Points won by each set: [ 29-18, 43-48, 29-18 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
34 % Rafter – 34 of 98
19 % Chang – 17 of 87

The two ~22-year-old players, but at completely different stages of their careers (Chang was playing his main-level event No. 127 while Rafter just No. 22). The more experienced youngster trailing 2-6, *3:4 (0/30), survived the longest rally of the match (24 strokes), in which Rafter made a strange tactical decision moving backwards after hitting a forehand in the no-man’s land zone. Chang [8] took the tie-break 7/2 and it seemed he’d win another match from a big deficit (in the previous round he saved a mini-match point at 1:4 in the 2nd set vs Bersategui before beating him 1-6, 6-4, 6-2). Rafter didn’t succumb after losing very demanding set though, at 2:0* (30-all) he won a rally lobbing Chang twice with FH volleys – it was deciding moment of the encounter. Chang was believing in his victory to the end, and who knows what would have happened if he’d challenged (impossible for another ten years) his backhand return in the last game – perhaps it caught the baseline, then it could give him a triple break point. “The thoughts are going through my mind about that match yesterday with Berasategui, whatever, he was winning quite easily and Chang is a great competitor, I was very relieved to win that match. I didn’t want to get back to 5-all or anything like that.” said the winner… After that match it was pretty clear that a new star was born; Rafter [46] had defeated Sampras, Courier & Chang within a few months on their best surface, three great American players, each of them representing a different style (serve-and-volleyer, offensive baseliner & grinder – respectively). Rafter defeats Grabb (1-6, 6-4, 6-1) in the next round & advances to the semifinal, for another semifinal in the biggest events he’ll have to wait until Roland Garros ’97 (in the meantime losing all five meetings vs Chang).

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