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MUSTER DISPLAYS HARDCOURT PRESS

There was a little bit of football, a little bit of basketball and a whole lot of tennis at the U.S. Open.

"The guy really is an animal," Luke Jensen said approvingly of Thomas Muster. "He plays full-court press on you."A clay court specialist who is seeded third in this hardcourt Grand Slam tournament, Muster won his first-round match Wednesday with a workman-like 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 6-0 victory over Jensen.

Fifth-seeded Michael Chang, No. 8 Michael Stich and No. 12 Richard Krajicek also posted opening-round victories, while fourth-seeded Boris Becker won a second-round match.

Two women's seeds were ousted in second-round matches, but calling the results upsets would be misleading.

Fourteen-year-old Martina Hingis of Switzerland defeated No. 8 Magdalena Maleeva 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Maleeva was playing in her first official tournament since the French Open in May because of fused spinal disks and a sprained ankle.

No. 15 Helena Sukova fell to Chanda Rubin 6-1, 6-3. Rubin is ranked 16th in the world, two spots behind Sukova, and would have been seeded 16th if Monica Seles had not returned. Hingis ranks 18th.

Seeded players moving into the third round were No. 1 Steffi Graf, No. 3 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, No. 6 Mary Pierce, No. 9 Gabriela Sabatini, No. 12 Natasha Zvereva and No. 14 Mary Joe Fernandez.

Seles, in a bid to keep up with Graf, headlined today's matches, facing Erika deLone in a second-round encounter. The men's top seed, Andre Agassi, will play Alex Corretja tonight.

While Muster has built his ranking by dominating the clay court circuit, capturing the French Open in June, he also has had success on hardcourts, reaching the quarterfinals the last two years here at the National Tennis Center and also at the 1994 Australian Open. He wins, Jensen said, by imposing his style on his opponent.

"He is the first one to get off his chair" during changeovers, Jensen said. "He tries to keep the points moving all the time. He is not going to take a lot of time between points. He is always leaning on you; he is always putting pressure on you, so you tend to play a little quicker, so you don't recover as fast after points, and he buries you.

"When you think of full-court press in basketball, he's just always pushing to play faster and harder, and he moves you all the time. He makes you work for points and he just chews you up and spits you out. He goes, `Next victim, please.' "

Jensen was a bigger winner in the postmatch news conference than he was on the court, where he twice wore jerseys with the number 42 on the back. He said the number was to honor football player Ronnie Lott, a classmate of Jensen's at the University of Southern California.

"It was his show, my win," said Muster, who has recovered from a car accident that nearly destroyed his career.

"He is going to make you play 15- to 20-ball rallies," Jensen said of Muster. "It is an attitude, and it is really the way he enjoys playing. It is very intimidating. Guys are scared of him."

While Jensen wasn't that much of a test for Muster, Chang had a breeze, defeating Gianluca Pozzi of Italy 6-0, 6-1, 6-0. It was the most lopsided U.S. Open men's singles match since Ivan Lendl defeated Barry Moir 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 in a first-round match in 1987.

"I want to stay sharp," Chang said. "I don't want to start thinking things will come easy. That is where things get very dangerous."

Graf didn't play particularly well, but she had no problem with 96th-ranked Rita Grande, beating her 6-1, 6-3 in 44 minutes.

"I think I was a lot more relaxed than I was yesterday," Graf said, referring to her 6-7 (1-7), 6-1, 6-4 victory over South African Amanda Coetzer.

Katrina Adams is a surprise third-rounder. Adams has had success in doubles but until this year had never won a singles match at the U.S. Open. Getting a wild-card entry into the tournament, Adams beat Miriam Oremans of the Netherlands on Tuesday and Karin Kschwendt of Luxembourg 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 on Wednesday.