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Davis Cup Team Not Expected to Change for Chang

June 08, 1989|BILL DWYRE | Times Sports Editor

Despite the surprising showing of American Michael Chang this week in the French Open tennis tournament, the teen-ager from Placentia is not likely to crack the U.S. lineup for the Davis Cup semifinals against West Germany.

Tom Gorman, Davis Cup captain, said Wednesday that, barring injury, the team that beat the French in San Diego in April would remain intact against Boris Becker and Co. July 21-23, in Munich. That would put John McEnroe and Andre Agassi in the singles positions against Becker and Carl-Uwe Steeb, and Robert Seguso and Ken Flach in the doubles against Becker and Steeb or Eric Jelen.

"An injury would be the only thing that would make me switch," Gorman said.

McEnroe passed up the French Open to rest a slight injury and to prepare his grass-court game for Wimbledon. Agassi, who rose to No. 3 in the world last year, has struggled this year. He lost in the third round at Paris to another American, Jim Courier. Agassi was seeded No. 5.

Chang, 17, who is seeded No. 15 in the French, won a stunning 4-hour 39-minute match against Ivan Lendl, the top player in the world, in the fourth round Monday. Chang was cramping so badly in the final set that he could barely carry on, but won nevertheless. Then he went on to become the youngest male player to reach the French semifinals, when he beat Ronald Agenor of Haiti Wednesday.

"If we were playing Germany on clay, and if John or Andre were playing badly, then this might be a tougher question to answer," Gorman said. "But it is a fast surface in Munich, and Andre is better on that than Michael."

Chang played for the U.S. team in the first round of this year's Davis Cup, winning two singles matches in a 5-0 sweep of Paraguay. His appearance was planned as an opportunity for a future U.S. star to get some experience.

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