Michael Chang French Open

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by tennismsands, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. tennismsands

    tennismsands Semi-Pro

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    I thought it was an unbelievable match against Lendl at the French and went on to win it. I loved the serve when he hit it under hand and won the point!
     
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  2. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Wasn't Chang cramping big time?
     
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  3. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    the only highlights of that match that are ever shown are the underhanded serve and match point when lendl doublefaults. i'd love to see more of the match.
     
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  4. tennismsands

    tennismsands Semi-Pro

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    Yeah its great for me that my dad did and does record almost every great match! If only they had High Definition back then....
     
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  5. MichaelChang

    MichaelChang Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for remembering that match.
     
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  6. tennismsands

    tennismsands Semi-Pro

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    Wair, are you actually Michael Chang?
     
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  7. Sentinel

    Sentinel Talk Tennis Guru

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    Is this the 1989 match. You will find the complete match on t3nnis.tv (torrent)

    http://t3nnis.tv/details.php?id=223
     
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  8. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009
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  9. get it in

    get it in Rookie

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    I think the question should be are you THE Michael Chang. I've met people before named Michael Chang. It's a common enough name...
     
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  10. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Chang had a bit of luck and showed a whole lot of heart to win that French Open. One of the most amazing runs ever.


    Lendl's reaction when Chang moved way inside the baseline for Lendl's final serve is priceless. Lendl had that look on his face as if to say I'll destroy you with my serve if you stand that far in and then he DFed. Chang totally got under Lendl's skin throughout the entire match and he let his annoyance get the better of him.
     
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  11. tomn

    tomn New User

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    a proven winner

    michael chang is one of the hardest working and most dedicated players on the tour when he was playing...he was always consistent (top 10 player) and never gave up (mentally tough)...how do you explain that when sampras, agassi, courier, and others of that era ask about their toughest matches and opponents, chang was always on their list...even if he won only one slam, it's more that most of the players on the tour in the era...JMHO
     
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  12. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    i actually watched the entire match this past weekend. one thing that they don't show is that change moonballed (as in 12 and under junior tennis moonballing) for most of the 5th set, but lendl didn't take advantage of it. then when lendl left the ball short chang would go for broke for the winner. lendl was totally perplexed on how to handle the situation.
     
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  13. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Lendl would never use this as an excuse but I believe he was injured when he played the match.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2009
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  14. v205

    v205 Semi-Pro

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    What was MC's next biggest claim to fame after winning the FO?
     
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  15. Lionheart392

    Lionheart392 Professional

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    I've never seen the match, how did the French crowd react to Chang's underhand serve? When Hingis did it in the 1999 final the crowd crucified her. I guess that was mainly because they already hated her though.
     
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  16. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    But what's the source for this? I watched it again this weekend and he seemed confused about how to put Chang away, rather than physically hindered. Whenever he turned up the pace he seemed more than capable.
     
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  17. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    i didn't notice any displeasure with the underhand serve. however they were not happy with the moonballing. they whistled during the middle of points where chang was moonballing. they cheered him after he won but i recall him being crucified in the media afterwards.
     
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  18. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Krosero,

    I was searching for it right after I wrote it and I couldn't find it but I know I read it recently somewhere. Like you I didn't know Lendl was hurt either.

    Edit.

    Found it. It was on tennis.com

    In reading the article again I interpreted it as Lendl saying he was hurt when he played the match but you can also interpret it as the injury preventing Lendl from being as fit as he should have been.

    Here's the quote from it.

    Lendl’s recollection of that afternoon isn’t quite as fond. In fact, he claims he can’t remember the match, except that “people make too much of it.”

    “I had an injury that spring,” Lendl says defiantly, now recalling a few details. “I wasn’t as fit as I should have been. I was 29, how was I going to compete with a 17-year-old?


    Here's the link.

    http://www.tennis.com/features/general/features.aspx?id=173892
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
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  19. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Thanks for that link. Still, I don't see this as much of an explanation, not for the particular way that Lendl lost the match. Chang may have been the young guy on the court, but he was the first to experience physical loss, not Lendl. By the fifth set you didn't need to be at the peak of your powers to outlast Chang; all you needed to do was move him around a little more (instead of trading moonballs), and Lendl did not do that. Physically it would have required next to nothing from Lendl. That's why it seems like he lost the match on bad tactics.

    And I think Chang proved that the '89 match was not a fluke, because he did the same to Lendl on indoor carpet at the '91 Grand Slam Cup: 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6, 9-7.

    I remember Chang even saving a match point then. No cramps from him, and no injury (that I know of) for Lendl.
     
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  20. tata

    tata Professional

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    i still dont get why the crowded boo-ed hingis for doing that to graf but when OMG WTF for chang. I was one years old at the time of chang's match =)
     
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  21. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    i guess it was b/c they knew chang was cramping and was trying to do anything to stay in the match (however they did boo his moonballing). hingis was just frustrated and the crowd got onto her earlier for crossing over to graf's side of the court to look at a mark.
     
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  22. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Personally I don't think the crowd should have booed Hingis for serving underhand. The rules allow it and as a risky desperate tactical play, it might have its place.
     
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  23. pennc94

    pennc94 Semi-Pro

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    It is bush league. It is not sporting and certainly not professional.
     
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  24. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Hingis did it when the match was basically over(it was like 5-1 in the 3rd) out of desperation.
    And as others have said she already had done a lot(code violations for racquet abuse, unsportmanlike conduct, etc) to get the crowd against her at that point. And Steffi was very popular In France.

    Chang did it at 4-3, break point down, in the 5th. And Lendl was incredibly unpopular with the French crowd throughout his career (pretty much any crowd actually) He had already received a code violation & point penalty at that point.
    They probably enjoyed seeing Lendl look like a fool. Also Chang just hit that serve once, Hingis tried it multiple times!

    But Chang wasn't exactly that popular that year as well, lots of racist stuff written in the French papers(& they absolutely hated him 'thanking the Lord' after every win. You can hear some jeers when he says that during the trophy presentation)

    He certainly wasn't a crowd favorite there after '89.

    I remember Sanchez getting booed a ton there when she did this during a match in '95/'96. They really are the strangest crowd(think Uncle Toni probably has it right)
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2009
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  25. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    I have seen that quote, however, I don't think Lendl was implying he was hurt during the match, he definitely showed no effect of any injury. He may have been pointing out that his preparation and fitness were not what he woiuld have liked.

    However, Krosero, you are spot on, frankly, Lendl for all his experience simply wasn't sure how to play the plucky Chang in this situation. It's always a tough call, just bunt/moonball the ball back and hope the guy self destructs? Do that and all of a sudden he hits a few go-for-broke winners and you question how bad his condition really is....go for winners, thinking you can knock him out? You risk overhitting, and trying to force plays that aren't there. The fact that you are even thinking about it, interferes with your tennis....

    Add that to Chang's clever and unorthodox play, and you have a very uncertain situation for Lendl.

    I always felt that underhanded serve is overrated. If you watch, you'll see Lendl actually murders it. Moves in quickly and blasts the ball, yes, admittedly down the middle, but still not a bad play at all. It's the passing shot Chang came up with that really won him the point. But Lendl's return was actually great, he handled the surprise reasonably well.

    And yes, difference between Chang/Hingis, is that Hingis already had the crowd against her, and her serves were see more as a silly/mockery ploy....more of a "giving up" tactic. Chang's was seen as just the opposite, a bold attempt from an underdog who was refusing to "give up" and was doing anything/everything he could to stay in it.

    Hingis's play was rightly seen as a bit of an FU, to Graf and the crowd. On some level, she was saying "whatever, here, look, I'll just do this!" The spirit was exactly the opposite of Chang. Having said that, I don't completely blame the young Hingis. She hurt herself and lost the title because of that attitude, BUT, the FO crowd can really be a bunch of serious idiots....when they get like that, I can't completely blame any player, of any age, who gets annoyed.
     
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