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EDBERG CRUSHES FOE; CHANG BEATS PRESSURE FOR WIN

Top-seeded Stefan Edberg, getting stronger with each match, crushed Soviet Andrei Cherkasov in three sets Monday to reach the quarterfinals of the French Open.

Cherkasov had beaten two other serve-and-volley specialists in the early rounds, former Wimbledon champions John McEnroe and Pat Cash. But Edberg, who says his power game can win on the clay of Roland Garros Stadium, encountered no serious trouble en route to a 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-3 victory.Edberg's quarterfinal opponent will be ninth-seeded American Jim Courier, who overpowered his friend and practice partner, Todd Martin, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3. Martin, ranked 243rd in the world, reached the fourth round here after previous Grand Slam experience limited to one first-round loss at last year's U.S. Open.

Courier has never before reached a Grand Slam quarterfinal.

"Things are looking good at the moment," said Edberg, who has yet to win the French or U.S. Opens. "It would be nice to finish a career having won all four Grand Slams, but there's still quite a ways to go. This is probably the toughest for me."

The last two Frenchmen left in the tournament lost their fourth-round matches, setting up a quarterfinal between Argentina's Franco Davin and 12th-seeded Michael Stich of Germany.

Davin, ranked 69th in the world and yet to face a seeded player in the tournament, defeated Arnaud Boetsch 7-6 (7-2), 4-6, 6-3, 6-1. Stich routed promising French teen-ager Fabrice Santoro, 6-3, 6-1, 6-2, who was weakened by food poisoning.

The other two men's quarterfinals will match second seed Boris Becker against 10-seeded Michael Chang and fourth-seeded Andre Agassi against unseeded Jakob Hlasek of Switzerland.

For most of the favorites left in the French Open, the high-pressure matches are yet to come. For Chang, they're becoming routine.

Twice in three days, Chang strode onto center court to find more than 16,000 fans rooting wildly for his rival. Each time, he stuck to his game plan, kept his poise - and survived.

First it was Jimmy Connors, who rendered the crowd delirious with play that seemed impossible for a 38-year-old. Chang, half his age, hung on until Connors, exhausted, withdrew after the opening point of the fifth set.

On Sunday, the opponent was seventh-seeded Guy Forget, France's best hope for a title, cheered on by hopeful partisan fans. Chang prevailed in four sets.

The road ahead gets no easier for the 19-year-old from Placentia, Calif. Next up, in a quarterfinal match Tuesday, is second-seeded Becker, playing some of his best tennis in months. If Chang gets by Becker, he might tangle in the semifinals with Agassi, another in-form powerhouse.

The eight women who advanced to the quarterfinals Sunday include the top seven seeds, plus 13th-seeded Nathalie Tauziat of France.

Defending champion and No. 1 seed Monica Seles was the first top woman to lose a set, but she rebounded to beat injured Sandra Cecchini 3-6, 6-3, 6-0.

The other top women all won in straight sets, including second seeded Steffi Graf, third-seeded Gabriela Sabatini and fourth seeded Mary Joe Fernandez. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, the 1989 champion and No. 5 seed this year, and sixth-seeded Jana Novotna of Czechoslovakia, also won.