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TENNIS / ATP CHAMPIONSHIP : Chang Defeats Edberg Second Year in a Row

From Associated Press

Michael Chang won his second consecutive ATP Championship on Sunday, defeating Stefan Edberg of Sweden, 6-2, 7-5, in a rematch of last year’s final.

While Edberg was lethargic at first, Chang was relentless, winning the first 11 points and never letting Edberg back in the match.

“He’s beaten me bad; he shows no mercy,” Chang said. “If a guy’s off that day, you take advantage of him.”

Edberg, also a two-time winner at the $1.72-million ATP Championship, said he was mystified by his slow start.

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“For some reason, I found it very tough to get going today,” Edberg said. “He got the first set very easily, and you can’t afford to do that against Michael.”

Edberg called the first three games, in which Chang broke his serve twice, “a nightmare.”

“I was frustrated, almost embarrassed,” Edberg said. “But I kept going. Things got better. At least in the second set, things got better.”

Each player held serve through the first 10 games of the second set. But Chang broke Edberg in game 11 and served out for the match.

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Match point was a line call that Edberg disputed.

“You can see the mark on the court,” he said.

But he did not argue the call.

“The match was over,” he said. “There is not a lot you can do. The guy in the chair isn’t going to change the call from there.”

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For more than a decade, the ATP Championship has been a haven for Edberg. He has played the past 11 years and never failed to reach at least the quarterfinals. He has reached the semifinals eight times, and Sunday’s final was his sixth.

Chang, a five-time winner on the ATP Tour this year, is the tournament’s first repeat titlist since Mats Wilander captured the crown in 1983-84.

Edberg has an 11-6 record against Chang, but Chang has won the past three meetings dating to last year’s ATP Championship.

“I was pretty pumped up because of last year,” Chang said. “I thought Stefan would be out for revenge.”

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Chang didn’t relax, even after winning the first set so easily.


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