Chang to meet Ferreira for D.C. title Carlsen, Furlan defeated in semifinal matches

July 21, 1996|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON -- If it wasn't for a delayed line call against him Friday night, Michael Chang might not have arrived as the No. 3 player in the world yesterday and been in line today to win the 25th tournament of his still-young career.

Seemingly on the way to another workmanlike victory against Vince Spadea in the third-round match Friday, Chang jumped up in the air to avoid a ball as it whizzed by. He assumed it was out. It was called good. Just one lost point later, he had blown the set.

It set off an alarm. Just as Spadea paid in a third-set, 6-0 shelling Friday night, first Paul Haarhuis, then Ken Carlsen paid yesterday as Chang posted precision, straight-set victories, 6-4, 6-3 and 6-3, 6-4.

Carlsen made the semifinals by beating the "Upset Kid" from the qualifiers, Neville Godwin, 6-3, 6-2, during the afternoon.

It was a great day for tennis -- sunny, breezy, low humidity -- so the fact that Chang had to play two matches likely will have little effect when he takes on fourth-seeded Wayne Ferreira in today's 3: 30 p.m. final of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic for $90,000 (as opposed to $47,300 for second).

Remember, Chang is the guy who thrives on five-setters (career mark 17-8) and recently won a match in 5 hours, 25 minutes. In other words, stamina and endurance are no problem.

Between Chang's quarterfinal win over Haarhuis (No. 7) in the afternoon and his semifinal move past unseeded Carlsen in the evening, Ferreira, heretofore known around the grounds of the FitzGerald Tennis Center as the "Invisible Man," finally burst into the limelight.

Just about unnoticed all week because of the rain delays, carryover matches, schedule switches and upsets of top-seeded Andre Agassi and third-seeded Jim Courier, Ferreira has been rolling.

After beating eighth-seeded Renzo Furlan of Italy, 6-3, 6-7 (11-13), 6-3, in his semifinal, the fourth-seeded Ferreira said, "The tiebreaker was the first set I've lost all week. I hadn't been close to losing a set and today I didn't think I was in danger of losing the match."

"He's one of the more well-rounded players on the tour," Chang said of today's foe. "He hits winners from every part of the court and definitely goes for his shots. Which means I'll have to be very consistent."

Just as he has been since that line call Friday night.

(Results, 10D)

Pub Date: 7/21/96

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