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Chang Looks at Home in Win over Sampras

June 2, 1989

Michael Chang and Pete Sampras, who live about 30 miles from one another, traveled more than 7,000 miles to play a match in France that lasted less than two hours Thursday.

Youth was served and youth returned serve in a second-round French Open match between two 17-year-olds from Southern California, rivals of long standing.

Chang won, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1.

Even though this was their first meeting as pros, it was actually just the latest in a series of confrontations between the former junior rivals, Chang from Placentia and Sampras from Rancho Palos Verdes.

The red clay center court of Roland Garros is a long way from home for two youths who might be cramming for a final exam were it not for their uncanny abilities to swing tennis rackets. If Chang swung his racket better this day, Sampras said that's the way it goes in his chosen ine of work.

"I'm a kid in an adult world now," said Sampras, who thought about what things would be like if he led a "normal" life.

"It would be ordinary," he said. "I'd go to college, get a degree, just get a job, get married, buy a house and settle down."

Neither Sampras nor Chang has chosen to lead an ordinary life, and their talents suggest that their tennis careers may become something special. Although it may seem that their very youth might set them apart from their tennis peers, Chang said that is not the case.

"No one cares how old you are, they just want to beat your guts out," he said. "I might not feel that way if I would play someone younger than myself, but I never do."

In fact, Chang is getting closer to a possible meeting with Ivan Lendl. Lendl is 29, but the more important number is his No. 1 ranking.

On the fourth day of the French Open, the weather shifted from bright sunshine to gray clouds, and if there was a small chance of rain, there didn't appear to be even a slight chance of Lendl's being upset in his second-round match. The top-seeded men's player defeated Derrick Rostagno of Brentwood, 6-1, 6-3, 6-1. Lendl and Chang will meet, should they win their third-round matches.


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