Chang finds success with fortunate break

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The Independent Online

Michael Chang, without an ATP Tour victory for two years, moved into the final of the Mercedes Benz Cup in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Michael Chang, without an ATP Tour victory for two years, moved into the final of the Mercedes Benz Cup in Los Angeles on Saturday.

But Chang's success was not without its luck. He was trailing by a set and 2-1 in the second, when his opponent Justin Gimelstob tried to reach an attempted pass and landed hard on his right knee.

After receiving treatment, Gimelstob returned and won that game, but that was his last success as Chang reeled off the final 11 games to complete a 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory. Gimelstob refused to use the injury as an excuse for falling apart.

"I wouldn't have considered stopping unless my leg fell off." he said. "I lost the match mentally and not physically."

Chang, who won the tournament in 1996 and has been runner-up three times, said: "It means a lot to get back to a final. I'm excited about it."

Chang was scheduled to face Jan-Michel Gambill in last night's final.

In Kitzbühel, Austria, the Spaniard Alex Corretja won the Generali Open ATP tournament yesterday when his opponent and countryman, Emilio Alvarez, was forced out of the match by injury in the third set. Corretja, 26, was leading 6-3, 6-1, 3-0, when Alvarez retired with an injured shoulder. The win gives Corretja his 12th ATP title.

With a knee injury likely to rule out Mark Philippoussis' participation, doubles specialist Todd Woodbridge could be a surprise starter for Australia when they take on Spain in December's Davis Cup final.

Woodbridge had indicated he would not be able to play because his wife is due to give birth around the same time. But the team captain, John Newcombe, is still hopeful that Woodbridge will be available.

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