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Muster Coasts, Graf Wins; Ivanisevic, Martinez, Date Also Advance

May 30, 1996

PARIS (AP) _ Defending champions Thomas Muster and Steffi Graf defeated unseeded challengers in the second round of the French Open today, Graf having the tougher time.

Muster appeared fully recovered from the sprained ankle he had last week and rolled over 171st-ranked Gerard Solves of France 6-1, 6-3, 6-0.

``Everything went quite well,″ Muster said after trounced Solves in less than 90 minutes. ``I’ve never been really in trouble in this match. It was quite comfortable the way it went.″

Graf largely dominated in her 6-2, 6-2 victory over 54th-ranked Nicole Bradke of Australia, though Graf fought to maintain her lead early on in both sets and made 20 unforced errors throughout the match.

Fifth-seeded Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia advanced to the third round by defeating David Wheaton 7-5, 6-2, 6-4. Ivanisevic served 17 aces and had 15 service winners.

Fourteenth-seeded Marc Rosset of Switzerland downed Czech Jiri Novac 6-2, 6-4, 6-3. Michael Stich, the No. 15 seed, served 15 aces in a 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 win over Greg Rusedski, the first British player to reach the second round in seven years.

The warm, dry weather was an advantage for the big hitters like Ivanisevic and Stich.

``Court 2 is the fastest clay court I’ve ever played on in my life,″ Ivanisevic said. ``I think it’s good to attack here because it’s sunny, the balls are very fast, and it’s good for us guys for serving big.″

On the women’s side, No. 3 Conchita Martinez of Spain fell behind in the second set before defeating Slovakia’s Radka Zrubakova 6-3, 7-5.

Seventh-seeded Kimiko Date of Japan moved ahead with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Tatyana Jecmenica of Yugoslavia. No. 14 Amanda Coetzer of South Africa beat Francesca Lubiani of Italy 6-4, 6-1.

No. 4 Michael Chang squared off with Richard Fromberg of Austria, No. 9 Marcelo Rios faced Australian Jason Stoltenberg, and No. 11 Arnaud Boetsch of France played Paul Haarhuis of the Netherlands.

On Wednesday, top-seeded Pete Sampras survived a second-round match with two-time winner Sergi Bruguera of Spain.

``Of what I’ve had at Roland Garros, to beat someone of Sergi’s capabilities on clay _ he’s won here twice before _ it’s my best win,″ Sampras said after the 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 6-2 victory.

``Winning this match kind of gives me some confidence that I can play with the Brugueras and whoever is across the net. Maybe the one thing I haven’t had coming into this tournament is confidence. This certainly gives me a lot of confidence.″

Sampras, who has never made it past the quarterfinals, next faces fellow American Todd Martin. The highest-ranked unseeded player in the draw, Martin defeated three-time champion Mats Wilander on Wednesday.

``For me, it’s kind of a chess game,″ Sampras said. ``Whereas on hard court my serve can kind of dominate guys, on clay I have to work harder, have to set up my points a lot smarter.

``I’m still going to play my way, but I’ll have to be more selective on the way I have to get to the net. That’s the only way I’m going to win on clay is by coming in. I can’t stay back and trade ground strokes with Bruguera and all these players here. It’s definitely a mental grind out there.″

Third-seeded Andre Agassi was eliminated Wednesday by Chris Woodruff, 4-6, 6-4, 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 6-2. Agassi skipped the postmatch news conference and was fined $2,000.

Agassi, twice a losing finalist, had 63 unforced errors and 12 double faults.

The crowd rose to a standing ovation for Woodruff, a 23-year-old from Knoxville, Tenn., who buried his face in his hands and wept.

``I never really thought about winning or losing, so all of a sudden all my emotions just came out,″ he said.

Monica Seles, co-seeded No. 1 with Graf, eked out a first-set tiebreaker to get past 29th-ranked Naoko Sawamatsu of Japan 7-6 (7-4), 6-2.

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