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Tennis: Chang states his case in clean manner

Michael Chang, the twice former champion, and the fourth seed, Todd Martin, yesterday recorded convincing straight-sets victories in the first round of the Sybase Open tournament in San Jose, California.

Chang, the No 2 seed who won the event in 1988 and 1992, overwhelmed Mashiska Washington, a qualifier who is the younger brother of MaliVai, 6-2, 6-0. The world No 4 said, however, he must improve his service if he is to take the top spot from Pete Sampras this year. "A lot of the big guys like Pete get a lot of free points off their serve," Chang said. "If I can get a few more free points myself, it will put more pressure on my opponents."

Martin, playing his first tournament for more than two months out with a knee injury, cruised into the second round with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over fellow American Steve Bryan.

Sampras opens his defence against Alex Radulescu, of Germany, in a tournament which sees the third seed Andre Agassi make his return from injury.