- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 15, 2002

Vahaly still OK
Extra deodorant was the least of Brian Vahaly's concerns.
After taking three showers, receiving a two-part massage and undergoing treatment for dehydration following his opening round victory over Zeljko Krajan on Monday afternoon, Vahaly was rewarded yesterday with a 4 p.m. match against No.15 seed Jan Vacek.
The temperature on the Grandstand Court? More than 100 degrees.
"I was ready for it," Vahaly said. "It was still really hot out there. I was a little more tired than I thought coming off that first-round match."
Despite the heat, the former Virginia star continued his surprising run though the main draw, dropping Vacek 6-3, 6-4 before a predictably partisan crowd that included family, friends and more than a few Cavalier orange T-shirts.
"I have so many great friends here," Vahaly said. "I was getting desperate for some energy [in the second set], and I looked up there. I think everybody knew the sense of urgency I had."
After the match, Vahaly received a bleacher-side kiss from his mother, then signed autographs for two giddy little girls.
"Are you a tennis player?" one asked.
"Yes I am," Vahaly responded with a smile.
Vacek can attest to that. Vahaly broke the No.82-ranked Czech twice in the second set, drawing him into extended baseline rallies that invariably ended with a frustrated Vacek launching a forehand long or dumping a backhand into the net.
At 4-4 in the second, Vacek lost serve at love, shanking a flat-footed forehand well wide of the doubles box. Serving for the match, Vahaly whipped a backhand into the far corner; Vacek's lunging return hit the net cord and dropped to the ground.
"I felt like I got him out of rhythm out there early and was able to capitalize," Vahaly said of his junkballing game plan. "I was giving him a bunch of off pace, high balls, low balls, lots of spin."
Vahaly, who owns four career ATP tour victories, next faces No.1 seed Andre Agassi (723 career victories) tonight on the Stadium Court.
"I've been watching him play since as long as I've been playing tennis," Vahaly said. "It's going to take a while to sink in. I've got a whole lot of friends who are already calling me for tickets."
Chang, gone for good?
Despite his straight-set loss to Jerome Golmard yesterday, Michael Chang would like to come back to Washington next summer.
However, his fate may rest with the Tour.
"I'm planning on returning," Chang said after his 7-5, 6-4 defeat on the Stadium Court. "But the schedule is kind of funky next year."
The ATP plans to move the Classic to July, where it would share a week with a tournament in Los Angeles. The Washington Tennis and Education Foundation, which owns the Classic, and a tournament in Indianapolis have filed a lawsuit over the shuffle, accusing the Tour of antitrust violations.
"That puts me in a bind, because I always play in L.A.," said Chang, who lives outside Seattle. "It's going to be a tough call for me. L.A. is easy because it's close to home. But [Indianapolis] is before Washington week, and everything else [after that] is on the East Coast. Maybe if the tour is smart, they'll change that around."
Chang had even fewer answers for Golmard, a Frenchman who sports a flaming-red Mohawk. Playing in just his second match since Wimbledon elbow and shoulder injuries are the culprits Golmard dominated on serve, hitting 10 aces and winning 41 of 52 service points.
"I'd played him before, and he had a healthy shoulder at the time," said Chang, who defeated Golmard two years ago. "I almost wish he had a healthy shoulder today."
Chang, a former world No.2, has fallen out of the top 100 and departs with a 5-15 match record for the year. Yet although his last Classic title came five years ago, the 30-year-old said he still feels as though he can win every tournament he enters.
"When the day comes that I'm just happy to be a part of the tournament, I'm going to call it a day," Chang said.

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