Thursday, August 12, 1999

Chang notches top 10 win against Spaniard Corretja




BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — Michael Chang couldn't even remember the last time he had defeated a top 10 player.

        The answer: May 1998.

        Chang beat No.8 Alex Corretja 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 Wednesday, knocking off a top 10 opponent for the first time since he defeated No.1 Pete Sampras 15 months ago in Rome.

        For six straight years, Chang advanced at least to the semifinals here, winning twice and finishing runner-up twice. His streak ended last year when he lost in the second round to Yevgeny Kafelnikov.

        Chang, the winningest active player at the Great American Insurance ATP Championship with 37 victories, will face unseeded Cedric Pioline today for a berth in the quarterfinals.

        “I think whenever you are able to beat a guy in the top 10, it adds a little bit of confidence to your game,” Chang said. “But at the same time, I feel like at this point in my career, my confidence can only go one way. I feel like each win for me, whether it's against a guy in the top 10 or whether it's a guy in the top 100 or 200, for me is good.”

        Chang is ranked 58th, Pioline 26th.

        Pioline, who upset 10th seed Carlos Moya on Monday night, got past Jim Courier, who retired in the third set of their match Wednesday.

        Chang leads the series between the two 5-1, but Pioline won their last meeting in 1997.

        “It's always difficult to play against a player like this, because you never know when the point is finished,” Pioline said.

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