Chang's underhand serve against Lendl (FO 1989)

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by keithchircop, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. keithchircop

    keithchircop Professional

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    #1
  2. lawrence

    lawrence Hall of Fame

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    haha so awesome
     
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  3. AceofBase

    AceofBase Rookie

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    Thats what I called the Master of Tennis rite there? LOL!
     
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  4. jamauss

    jamauss Hall of Fame

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    hahaha...Chang
     
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  5. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    The force was with Michael that time.

    But why did the lord foresake him thereafter?
     
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  6. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    It's been there for a while.

    Edit: It inspired me to do this. I'm liking it when I can pull this out and people get mad, lol.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2007
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  7. Sean Dugan

    Sean Dugan Rookie

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    Chang only did it because he was cramping so badly he was forced to serve underhand. Unlike when Hingis did it to Graf because she was a brat.
     
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  8. keithchircop

    keithchircop Professional

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    since july 6th
     
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  9. drhopz

    drhopz Semi-Pro

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    LOL that serve is so dirty, but props for him.
     
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  10. old_school_tennis

    old_school_tennis New User

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    That kid had guts. Indeed, his underhand serve was a result of cramps. Poor Ivan didn't know what to do with it. Lendl also had the crowd against him as they were pulling for the underdog. To me, Chang's performance in that '89 FO was the epitome of finding a way to win, whatever it took. His subsequent victory over Edberg was also as amazing.
     
    #10
  11. pow

    pow Hall of Fame

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    wow that looks a bit... underhanded... if you know what I mean?
     
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  12. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    Lendl could have hit it anywhere yet he hits it just past the service line and straight back to Chang. It would have been 15-40, Lendl messed up his chance.
     
    #12
  13. BigBUBBA

    BigBUBBA Semi-Pro

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    No, Hingis Did it because she was desperate. DIFFERENT
     
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  14. Aeropro master

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    What a beast...
     
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  15. heycal

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    Who says he did it because he was cramping? In the vid, he seems pretty healthy.
     
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  16. old_school_tennis

    old_school_tennis New User

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    In the points leading up to that one, Chang was limping around and practically crying. It seemed like it was pretty clear that he was cramping. Throughout his career, Chang was a respected sport and class act. He wouldn't show up an opponent with an underhand serve just for kicks. If we could watch the entire match or even that set, I think we would see that he was genuinely hurting.
     
    #16
  17. xtremerunnerars

    xtremerunnerars Hall of Fame

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    Love the underhander. In the sectionals doubles tournament here for HS students...one of our kids pulled it off. They were up 5-4 second set (won the first) and were down 0-40. The guys on the team are pretty much complete opposites, so it was a total surprise! They won the game, and went on to take third place in the state.

    The best part about it is that we all got out of school around 2 hours after it started to go and watch it.
     
    #17
  18. keithchircop

    keithchircop Professional

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    that's what the element of surprise is all about.
     
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  19. sdonnelly

    sdonnelly New User

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    Haha...very nice, very nice.
     
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  20. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Perhaps so. I didn't see the match. All I can judge is what I saw here, which was a healthly looking guy who suddenly quick-served underhanded, moved around the court fine during the point, and whooped it up after he won the point.
     
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  21. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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    I don't care if he did it or not, but it wasn't because of cramps. You could see the ntire match that he was doing whatever he could to unsettle Ivan Lendl. It was a calculated legal action with the same amount of disrepect Hingis showed Graf. Perhaps one can find the clip where chang stands very neat the service line to recieve serve with that hollier than holy look. Boring player.
     
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  22. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I've never really seen Chang play, but if he's doing things like standing near the service line with a holier than holy look and serving underhanded and exhorting the crowd after that point, he doesn't sound like a "boring player".

    Is the Hingis disrepectful remark refer to her going on the other side of the court to look at a mark? If so, I have no idea how that would somehow be disrepectful to her opponent. In fact, can somehow explain to me why doing something like that would be considered disrespectful to Graf personally? A player does not own the side of the court they are playing on in that particular game. It is not private property. Hingis had a beef with the umpire about a call made on that side of the court. She went to look at it. What does this have to do with Graf?
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2007
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  23. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

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    I saw the match, heard the commentators and read the post match musings of the writers. He was cramping. He also did whatever he could to try to get Ivan out of his game. The stand in a let me see you blow it by me is an old ploy. If you find grinders boring, then he was.
     
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  24. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    You are right. I've posted about this match & point so many times over the years, its amazing how it has been so misinterpreted in the years since(esp by those who weren't even born when it happened)

    Chang's cramps had NOTHING to do with his underhand serve, that was calculated gamesmanship(which I have no problem with) He didn't do it at any other time in the match, only when he was down 15-30 in the 5th, it was purely for the element of surprise. I have the match on tape, comentator Fred Stolle afterwards was disgusted that Chang did that & was very critical of him. As he was when Chang crowded the service line on match point.

    Also Chang did this again in his next match, & he wasn't cramping then, so its obvious that it was a tactic, not because of any physical ailment.

    Regardless of his sportsmanship & supposedly close relationship with Jesus, the kid was willing to do anything to win at that event.

    also, keep in mind, this was the 80s, the definition of sportsmanship was a bit different than. even the 'good guys' regularly did things that would cause an uproar today. and in the 70s guys would jump the net after winning, if someone did that today there would be 100 threads calling him an asshat.

    it seems like tennis gets to be more & more countryclub every year, funny how its regressing in many ways.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2007
    #24
  25. heycal

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    Any chance you or anyone can post a clip of this? I'd love to see it.

    This is an interesting point, and related to why I objected to the characterization of Chang as boring. Boring compared to McEnroe and Connors? Sure, okay. But if a guy crowded the service line or quick served underhanded today, I'd be shocked at such antics.

    So based on these two things alone, Chang seems more colorful and controversial than today's REALLY boring players.
     
    #25
  26. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    really? I assumed you'd been playing the game a long time from some your past posts. Guess you took some time off in the 90s, Chang was top 10 most of that decade.
     
    #26
  27. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    It's a funny thing: I followed tennis as a kid in the mid and late 70's, then didn't really follow it all until 2005, when I really fell in love again with both playing and watching the game. So there's this huge gap there. I'm familiar with McEnroe, Connors, Borg, Evert, Navritolova, and I'm also familiar with Federer, Nadal, Sharapova, and Henin.

    But Chang, Sampras, Graff, Seles? Never heard of 'em!
     
    #27
  28. Vision84

    Vision84 Hall of Fame

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    That is an interesting point but i feel it is moving in the opposite direction with the current generation which often frustrates me.
     
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  29. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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    Get a life.
     
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  30. old_school_tennis

    old_school_tennis New User

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    Interesting points that have been brought up. I think you're right in this respect: did the cramps ABSOLUTELY FORCE him to serve underhanded? No. He could have served with the regular motion, albeit at 45 mph. But did the cramps force him to find other ways to win? Yes.

    Now, what were his other options? He could have forfeited his match (something some of the lightweights of today's game would do), totally tanked (which would have shown a complete lack of heart, and something for which he should be justifiably criticized), or he could use that internal fight to find a way to win (which is what he did).

    I don't believe it was a rude, personal affront to Lendl or the sport at all. It's not like he went over and grabbed one of Lendl's racquets from his bag and started using it. Or told the crowd to scream while Lendl hits. To me the underhander was a totally legitimate attempt to find a way to win when his body was breaking down.

    Chang didn't have the size (what, 5'9" with his Reebok Pumps ON?), strength (despite his attempts at adding mph to his serve later in his career), or natural physical attributes to be number one, so he utilized every aspect of his abilities (speed, mind) to squeeze out every ounce of potential he could. In my eyes, that's a true competitor.
     
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  31. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    old_school_tennis, I have the match on tape & watched it fairly recently(& watched it at the time it was played as well, read all the articles, magazines on it, etc, it was kinda a big deal then)

    No one at the time(even Chang) suggested that that serve was due to cramps. I think he even smiled when asked about it in the press conference. Again it was only one point in a 5 set match, I doubt his weakened condition affected his ability to serve so severely that he only resorted to underhand serving on ONE point.

    And I mentioned he did it again in his following match vs Agenor, when he was fine physically, so how do you explain that? Mind games were an important part of the game back then(the books by Becker, Cash, Mac, Gilbert make this pretty clear) unlike today & Chang was aware of this important aspect of the game. Even Lendl was pretty good at this, so he knew what Chang was doing & was fine with it.

    And I've seen Jay Berger struck by cramps so severe that he actually resorted to serving underhand on every point(after 2 games he defaulted since it seemed rather pointless to continue), this is not in the same ballpark(also trainers were not allowed to treat players for cramps back then)

    all I can say, 15-30, 4-3 in the 5th, says it all. what a convenient time to be so incapacitated that you have to resort to the only underhand serve in the entire match. and that was just to get to 30-30, why didn't he serve underhand the remaining points of the match if he was so weak?

    Again I have no problem with him doing that & applaud it, that is why it is one of the most famous matches in history. But blaming that serve on cramps is very misleading imo. plus his serve wasn't anything special with or without cramps, his cramps affected him in the rallies much more than when he had to serve.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2007
    #31
  32. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    ??

    What are you, some sort of moron? An obnoxious punk kid moron? You've failed the I.Q. test for this thread. Please exit.
     
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  33. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Sounds like most of us here, the adults anyway, have no problem with Chang's underhand serve. I wish guys today did this kind of stuff.
     
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  34. Ripper

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    Hey, that's a good excuse. Next time somebody get's pissed at me for nailing him with an underarm serve, I'll say I'm cramping.
     
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  35. old_school_tennis

    old_school_tennis New User

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    Moose, thanks for the reasonable response and for referencing Jay Berger (now THERE'S a stroll down memory lane!). I watched the match the day it took place back in '89 (though I watched it on tape; I think I was out on the courts trying to emulate Mats Wilander during the match itself) and remember that he was limping around the courts and stretching leading up to that point in the match. But regardless, here's my response:

    -Yes, the mind games were a big part of the sport back then. It made for some dramatic matches and rivalries. Personally, I liked it (not the middle-finger-in-your-face-cross-the-net-and wanna-fight type of thing but the use of one's mind to gain every edge).

    -Didn't know he used the underhander on Agenor too. Really?

    -Finally, in my posting I admitted that he didn't HAVE to serve underhanded. But all indications were that he wasn't feeling well and that because his body was in bad shape, he had to find another way to gain an advantage. Therefore cramping did play a factor in him serving that way. But I agree, it was a conscious decision, not something cramps FORCED him to do.

    Now however we all feel about that serve, I'm just comforted by the fact that there are people out there who remember these great, vintage matches of yesteryear!
     
    #35
  36. heycal

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    Nah. Tell him you feel fine, but did it purposely to trick and confuse him. No excuse necessary!
     
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  37. ledor

    ledor Professional

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    it was classic that he used the underhand serve, because at that time, Lendl told Chang before that match that with his game, Chang couldn't ever beat him.
     
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  38. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Yeah, I wasn't aware of this until recently(bought this match last year)
    I guess as the years passed, the media realized it wouldn't make the Lendl match seem as special. Or it may make Chang look like a punk.

    Agenor did it to him as well, the circus was in town that week I guess!
     
    #38
  39. herosol

    herosol Professional

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    its called competeing

    he did what he had to do to win.
    theres no rules against it then whatever.

    i don't understand how underhand serving is disrespectful. its useful.

    pros prolly don't use it to the fact that some players are mentally strong that they would be able to react in a split second to it and take advantage of it instead of being taking advantage of
     
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  40. lawrence

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    dont you love it when people only read the OP? hah.
     
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  41. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

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    Well tennis is much less popular today. There are other reasons for this, but what you are saying here is one of those. People want to see more personality and flair on court. The outbursts of McEnroe, and the crude behavious of Connors, contrasting to the quieter calmer personalities like Borg, were part of the appeal of the game then. Now with the way the current standard of ethics of game everyone is supposed to act like a zombie. Nadal is even vilified by some for his shows of emotion and pumping himself up in very enthused ways out there.
     
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  42. martin

    martin Banned

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    100% agreed. Compare it with boxing. Boxing was popular because of Ali and his personality and his showmanship. You hate him or you love him but everyone was watching. Same goes for Mcenroe and Connors. But now you have these strict rules which makes zombies out of players. It kills tennis that's for sure. This was a mistake and they should change it again. Nothing else will help. People want emotions, excitement and show.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2007
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  43. keithchircop

    keithchircop Professional

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    cramps aren't mentioned in the OP.
     
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  44. stevekim8

    stevekim8 Semi-Pro

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    lol that was awesome
     
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  45. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Chang

    There is nothing wrong about an underhand serve anymore than there is something wrong with a drop shop at any other time. Its ok to use a drop shot on the return, why not the serve?
     
    #45
  46. rockthebox

    rockthebox Rookie

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    Someone should try that on Nadal
    the guy stands 200ft behind the baseline anyways...
     
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  47. DanteJ

    DanteJ New User

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    Ha lol, yeah it would probably ace him too, he would be too busy adjusting his socks or picking his butt :D
     
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  48. rwn

    rwn Semi-Pro

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    Ljubicic did this against Monfils not so long ago. Stop acting like the current players are to soft to do this. The most important reason players mostly don't do this today is because they would get killed on the next shot. But people who whine about the good old days probably won't believe this.
     
    #48
  49. darkhorse

    darkhorse Rookie

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    I had a kid do that to me in high school once. I got it back, but just barely. It took a second for to realize what was happening. I was a little upset because my team wasn't all that great and we were playing on the top teams in the state, and this was regionals.
     
    #49
  50. lakis92

    lakis92 Rookie

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    Roddick has done it to Safin too.
     
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