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Original Issue

Q+A Michael Chang

The former No. 2 player in the world and winner of 34 ATP tour
titles--including the 1989 French Open--is retiring after the 2003
U.S. Open.

SI: You've said that after tennis you might take some marine
biology classes. Are you O.K. with being a 31-year-old freshman?

Chang: Sure. I'll be a little like Rodney Dangerfield.

SI: What will you miss most about the tour?

Chang: I'll miss being in a tight situation when the crowd is
really into it. You have a great point, hit a great shot and the
crowd goes nuts. You scream at the top of your lungs, and you
still can't hear yourself. To be in the heat of that
moment--that's what I'll miss.

SI: Over the years have you noticed that the ball boys are
getting bigger than you?

Chang: You realize that they are not only bigger than you, but
they seem to be getting faster, too.

SI: Who has been your favorite player to compete against?

Chang: [Jim] Courier, [Pete] Sampras and [Andre] Agassi. Because
they're Americans there was always an added atmosphere, even more
so when we played in the United States. I feel we really brought
out the best in one another.

SI: When you were 16 you told this magazine that you, as a devout
Christian, would remain celibate until marriage. You've kept that
promise, correct?

Chang: Correct.

SI: Have your fellow players supported your beliefs or have they
given you grief for your abstinence?

Chang: Everybody's a little different. It just so happened for me
that this is the way I feel God would want things to be done. For
me, when I get married, that's one thing I would love to share
with my wife and hopefully she can share with me.

SI: What traits must a woman have to be your wife?

Chang: How much time do we have? She definitely needs to be a
strong Christian. That's the one thing that will never change.
Outside of that, I would love it if she was Chinese. I feel like
having similar heritage and background is important.

SI: So you won't be marrying Anna Kournikova, then?

Chang: (laughs) No.

--Richard Deitsch

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