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Agassi leads American advance in Cincinnati

Third-seeded Andre Agassi advanced to the round of 16 at the ATP Championships in Mason, Ohio, by beating Arnaud Di Pasquale 6-4, 6-1 on Wednesday.

The American contingent, which already included top-ranked Pete Sampras, picked up three surprise winners when Michael Chang beat eighth-seeded Alex Corretja 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2; Justin Gimelstob beat fellow American Todd Martin, the No. 9 seed, 6-4, 6-4; and Chris Woodruff beat 13th-seeded Thomas Enqvist 6-1, 7-5.

"He hasn't played much hard court," Agassi said of Di Pasquale. "He looks like he needs more time to hit his shots. It looked like I could rush him a little bit. For me, on this surface, that's good."

Chang's victory was his first over a top-10 opponent this year.

Jim Courier made a run at joining the American contingent. But 2 hours, 8 minutes into his match with Cedric Pioline, Courier retired in the third set with heat-induced leg cramps.

Eleventh-seeded Tommy Haas needed three sets to overcome Fabrice Santoro 6-0, 6-7 (1-7), 6-3.

MORE TENNIS: In the second round of the Acura Classic in Manhattan Beach, Calif., Mary Pierce defeated Ai Sugiyama 6-3, 7-5. Pierce, ranked sixth in the world, won four titles last year. She has reached three finals this year without winning a title. In other matches, fourth-seeded Aranxta Sanchez Vicario defeated Ruxandra Dragomir 6-3, 6-1; No. 6 Serena Williams beat Patty Schnyder 6-3, 6-1; and Julie Halard-Decugis got by Amy Frazier 7-6 (7-5), 7-5. Williams plays Sanchez Vicario in the quarterfinals, Sanchez Vicario has won all four meetings between the two.

CYCLING: Fabio Baldato of Italy won the second leg of the Tour of Denmark. Dane Rolf Soerensen, who won the first leg, held on to the overall lead.

_ BRIAN LANDMAN, TIMES WIRE

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