in their careers Agassi actually said(paraphrasing) "I said once I'd be amazed if Chang could stay in the top 10, but the guy has made a believer out of me." and I don't think people appreciate just how much even his bread and butter baseline game changed.

I remember 5 or 6 years ago, going back to watch tapes I had of Chang at 16 and 17.....I was shocked....forgot....at that time, almost all he had were looping, puffy, deep behind the baseline retrieval shots....even when he won that 1st FO he showed a preview of the willingness to change and be inventive with the occasional net foray and flattened out approaches(he always did that pretty well on the backhand). Again, one of the sources of conflict between Agassi and Chang was that in the early 90's, Agassi was irritated that he felt Chang was copying him, starting to pattern his baseline game after Andre, taking the ball earlier and trying to dictate with more authority.

That 93 match was underrated wasnt' it? I remember that match as REALLY fun and great quality. The first 2 sets because they were so close and both guys really showed some athletic all court play and it was punctuated by the occasional "bring you to your feet" exciting point. I remember being so impressed by Chang's ability to return the Sampras serve and his the way he swept Sampras in one of the tiebreaks. I also remember that Chang made an incredible reflex volley at close range, running directly into a Sampras blast...then a few points later, Sampras made nearly the exact same shot! The last 2 sets because we got to see just what a Sampras in the zone can do! I actually liked Sampras game a lot in those years. Relaxed, confident, so very quick and still hitting a bit flatter when confident, which he got away from a bit in later years.

I also agree totally about the injuries slowing Chang. The ol "game has changed" is true, in that the game changing made it even harder for Chang to comeback, BUT Chang was losing to players his age and even older.....guys he had beaten REPEATEDLY in the past. So, unless you buy that all these old guys also had gotten so much better, it's hard to completely buy that argument. I am certain that Chang in his prime would be a top 10 player right now. I mean Chang BEAT Federer 7-5, 6-2 in 2000 ON GRASS. Now of course Federer was not the Fed of now...but in 2000, Chang was just a shadow of his prime. Heck ol Andre is still doin fine and Chang played him even during Chang's peak. Andre was a career nemesis for Chang, having the perfect game to beat Chang (michael fully admitted this)....Andre won the first 4 meeting and the last 4...but Chang found a way to win 7 of the 14 matches in between.

Datacipher
02-24-2005, 01:43 PM
Off topic Data, but this talk of Agassi's christian beliefs caused me to remember this story from Mike Agassi' book:
Apparently Agassi was interested in Graf in the early 90s & had his agent try to ask her out for him. She declined because she thought he was some sort of religious fanatic because of his 'born again' label.

LOL. He sure seemed like it when he was swearing and spitting at umpires...just like it tells you to do in the bible... ;-)

Funny because it's easier for me to picture the current Agassi as a religious fanatic....wearing robes...sitting in the airport terminal.....

BreakPoint
02-24-2005, 01:55 PM
1.I think everyone makes WAY too much of the underhanded serve legend. For those who did not see it, it was ONE point, it did not draw an error, in fact Lendl jumped all over it with a huge forehand, it was Chang's reply that won him the point.


I could be wrong, but to my recollection, Chang's underhand serve DID indeed draw an error from Lendl. If I remember the point correctly from replays over the years, Chang held the ball in front of him as if he was going to hit a normal overhead serve, and then quickly and suddenly hit an underhand serve with a lot of sidespin on it to the ad court. Lendl moved up and tried to crush a forehand return but the ball hit the net tape, giving Chang the point.

I'm NOT faulting Chang at all for hitting the underhand serve. There's no rule in tennis that says you have to hit the serve overhead. He was just doing what he thought would work and to surprise his opponent to win a very crucial point (I believe it was break point) towards the end of the match. I've also heard that Lendl had no animosity towards Chang over that serve and did not say that it was unsportsmanship-like in any way. I think he was more embarrassed than anything else that he netted the easy return.

Datacipher
02-24-2005, 02:23 PM
I could be wrong, but to my recollection, Chang's underhand serve DID indeed draw an error from Lendl. If I remember the point correctly from replays over the years, Chang held the ball in front of him as if he was going to hit a normal overhead serve, and then quickly and suddenly hit an underhand serve with a lot of sidespin on it to the ad court. Lendl moved up and tried to crush a forehand return but the ball hit the net tape, giving Chang the point.
.

Well that's just great Breakpoint! Now it'll eat at me until I spend 3 hours going through old tapes to find that point.

I can't say that a point from 15 yrs ago is fresh in my mind either. I thought though, that Lendl came forward, mashed the sitter with a forehand right down the middle at Chang and proceeded to the net. I think Chang took the booming reply on the rise and redirected a blasting passing shot past Lendl, who could not handle it.....

tetsuo10
02-24-2005, 02:48 PM
For those that watched it, how was the 5 hour match between him and Edberg at the 92 US Open?

Kaptain Karl
02-24-2005, 03:19 PM
Remember, atatu, you started this...

If there's any anti-Christian bias in our "culture", it's a result of the extreme right trying to impose their "morals" on the general public. They think Spongebob Squarepants is g-a-y because he's holding hands with Mr. Starfish ? That is promoting a "h-o-m-o-sexual agenda" ? You've gotta be kidding me.

As a card-carrying member of the Conservative Right Wing, you're "full of ... fertilizer." You gotta stop simply parroting what the Leftys say about the issues, atatu. You've gotta be kidding me.

Dr. Dobson never claimed SpongeBob was g-a-y Look it up, if you don't believe me.

What Dobson, Falwell, et al complained about was the Liberals using SpongeBob to promote their pro-g-a-y agenda. If you're going to argue with some organization's point of view, it helps if you can at least get their POV right in the first place.

BTW, the Lefties almost immediately changed their promotional material for that program and made it less PC. And then they tried to claim it had always been that way.

- KK

Kaptain Karl
02-24-2005, 03:22 PM
BreakPoint - Now you've done it.... I think Data is one of the best digger-uppers-of-obscure-information on these boards. (Marius is "up there" too.)

I hope you're ready for the "Research Battle" you've started....

- KK

Aykhan Mammadov
02-24-2005, 03:23 PM
Chang won 7 Master Series Tournaments, 4 different , all on Hard.

He won 1 time GS FO at 1989.

Kevin Patrick
02-24-2005, 04:11 PM
Data's recollection is correct. Lendl wasn't thrown off by the serve, but might have been by the crowd noise(they understandably went nuts when Chang hit his serve) He slightly mishit a forehand drive return, which landed on the baseline. Chang then hit a pretty sweet forehand passing shot.

This was from a thread about Chang's underhand serve from April of last year(I had recently watched that match)

I was amazed at how passively Lendl played the entire match, but especially when Chang started cramping at the beginning of the 5th. Chang was just looping the ball back, waiting for a mid court ball to blast, even moonballing frequently, which caused the French crowd to jeer. Lendl obliged, just hitting the ball back to Chang, refusing to be offensive in any way(he didn't even throw in a drop shot, which would have been effective considering how much pain Chang was in)
Chang was up 4-3 in the 5th, serving, but down 15-30 when he threw in the underhand serve. He was serving so slowly(basically just an arm serve)throughout the 5th; his underhand serve probably wasn't too far off from those speeds, but it did look like it had some funky spin on it.
Chang held, Lendl was serving to stay in the match. When Chang got to match point he marched right up to the service line before Lendl hit a 2nd serve. The crowd started laughing when Chang did this, causing Lendl to complain that he should get 2 serves. He didn't get them, and hit a serve that hit the net went long. The rest is history.
Lendl didn't shake the chair umpire's hand. He had been arguing with him throughout the match, even getting a point penalty at a crucial game point for Chang in the 4th set. Lendl yelled at him "you cheat me every time!" before getting the penalty.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=21590&page=1&pp=15

Nyl
02-24-2005, 04:33 PM
i second kevin, lendl didnt make an error on the return.
moreover, i totally respect the underhand-serve. I think it's the mentality that makes hingis' uh-serve different from chang's uh-serve. hingis was frustrated in the match and just wanted to end it RIGHT NOW.... but chang was throwing literally everything he can think of just to get a point from lendl. I totally respect chang's uh-serve and i would do that same under such situation...
does any of you remember chang's face expression in the match ? i could never forget that face, it was like a beaten-up boxer on the stage who is willing to give up his life just to punch his opponent one more time..... it was great.... the never-giveup mentality inspired me a lot.... really... once i was down last set 1-5 0-40, facing 3 match points n i came back ... still lost 6-7(6) but i had a match point at 6-5....

RealityPolice
02-24-2005, 05:09 PM
Always thought that Chang was one of the most underrated returners-of-serve in the game. No, he didn't have the power off the return that Agassi has, but Chang seemed to get a racquet on almost everything a server could throw at him, and managed to get a lot of rocket serves back in play that would have been aces or service winners against most other players.

I won't forget the Chang-McEnroe match at the US Open in '91. Deep in the match (5th set?), with the crowd mostly pulling for McEnroe, Chang serving; some chowderhead in the stands yells something that ends with "f*cking g**k" and was clearly audible on the broadcast. Chang blinked, caught his service toss, backed away from the baseline, and then went back to work like nothing had happened.

Tony Trabert reacted to the incident on-air by saying, "Don't know if these fans know this, but Chang was actually born in Hoboken." :)

Side note: the morning before playing Edberg in the final in Cincinnati (forget the year), Michael Chang was at the Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati, standing in the row in front of my brother. This was the morning of a major final, and the guy was at church an hour away from the tourny site.

My brother's comment: "I didn't know human beings could have legs that powerful."

Kaptain Karl
02-24-2005, 05:39 PM
Chang was tough.

Chang IS tough.

- KK

ragnaROK
02-24-2005, 06:33 PM
Since taking up tennis, Chang has always been a hero for me. On and off court, the guy is the perfect role model for any kid that wanted to be like him. The mentality he took to playing each point was as if each one was a match point. Chang didnt give you free points, you had to beat him. With those tree trunks for legs, he could motor for hrs until you made an unforced error. Talk about being efficient with his resources! The guy didnt have many big weapons, but the guy would try any shot, any strategy to snag a few points. He truly THOUGHT his way through a match.

I've always loved the grit, the heart, the never-say-die mentality Chang brought to a tennis match. "Tank" was not in this guy's vocabulary and he was the epitome of a HARD working professional. He was a hard guy not to root for. Like many others I believe his choice for a coach kept him back. But looking back, I dont think Chang would have it any other way, being around his suppportive family whom he was very loyal too.

I'll never forget seeing young Chang, a little speck on that Parisan clay running on nothing but fumes to wear down a mature and established pro like Lendl. There will be many more pros that come along with bigger strokes, faster serves and even speedier wheels but they will never come close to having the kind of heart Chang had.

BreakPoint
02-24-2005, 09:24 PM
OK, then I stand corrected on the underhand serve point. Could I have been thinking of another point? Did he hit more than one underhanded serve during that match? Anyway, I do remember on match point when he stood near the service line on Lendl's second serve to try and psyche him out. It worked. Lendl's second serve hit the tape and went past the service line. Chang collapses on the red dirt as Lendl's double-fault gives Chang the amazing come from two sets down win in the 4th round.

Saito
02-24-2005, 10:26 PM
IMO, I think ANYONE who makes it that far(and long) in tennis can be said to have had a "solid tennis career" simply because (and I know alot of ppl on these boards would agree) that making it to the pros just isn't that easy. For Chang to have accomplished not only that task, but to make that much (sorry for my poor choice of wording, but I'm tired and just got off of work) noise in the tennis world.......... it's kinda disappointing to actually see some negative comments made against him.... but like I usually say, everyone is entitled to their OWN opinions....

To each his own, I guess.......... :neutral:

gmlasam
02-24-2005, 11:46 PM
Any word on what is Chang doing now? I would like to see him as guest commentator on ESPN one day.

Nyl
02-25-2005, 12:04 AM
he's some sort of committee in USTA now

aside from his achievment in tennis, as the first top asian tennis player ever, he did show us (asian) a pathway to the pro tennis world.

AndrewD
02-25-2005, 12:27 AM
If Michael Chang came along today and accomplished the same things he did in his prime people would instantly be hailing him as one of the greats. Instead, he played in an era when America was overly spoiled with players like Sampras, Agassi, Courier and had just seen the back of McEnroe and Connors. Against their accomplishments he looked like an underachiever. However, stack his record up against any other US player in the last 30 years and he'd be head and shoulders above them.
Sadly, if Roddick never wins another major then ten years from now people might be talking in the same fashion about him nomatter how many quarters, semis and finals he gets to.

kv581
02-25-2005, 12:35 AM
OK, then I stand corrected on the underhand serve point. Could I have been thinking of another point? Did he hit more than one underhanded serve during that match? Anyway, I do remember on match point when he stood near the service line on Lendl's second serve to try and psyche him out. It worked. Lendl's second serve hit the tape and went past the service line. Chang collapses on the red dirt as Lendl's double-fault gives Chang the amazing come from two sets down win in the 4th round.

Hmm...no... there was only that one underhand serve during that FO Lendl match. Maybe there was one more from another match?

lemurballs
02-25-2005, 07:11 AM
Any word on what is Chang doing now? I would like to see him as guest commentator on ESPN one day.

Does a lot of speaking events. At one point on his website, his "schedule" section had turned from ATP tour events into his yearly speaking engagements. Is he still active on the tour?

He's done, I totally forgot about his last match, but now i remember. -
http://www.dailytexanonline.com/news/2003/08/27/Sports/Chang.Plays.Last.Match.HeninHardenne.Advances-453409.shtml

alan-n
02-25-2005, 10:59 AM
Any word on what is Chang doing now? I would like to see him as guest commentator on ESPN one day.

Chang is currently a USTA mentor for juniors.

nw tennis
02-25-2005, 11:07 AM
There's no doubt that Chang's success was hampered by his choice of coaches. Carl lacked the skills, experience and other qualities needed to maximize Chang's potential.

That said, I think he had a wonderful career with many many memorable matches. He showed more determination and fighting spirit than anyone I've ever seen, and the fact he enjoyed as much success as he did - even without a real coach - is a true testament to him.

Datacipher
02-25-2005, 02:01 PM
BreakPoint - Now you've done it.... I think Data is one of the best digger-uppers-of-obscure-information on these boards. (Marius is "up there" too.)

I hope you're ready for the "Research Battle" you've started....

- KK

Thanks for the compliment Kaptain and so much nicer than some of my friends who would have replaced "obscure" with something like "stupid useless tennis" information.

Kaptain Karl
02-25-2005, 03:51 PM
Each datum is significant ... to *somebody*.

- KK