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For many who dream of playing professional tennis without the height to rack up aces like Goran Ivanisevic or the serve-and-volley game to dominate like Pete Sampras did in the ’90s, the 175-cm Michael Chang has been a huge inspiration.

That’s why the Chinese-American is idolized by fans around the globe. World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, at 180 cm, is one of them.

And in the second round of the AIG Japan Open, defending champion Hewitt may have finished Chang’s tour of Japan after an effortless 6-2, 6-2 win at the Ariake Colosseum on Wednesday.

“I felt like it was going to be a tough match playing Michael, especially in this part of the world where he’s had so much success over such a long period,” Hewitt said of Chang, who has won 12 of his 34 career titles in Asia.

Chang, the 30-year-old who has announced his plans to retire in about a year, may have played his final match in front of a Japanese audience. In 1994, he finished runnerup to Sampras in the Japan Open.

Hewitt said he admires Chang and has learned many aspects of the game from him.

“I definitely wasn’t going to be the biggest guy out there,” said Hewitt, this year’s Wimbledon champ and a semifinalist at the U.S. Open. “His (Chang’s) speed around the court, his counterpunch ability, his mental toughness, and never-say-die attitude — if you’re not going to have the biggest shots out there and the biggest serve, you’ve got to find another edge. I think Michael was able to do it and I’ve been able to do it.”

The two build their game around their ground strokes from the baseline, and while Hewitt has reached the top with it, Chang’s ranking has slipped in recent years.

Since reaching No. 2 in 1996, Chang is clearly in decline, currently at No. 103. “I guess there comes a tough decision for everyone in their career when they decide to call it a day,” Hewitt said. “Michael’s had a wonderful career. … He was very unlucky not to get to No. 1 at any stage.”

There were two more major upsets on the day. On Center Court, No. 3 seed Carlos Moya of Spain dropped out of the tourney in straight sets to Alexander Waske of Germany 6-4, 7-5 while seventh seed Nicolas Lapentti was also upset 7-5, 6-2 by Swedish qualifier Magnus Larsson.

Jerome Goldmard of France had no trouble beating 12th seed Agustin Calleri of Argentina 6-3, 6-2 after hammering Japan’s Joji Miyao 6-0, 6-0 in the first round earlier in the day.

In the women’s bracket, No. 3 seed Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario beat Maria Kirilenko of Russia 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the second round.

In a first-round upset, Japan’s Yuka Yoshida cruised past No. 5 seed Carla Black, 6-2, 6-1 in 1 hour and 12 minutes.

Saori Obata, a quarterfinalist at the Bali tournament last week, lost a nail-biting battle of southpaws to No. 8 seed Jelena Kostanic 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).

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