Chang remembers 1989, with hopes for 1997
PARIS (AP) _ For eight years, Michael Chang has been waiting for another Grand Slam title.
Now, back at the tournament where he made Grand Slam history, Chang is quietly moving toward that goal.
He defeated Jerome Golmard of France 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 on Thursday and next faces Stephane Simian in the third round.
Chang, the second seed, should advance against the 135th-ranked Frenchman, and his first test could be a possible fourth-round showdown with two-time champion Sergi Bruguera.
In 1989, Chang became the youngest male Grand Slam champion when he won the French Open at 17 years, three months. That record still stands.
Since then, he has come to appreciate his achievement even more, perhaps because he has yet to win another Grand Slam title. He thinks that just might change this year.
``One of the things is attitude,″ said Chang, now 25. ``You have to have a good, positive attitude coming in here. For me, I expect to go out and have tough matches. I go out and prepare for that.
``As you get older, you come to appreciate things more. I think when something happens so young in your career, you don’t realize what has taken place until you’re a little bit older, maybe a little more mature, a little bit wiser.
``I have very many fond memories of ’89. Obviously the match against Lendl was probably up to this date my most emotional match, a match that is still very vivid in my mind, but yet I still can’t tell people how I won that match.″
At one point in the round of 16 match against Lendl, Chang served underhand, and although cramping, he won in five sets against the top-ranked player. In the final, Chang beat Stefan Edberg, also in five sets.
Now, Chang has 30 career titles and is ranked No. 2, behind Pete Sampras. He reached the French Open final in 1995, losing to Thomas Muster. Last year, he was runner-up in Australia and at the U.S. Open.
Chang has never held the No. 1 spot, but he feels it might be his one day.
``I feel that in many ways it still awaits me,″ he said. ``I feel that at this point I need to continue to work hard. For me, it’s just been a gradual progression.″
Another thing about 1989 that Chang remembers vividly is the Tiananmen massacre in Beijing.
``It was a very sad time for all the Chinese people around the world,″ he said. ``I think whenever I mention the French Open, it’s hard for me not to mention that as well.″
This summer, Hong Kong returns to Chinese rule.
``Hopefully, Hong Kong won’t change because it’s such a successful place, not only socially but business-wise,″ Chang said. ``I think in many regards China can really learn from that.″