[INTERVIEW] Michael Chang - Tennis Star
- Posted on Sun, Oct. 13, 2002
SPORTS FIGURES SOUND OFF ON VARIOUS TOPICS
By John Miller
Star-Telegram Staff Writer
From the moment he joined the professional tour, Michael Chang made a
name for himself by wearing down his opponents. He did just that in
1989 when he upset Ivan Lendl in the fourth round of the French Open
after trailing by two sets. He went on to beat Stefan Edberg in the
final after trailing 2-1 in sets, winning a Grand Slam tournament at
the age of 17.
While that remains his only Grand Slam title, he has had a strong
career. He has won 34 ATP events and has been ranked as high as No. 2
in the world.
Chang, 30, continues to play professionally, but has struggled in
recent years. He has dropped out of the top 100 players in the world
and is playing in lower-level tournaments in an attempt to crack the
top 100 again.
Chang also has recently released a book, Holding Serve, Persevering
On and Off the Court.
With your book, what kind of message are you hoping people will get
from it and what do you think is in your book that might surprise
people? I felt like it really was an opportunity to share a little
bit about my upbringing, about my family and the importance that
family has played in my life and my career.
Looking back at some of the matches that I have played, some of the
bigger matches in the Grand Slams, a little bit of the struggles of
last year and kind of relating that to the theme of life being that
not everything is always on the uppity-up but you are going to have
your valleys, as well. Definitely a lot of it also is about my
Christian faith and the importance that's played in my life and how
the Lord takes first precedence in my life.
Pete [Sampras] went through his struggles and he had a breakthrough;
Goran [Ivanisevic] had his struggles and had a breakthrough long ago,
Andre [Agassi] had his breakthrough. Do you still feel that you have
that in you? To be totally honest with you, I don't know that
something like that will happen. I am hopeful. . . . I believe in
miracles, and it's going to take one definitely in order for me to
accomplish something like that, something that Pete and Andre and
Goran have done over the past few years.
That's just really tremendous, and to be honest with you, as a tennis
player and as someone who has grown up playing with them, you feel
great about seeing those kind of things accomplished, particularly
guys who are your peers, guys you grew up playing with, and yeah,
just hats off.
With as much as you have accomplished in tennis, what goals do you
feel like you have left? Well, obviously it is a dream of mine to go
out and to have one more crack at a Grand Slam. Obviously it would be
great to be able to win another one. I don't know if that's going to
happen or not . . . but regardless of what happens over the next year
or so, if it doesn't happen, I feel like I have been blessed in so
many ways through the sport of tennis. I never dreamed to be able to
play professionally as I have, and I think God has blessed me with a
lot more than I have imagined. I can walk away really feeling good
about the past 15, 16 years on tour.