Chang  had been working hard over many years to win his second major title, and it finally seemed plausible in New York as Sampras & Agassi were unexpectedly beaten in the fourth round of the US Open ’97 (albeit Agassi wasn’t at his best then). Everything the 25-year-old Chang had to do, it was winning back-to-back matches against Rafter & Rusedski – the players who achieved a huge success already reaching the US Open quarter-finals… However, Rafter  displayed an astonishing 2-hour 2-minute performance vs Chang: the Australian was serving & hitting forehands harder than ever & his volley’s touch was sublime. Everything worked for him that day, even when his strings were gone, he played a firm volley winner. “I’m in the middle of a fairy tale,” said Rafter, 25. “At the same time, nothing has sunk in yet and that’s really important. I’ve got to try to keep my feet on the ground here at the moment.” Chang’s loss meant a turning point in his career – he never reached the quarter-final stage at majors afterwards, he didn’t even reach the fourth round in his next 21 Grand Slam appearances!
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