Boris Becker served up 18 aces and survived a scare, and Andre Agassi delivered more hard knocks on the hardcourts. Both advanced to the quarterfinals at the Volvo International in New Haven, Conn.
Agassi and Becker, the defending Volvo champion, were among six of the top eight seeds to survive the third round.
Top-seeded Agassi eliminated No. 15 Patrick Rafter 6-2, 6-4, improving his record on hardcourts this year to 43-2 and winning his 17th straight match.
Earlier, second-seeded Becker overcame No. 16 Patrick McEnroe 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 in a midday match that lasted 2 hours, 17 minutes and marked the first time Becker has dropped a set at the Volvo.
Goran Ivanisevic used his blistering serve and his newfound confidence on hardcourts in a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Brett Steven in the third round of the RCA Championships in Indianapolis.
In other matches, No. 12 Bernd Karbacher of Germany upset No. 6 Todd Martin 6-3, 6-2; No. 4 Thomas Enqvist beat Cristiano Caratti 6-0, 3-6, 6-0; No. 7 Alberto Berasatequi defeated Petr Korda 7-6 (9-7), 6-3; and No. 14 Guy Forget of France was ousted by unseeded Richey Reneberg 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.
Monica Seles took a day off. Her task at the Canadian Open in Toronto, having already been eased by the first-round loss of No. 1 Steffi Graf, became even easier when No. 3 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario was upset by Helena Sukova, 7-5, 6-4.
Sanchez Vicario, the tournament’s defending champion who played singles and doubles matches the night before, was unable to make the quick night-day turnaround that Seles had handled easily a day earlier.
A year ago, Sanchez Vicario used a victory in the Canadian Open as the springboard to the U.S. Open crown. Now, her elimination seemed to simplify Seles’ road to the final. Gabriela Sabatini, a 6-1, 6-0 winner over Yone Kamioy, is the highest remaining seed in Seles’ half of the draw at No. 6.
Mary Pierce, seeded No. 5, also reached the quarters with a 6-0, 6-0 blowout of 14-year-old Martina Hingis.
British bookmakers, impressed with Monica Seles’ performance in her return to competitive tennis, cut Seles’ odds to win the U.S. Open title from 7-2 to 9-4 following her easy wins in her first two matches at the Canadian Open. That makes her second favorite behind Steffi Graf at 4-5.
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