Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

No. 2 Chang Warms to Task, Wins Marathon

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

No. 2 Chang Warms to Task, Wins Marathon

Article excerpt

Unable to sit for fear of cramping all over his body, Michael Chang paced slowly back and forth like a wounded, tethered animal, his breathing labored and his thoughts disjointed.

"To be honest with you," he said, "I don't really know how I was able to win today's match. I really don't."

In truth, neither did most of the U.S. Open crowd or the man on the other side of the net, Vince Spadea, who served for the match in the fourth set Saturday, only to be broken in the game and in spirit by Chang's will. Chang, the ultimate tennis survivor, looked as if he could barely lift his feet between points, yet on and on he scrambled until he wore down Spadea and secured a 6-4, 5-7, 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory in 3 hours, 50 minutes of mutual punishment. In a week at the Open when defending champion Pete Sampras struggled to win a five-setter and 1994 champion Andre Agassi had to fend off a hot player in four sets, Chang had the closest call of all. Agassi, on a collision course to meet Chang in the semifinals, had an easier match this time in a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (9-7) victory over Jan Siemerink. No. 13 Thomas Enqvist also won in straight sets against Pablo Campana. Alex O'Brien, a giant-killer most of the summer, finally lost, to David Wheaton 1-6, 7-5, 6-1, 6-2. Defending women's champion Steffi Graf beat Natasha Zvereva 6-4, 6-2, No. 3 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario beat Elena Likhovtseva 6-1, 6-0, No. 7 Jana Novotna beat Tami Whitlinger-Jones 6-2, 6-3, and No. 16 Martina Hingis beat Naoko Kijimuta 6-2, 6-2. In fierce heat, Chang and Spadea slugged hundreds of balls from the baseline in one long rally after another, the momentum of the match shifting with each tiny surge of confidence by one or the other. Spadea knew he had the second-seeded Chang beaten in the fourth set, then saw that certainty evaporate. Spadea, a 22-year-old ranked No. 69, had lost to Chang twice before and was blanked 6-0 against him in the final set of a match a month ago in Washington. This time he had him all but cooked. Pouncing confidently on Chang's second serves all day - Chang converted but 35 percent of his first serves in the match - Spadea served for the match at 5-4 in the fourth set after breaking Chang when he slapped three unforced errors. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.