Although most of the players said they ignore radar gun readings displayed at Stadium Court, they have been a source of amusement for fans at the Sovran Bank Classic.

Some of the more powerful servers, such as Michael Stich and Tim Mayotte, have been drawing oohs and ahs from the crowd with their 110-120 mph serves. Mayotte, in fact, had a higher clocking on his second serves Tuesday than his notably light-hitting opponent, Ramesh Krishnan, had on first serves.

Stich had the tournament's unofficial hardest serve so far, registering a 122 in his victory over Alexander Volkov yesterday.

Andre Agassi, on the other hand, rarely registered above 90.

The radar guns are run by Information and Display Systems Inc., which offers its technology in several sports, but primarily tennis.. . . .

Jakob Hlasek, another in a long line of players on the comeback trail at the Sovran, credited Ivan Lendl as his inspiration.

"Lendl showed that with hard work, you can achieve a lot," said Hlasek, who topped Nicolas Pereira yesterday. "Before him, the best players like {Martina} Navratilova and McEnroe, showed how far you could go with skill. But now a lot of players are working much harder."

He also said he can tell the difference in the tour compared with when he started in 1982. "Maybe the number one guy isn't any better now, but the number 100 player is much better. The first-round level at the tournaments is much tougher.

"That's why there are so many surprises and so many ups and downs in the rankings."

You Are What You Wear

Much of today's chit-chat centered on what Agassi, the fashion rebel of tennis, would wear to his second-round match with Brad Pearce.

The answer came at 4 p.m., when Agassi walked onto the court, waving to the crowd, and wearing (from head to foot): Hot lava headband, white shirt with hot lava and black designs, black denim shorts with hot lava spandex tights underneath, white socks, and white shoes with a hot lava stripe.

He also used a racket with a neon green frame, which matched the tennis balls. . . .

This was Agassi's first tour match since losing to Andres Gomez in the final of the French Open. He has never won a Grand Slam event, but claimed he's on the verge. "I go into Grand Slam events now looking to win. That's a big difference from going in hoping to play well."