Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Babb, Dec 17, 2007.
Is there anyone else here whose favorite pro of all time is Michael Chang? That guy was amazing...
Rafa is my favorite but Chang is second.
Great runner and had a lot of heart for a short guy but he was also a guy who questioned more line calls then anyone I have ever seen (even more than McEnroe) and at times was just a bit whiny about it.
That is such a backhanded compliment! Nice job.
Two short Michael Chang clips from youtube for the fans:
(between 0:50 and 1:15 )
His off court christianity stuff turned me off but he was a fighter and achieved a lot for his size.
I loved watching Chang b/c his strokes were so basic that anyone could watch and copy them. Some other pros have such nuance and flair to their strokes that it is not possible to watch and copy them. Chang was a good one to watch and learn from.
Chang gets it handed to him a couple times in this video, but I don't hold it against him. The last minute is amazing.
Maybe that was because he couldn't see over the net to the other side of the court? :lol: LOL
haha! that's so true.
he was way too cookie-cutter off court for my liking.
but his on-court demeanor and fighting attitude combined with his superior quickness and ballsy tactics were always exciting to watch. he was the fastest guy ever. and he had the biggest heart. his French Open victory in 1989 could very well be the most incredible achievement in the entire sport of tennis. it was like a miracle.
btw, another annoying thing is... his legs would always cramp up. and then he'd eat his bananas.
Come to think of it a few months ago i played a match, where i got cramp, but i ate my bananas and came back to win Thanks for that tip Michael. I also really enjoyed to see him play, if hes not my favourite his right up there, there is really so many things one can learn from him, his simple groundstrokes and that. But what i liked mostly about him was his way of simply never giving up, you could really see that no matter what the score in the match was he always tryed and always believed in fighting on! That is really something for todays players to try and learn from, as you see many heads start hanging when the going gets rough! Its sad though that some of you find his christianity so annoying. Personally i think he really stood up for and tryed to share to others the greatest thing in his life, and did so in a great fashion, by beeing the person he was, on court never giving up and off court living the kind of life that is directed to making a differense in other peoples lifes. Right now if my memory serves me right hes running some kind of projekt to help tennis in china. Hope that sometime we will see someone like him again on the tour.......
His off-court Christianity is pretty awesome. I am not referring to the fact that it is Christianity, I'm referring to the fact that he believes in something and cares about it enough to share it with other people. I would say the same if it were any other religion. I don't care if you all don't like Christianity-- I'm just saying...
And yes, Michael Chang was the greatest fighter of all time. If you had thighs like him, you'd cramp a ton also!
He's pretty much my hero. If I could meet anyone in the world, it'd be him.
But would you allow him to convert your religion? Just sayin'...
What? No. I don't like anyone that much. And it would be wrong to do something like that based on what a single person thinks. I think we should get off of this sensitive topic before someone gets ticked.
Like someone who came to a thread to read and discuss Michael Chang's tennis and found that people wouldn't stop talking about his religion?
Back to the tennis. I've always thought it was indicative of Michael Chang's style how he has alot of masters titles (around 10 I think) but just the one slam. With his style it must have been easier to win best of 3 sets rather than best of 5.
True. He was a speed machine, but his endurance was right there with everyone else's. His legs were usually gone by a fifth set.
Chang was great. I even used his prince racquets because of him when I was younger.
But if my memory serves me right he was despite that a very very great five set player with way more wins then losses........
Really? Different strokes for different folks I guess. I always thought Chang's two-hander was one of the most ideosyncratic and difficult to copy. He's the only two-hander I've seen who bends back and dips his wrist on the takeback like that, very unusual and difficult to time in my opinion, very wristy. His forehand, serves, and volleys, however, were all textbook perfect motions and very good models to copy. Yet, to me his backhand was BY FAR his best stroke and one of the best and most versatile two-handers in the game. His ability to flick acute angled passes with it with remarkable disguise holding it to the last second was a thing of beauty as was his topspin lob which may have been the best ever.
Chang's didn't cramp that often. Every pro will cramp eventually, it's just that with Chang no one will ever foget the matches he cramped in.
Chang's endurance was terrific, one of the best out there, as he was an extremely hard worker off the court. The discrepancy between Chang's success in slams and masters events to me has nothing to do with his endurance and the difference between three and five sets. To me, the difference is that in slams and the year ending championships, guys were just more likely to match him in the "I want it just as bad as you department." To me, equal to speed as Chang's greatest asset was that he WILLED his way to victory, as Johnny Mac used to put it; in other words, Chang made you FEEL the FORCE of his will as much as any player in history, right up there with the likes of Connors, Muster, and peak Hewitt before he turned all hot girl crazy and domseticated pansy on us.
Masters Series events are big deals for sure, but by the same token there's pretty always one just around the corner and no amount of PR saying that the Lipton is equal to the Fifth Slam will actually make it a REAL slam in the eyes of the players.
To me, Masters Series titles are like winning the pennant or your division every year. Sure, it's an accomplishment, but so what? The only "championship" that counts in the minds of the general public is the WORLD championship...see how Agassi was unstoppable in the summer hardcourt campaign of 95 only to gas out in the finals of the Open. Ya' think Agassi cared about his great and historic run leading to the US Open? Not one iota. He didn't win the slam at the end of the tunnel, and that's the bottom-line; he climbed into a cave for the rest of the year and forfeited his #1 ranking because in his mind, he won less slams than Pete, therefore he doesn't deserve the #1 ranking--period. Shows you how "important" the OTHER tournaments are. And make no mistake about it, there are the slams and SORTA the year-ending championship, but in reality in tennis there are ONLY the slams and NOTHING else really matters. The year-ending championship to me has always felt like a glorified exhibition gala to me rather than something that's taken THAT seriously or remembered by the fans or media in the big picture.
In general, I've always felt that "effort" in masters series events from top players was overrated and highly sporadic. Sometimes top players give it their all, sometimes they don't; but they don't particularly seem to lose too much sleep over it either way.
Because Chang ALWAYS gave it his all, to me this put him at a decided advantage in masters series events; and yet, I always felt that with Chang, other players felt as Agassi did.
Meaning, of all the top players he's the least frightening to play IF you plan to show up that day FULLY ready and committed to fighting for it. In other words, a less than or only half-motivated top player would probably lose to Chang; and yet a full motivated top player in competition for a coveted *slam* title would likely beat Chang. To me, that distinction is what made all the difference for Chang and why with the exception of that one "miracle" run at the French, he was never *quite* able to get over the hump again.
Man... that 1989 French Open final was so amazing. I've only seen different clips of it on YouTube. I've never seen the entire match.
Michael Chang is a very good player. I hope he succeeds in his road to fame and glory. Kudos to you.
Thanks for all your support
I just looked at Chang and Sampras's h2h and I didn't realize that they played in the 2nd round of the 89' FO. A triple breadstick by Chang!!!!
Helen Keller could beat Sampras on clay.
Ouch. Don't tell that to Thomas Muster, Jim Courier, Sergei Bruguera, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, or Andrei Chesnokov.....
We all like Michael Chang. Who doesn't?
I think the reason is simple. He is a player whose success is based on his hard work purely. He's the type of players we could relate ourselves to. He's a humble player without any special great talent, but just pure 100% mental toughness, never giving up attitude, and well disciplined. Very much like those good classroom students that do homework everyday and never get in trouble, but not gifted.
I bet for anyone of you possess great talents capable of hitting Roddick-type of serve or Federer-type of forehand probably wouldn't idolize Chang.
Haha. No natural talent here!
Chang used to own Sampras in the juniors and when they played that match at the '89 French, they were both really still just juniors as they were both only 17 years old. Sampras used to say that he measured his progress when he was younger by how much closer he was getting to beating Chang. It wasn't until they were both pros for some time that Sampras turned the tables on Chang and started to own Chang. Kind of like how Federer's head-to-head against Hewitt has evolved over the years.
I play in Southern California for now his 2nd year of Christian Sports League along with his family. He's great to hang out with. I'm not a Christian, but I enjoy his company and family.
...but to answer the thread, I liked Chang for his speed and my first real racquet was his blue Non Titanium Long Body Prince, Oversized. Cause at the same time I liked Agassi for groundies, Sampras for his service form, and Becker for his volleying.
You know him personally?! Lucky...
Yeah I remember that coming up on Sampas's "beyond the glory" on FSN. When you look at the fact that Samp didn't have the big serve in the juniors and thus stayed on the baseline, even using a 2hbh until he was older, it's not hard to see how Chang would have his number.
Quite possibly the most mentally tough player in the history of the game, with the possible exception of Hewitt/Muster.
Incredible tenacity, I always felt inspired by him even though I play a more aggressive style.
It's important to know tennis is a sport on momentum and as long as you're fit enough, you can always win from the brink of death.
Still remember he got to the finals @ Aus Open and US Open '96, losing to Becker and Sampras respectively..
Oh yeah, and he made it to the final @ French Open '95.
Poor guy, deserved to win another slam in my book.
Then he got a hip injury or something in '98 and then slowly dissapeared into obscurity.
You know you're getting old when you miss retired players.
imagine Chang versus Nadal.
2 of the most mentally toughest tennis players i've ever seen.
1 point = a full week of tennis. Haha. Those guys can run like crazy. Imagine Chang versus Hewitt. 1 point= a year. Lol.
yea i was too young to remeber him but i love watching classic mathes of chang.
Which racquet did he use to win the 89' FO? Ist the same POG OS you can buy from TW?
Yes, it is.
A counterpuncher isn't a match for a serve and volley player on one of the svp's good days. I'm a counterpuncher and I'm not afraid to admit that. IMO, the svp always has the advantage over a counterpuncher. It's the only downfall of that particular strategy...
A few things to remember with Chang: He had a stress fracture in his hip at 6the end of 1989/1990 which set him back for a year or so. None the less, he remained a fighter throughout his career. As an aside, Thomas Muster was an evan bigger fighter.
Another match to note is his 1990 semi-finanl against Horst Skoff in the Davis Cup Semis (in Vienna, Austria). He lost the first 2 sets to Skoff (and his huge forehand) but rebounded to win in five.
After the 1990 Davis Cup final, he was very reluctant to play Davis Cup, which was a shame.
I regret asking you to shorten your posts. You're the most informative poster here.
I agree man
Another interesting tidbit is that although Chang didn't have the best record against Agassi in the pros (he was 7-15), he did beat Agassi easily in straight sets easily in the semis of two Grand Slams in the same year.
In the 1996 Australian Open semifinal, Chang beat Agassi: 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(1)
Then later that same year, he beats Agassi easily again in the semifinal of the US Open: 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
I think it was that loss to Chang in the semis of the US Open in 1996 that sent Agassi's career into a tailspin as his ranking dropped to #141 the next year in 1997 and he lost his competitve fire and motivation to play tennis for a while.
Agassi lost it in 1995 after losing to Sampras. He truly felt like the #1 player in the world up until that match (and technically, he still was #1 after losing, but he didn't think so). Basically a major ego crush. He went away for the rest of the year, and the next year he just didn't care any more. All he did in '96 was win the gold medal and Cincy and Miami.
It's hard for me to understand because he beat Sampras on hard courts that year at the Aussie Open, so they were 1-1 in the Slams that year. Overall in 1995 he was 3-2 against Sampras, all on hard courts, so he still was the better player at that point. I guess he just built that match up in his mind so much that when he lost it, he was just crushed.
I used to know this girl that was friends with Michael back when he was still a teenager. This girl would say that a horde of teeny boppers used to chase Michael around in church and Michael would be running around trying to avoid them. She had nothing but good things to say about him. I miss her. Really nice, smart and pretty. Too bad she’s with another guy. Too slow Mcfly.
Fun link I was looking at just by chance this morning:
Separate names with a comma.