Originally created 04/12/98

Tennis roundup: Muster wins in semifinals



Thomas Muster of Austria struggled Saturday to beat Karim Alamiof Morocco 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals of the Estoril Open in Oeiras, Portugal.

Muster's opponent in the title match will be third-seeded Alberto Berasategui, who breezed past Spaniard Carlos Moya 6-1, 6-1.

Unseeded Alami, who eliminated the No. 1 and seventh seeds, came out aggressively to beat the sixth-seeded Muster in the opening set.

But Muster, a clay-court specialist, who won this tournament in 1995 and 1996, was able to gain the advantage when Alami seemed to lose his nerve and played a more cautious game in the last two sets.

SALEM OPEN: Kenneth Carlsen of Denmark upset third-seed Thomas Johanssonof Sweden 6-2, 6-2 Saturday to advance to the final of the Salem Open against Zimbabwe's Byron Black.

Black saved a match point in the second set and rallied to beat Canadian Sebastien Lareau 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 7-6 (7-4).

Carlsen, the No. 8 seed, was the only seeded player to survive into the championship match.

This Salem Open is the first of a limited number of ATP tournaments in which players were allowed to receive on-court coaching.

GOLD FLAKE OPEN: Top-seeded Patrick Rafterof Australia and defending champion Mikael Tillstrom of Sweden scored straight-set victories Saturday to advance to the final of the Gold Flake Open in Madras, India.

Rafter, the U.S. Open champion, beat India's Leander Paes 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), while the fifth-seeded Tillstrom upset No. 2 Todd Woodbridge of Australia 6-2, 6-2.

After losing the first set rather tamely, Paes tried to make a match of it in the second, but he was let down by his inconsistency.

Woodbridge committed too many errors and looked helpless as Tillstrom pounded forehand winners.

"I never expected the match to be as easy as it turned out to be," Tillstrom said.