Chang quick to dismiss Godwin

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The Independent Online
Tennis

Michael Chang produced a superb performance to enliven a drab day at the US Open with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 demolition of the South African qualifier Neville Godwin that put the second-seeded American into the third round.

Overcast skies, humid air and a lack of leading personalities gave the day a sluggish feel, but Chang and the women's fourth seed, Conchita Martinez, added some excitement to the night programme.

Chang approached perfection against the 118th-ranked Godwin, who had come to prominence when he reached the fourth round at Wimbledon.

"Everything comes back so hard from Michael," Godwin said. "You think you've put one away and it comes back. You think you've put away another one and it comes back. It's just an ongoing saga. It's not nice. It's not fun."

Chang's idea of fun was a quick end. "I've had matches when I'm cruising along and the tide changes," he said. "I just try to beat guys as bad as I can."

The fourth-seeded Martinez, thrashed France's Nathalie Tauziat 6-1, 6-3 to take her place in the third round. "I've been trying my whole career to be aggressive," Martinez said. "What I'm trying to do is be aggressive all the time, maybe go up to the net a few times like I did tonight."

Earlier, the 12th-seeded Todd Martin shared the men's spotlight with another South African qualifier, David Nainkin, ranked No 215 in the world.

Martin, eager to make up for his collapse in the Wimbledon semi-finals against MaliVai Washington, served 14 aces as he served and volleyed his way past Morocco's Younes El Aynaoui 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

Nainkin stunned his ninth-seeded compatriot Wayne Ferreira, winner in Toronto last week, 6-4, 6-4, 2-6 7-5.

In the women's draw Lindsay Davenport, the Olympic champion, reached the the third round with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Slovakian Henrieta Nagyova, and the 15th seed, Gabriela Sabatini, the 1990 champion, also advanced in straight sets over Ann Grossman.

Monica Seles, the second seed, took her place in the third round, but did so without playing a point when her opponent Laurence Courtois pulled out with a knee injury.

Steffi Graf, the holder, said yesterday she had considered pulling out of the tournament because it overlaps with the opening of her father's tax evasion trial in Germany. Asked how she felt about competing as her father enters the dock on 5 September, she said: "An unfortunate date. But now I am calmer than I was."

After a surprisingly tough first round encounter with Indonesian Yayuk Basuki, Graf yesterday bulldozed the Austrian player, Karen Kschwendt, 6-2, 6-1 in just 52 minutes.

She now faces Natasha Zvereva of Belarus after the world No 27 ousted Ai Sugiyama, of Japan, ranked one place above her, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Barbara Paulus of Austria, the only other seed left in Graf's quarter, also advanced, 7-5 7-6 over Elena Wagner of Germany. And the 15-year-old Russian prodigy Anna Kournakova moved easily into the third round, 6-3, 6-3 over Italian Natalia Baudone.

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