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Chang Exits As Seeds Keep Falling in Paris

October 31, 1996

PARIS (AP) _ Michael Chang became the latest seed to fall at the Paris Open, losing 6-1, 6-3 to Arnaud Boetsch on Thursday and joining Pete Sampras and Boris Becker at the exit.

``It was one of those days where everything went his way,″ Chang said. ``You just have to say `Hat’s off’ and move on,″ Chang said. ``But there’ll be other days.″

Chang was one of the few remaining seeded players left after Sampras, the top seed and defending champion, led six players out of the tournament on Wednesday following three on Tuesday.

In the only battle among seeded players in the third round, No. 4 Yevgeny Kafelnikov, the French Open champion, defeated No. 13 MaliVai Washington 6-4, 6-3.

No. 12 Thomas Enqvist of Sweden topped Carlos Moya of Spain, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4), becoming the only other seed besides Kafelnikov to make the quarterfinals.

Stefan Edberg prolonged his final stay in Paris on Thursday by rallying past Dutch qualifier Fernon Wibier 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

In other matches at the $2.5 million tournament, Magnus Gustafsson of Sweden ousted No. 8 Wayne Ferreira of South Africa 6-2, 6-4; Paul Haarhuis of the Netherlands eliminated No. 11 Todd Martin 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4) and Marc Rosset, who beat Sampras, topped No. 16 Felix Mantilla of Spain 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2).

Also Petr Korda, who needed to qualify for the tournament despite being ranked 37th in the world, beat Alberto Berasategui 6-1, 6-4. Both are losing French Open finalists.

Chang lost the first four games and lost the first set in 33 minutes with the French crowd behind Boetsch. The Frenchman, ranked 32nd in the world, beat Jim Courier in the second round.

``Today he didn’t have a period where he cooled down,″ Chang said. ``He was playing great tennis from the start. Obviously he was in a zone.″

Boetsch kept rolling to a 5-1 lead in the second second before being broken for the only time. Still, Boetsch continued without much trouble and won in 75 minutes.

``That was the most sustained, high-class tennis I played in my life,″ Boetsch said. ``I got a little bit tense serving at 5-1 for the match but even then I didn’t make any big errors.″

Edberg, ranked 17th in the world, is unseeded but now is in the quarterfinals in his next to last pro tournament.

``I am happy to be one of them left in the tournament,″ Edberg said.

He lost the first set against Wibier than won the last two sets, taking 10 of the last 13 games after being a break down.

``I was OK the first couple games then I got myself in trouble and missed a lot of easy volleys,″ Edberg said. ``Once I got the break back in the second set, then it was a different match from then on. I started playing a lot better.″

Next week’s Stockholm tournament will be Edberg’s final pro tournament although he should play in the Davis Cup final against France beginning Nov. 29.

Now, with so many top players gone in Paris, Edberg has a a chance.

``It is an opportunity here, I can see that,″ Edberg said. ``If it doesn’t happen this week, I have my last opportunity next week.″

He beat Michael Stich in a contest between two former Wimbledon champions in the first round and advanced in the second round when Thomas Muster quit their match with a bad hip.

He struggled at first with Wibier, who had to win three qualifying matches to get into the main draw.

``It’s funny because I expected to have tough matches with Stich and Muster and it didn’t end up that way,″ Edberg said.

Wibier was lowest ranked player in the draw at 211th but beat No. 14 seed Alberto Costa on Wednesday.

Sampras lost against Rosset on Wednesday, his second loss in three days after taking 21 consecutive matches and three tournaments, including the U.S. Open.

Becker, who ended Sampras’s winning streak on Sunday in the final of the Eurocard Open, also went out and categorized the conditions as a ``zoo″ and ``madhouse.″

Becker and Andre Agassi nonetheless qualified for the season-ending ATP Tour World Championships after Ferreira lost and Richard Krajicek withdrew from the Stockholm tournament.

Sampras, Chang, Muster, Goran Ivanisevic and Kafelnikov are the others who have clinched a spot in the final eight at Hanover, Germany, on Nov. 19-24.

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