WASHINGTON -- Michael Chang is a guy who has never wanted in the self-motivation department. But, just in case, he had it coming at him from all angles yesterday as the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, the tournament that may never conclude, waded on.
With a 6-3, 5-7, 6-0 victory in a third-round match against Vince Spadea and, if successful in a quarterfinal match against Paul Haarhuis (7) today, Chang would arrive at a career-high No. 3 position on the ATP Tour rankings.
Meantime, however, he'll have to share the spotlight here with Neville Godwin, the upset specialist from the qualifying tourney, who zapped Hicham Arazi, 2-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-4.
Earlier in this event, the South African Godwin, who emerged from anonymity by qualifying at Wimbledon and then winning three matches, beat No. 3 seed Jim Courier and former tour standout David Wheaton.
All that came after playing through three rounds and countless rain delays just to make the main draw.
Chang said: "I constantly have goals, and among them is to constantly improve my game and ranking. I can't see anyone ever being satisfied as long as there's something ahead. For one thing, that's a sure way to improve constantly."
Chang started the tournament ranked No. 5 by the ATP computer, and is in the process of moving ahead of Boris Becker to No. 4 by default. Becker is out with an injury.
With 100 points for a semifinal appearance and with Andre Agassi losing 279 points as a result of being eliminated Wednesday night after winning here last year, Chang would slip past him, too.
A questionable call and a lapse cost Chang the second set yesterday, and "it served as a one-two punch to wake me up," he said. It was lights out for Spadea, as Chang won 27 of 35 points in the third set and three of the games at love.
Godwin not only welcomed yesterday's rain delay, he started to do a dance: "I lost the first set, 6-2, and was making no progress against him [Arazi]. I didn't even go out with a game plan. I developed one while waiting."
Others making the quarterfinals were Ken Carlsen, a 6-4, 7-5 victor over Alberto Costa (5); Paul Haarhuis, who clipped Mauricio Hadad, 7-6, 7-6; Renzo Furlan (8), who stopped Karol Kucera, 7-6, 6-4; Richey Reneberg (6), who beat Lionel Roux, 2-6, 7-6, 6- 1, and Wayne Ferreira (4), a winner over Chris Woodruff, 6-3, 6-1.
Ferreira then beat Reneberg, 6-4, 6-2, and Furlan defeated Patrick Rafter (15), 6-4, 4-6. 7-5, for spots in today's semis.
Chang will play Haarhuis and Godwin will meets Carlsen in the other quarters today at 1 p.m.. The winners meet in the semis at 7.
Singles, third round
Michael Chang (2) def. Vincent Spadea (16), 6-3, 5-7, 6-0; Wayne Ferreira (4) def. Chris Woodruff (14), 6-3, 6-1; Kenneth Carlsen def. Alberto Costa (5), 6-4, 7-5; Richey Reneberg (8) def. Lionel Roux, 2-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-1; Paul Haarhuis (7) def. Mauricio Hadad, 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-3); Renzo Furlan (8) def. Karol Kucera, 7-6 (9-7), 6-4; Neville Godwin def. Hicham Arazi, 2-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-4.
Wayne Ferreira (4) def. Richey Reneberg (6), 6-4, 6-2; Renzo Furlan (8) def. Patrick Rafter (15), 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.
Pub Date: 7/20/96