Originally created 09/05/01

Hingis first to reach semifinals at U.S. Open

NEW YORK -- Martina Hingis, trying to end a Grand Slam losing streak that has reached 10 tournaments, became the first player to reach the semifinals of the U.S. Open on Tuesday, defeating Daja Bedanova 6-2, 6-0.

Hingis has retained her No. 1 ranking despite not winning a Slam since the Australian Open in 1999. Particularly galling were first-round losses at Wimbledon in 1999 and again this year.

Bedanova, a frequent practice partner for Hingis, had lost her serve just twice in the first four matches, but against Hingis held serve just once and was broken six times.

Hingis won the first 11 points of the match before a double fault. The 18-year-old Bedanova used the opening for her own break and five straight points, punctuating that stretch with a forehand that set up a neat drop volley that Hingis had no chance to reach. It was her only break of the match.

Bedanova displayed a range of shots including a big overhead that produced important points. But Hingis was never in real trouble, using her experience to win the set in 25 minutes.

She broke Bedanova at love in the first game of the second set and swept her away, winning long points and short ones. After being tied 2-2, Hingis won the last 10 games of the match.

Next for Hingis is the winner of Thursday night's match between former champions Lindsay Davenport and Serena Williams.

Earlier Tuesday, Yevgeny Kafelnikov ended a three-match losing streak against Arnaud Clement, advancing to the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 victory.

Kafelnikov, seeded No. 7, had not beaten Clement since 1999 in Moscow and played careful, calculated tennis after being stretched to five sets in the first two rounds and four in the third, all against qualifiers.

In the first set, the Russian wasted four set points before putting Clement away. His lead teetered for a while with Clement, the Australian Open runner-up, getting three break chances that would have tied the set. Each time, Kafelnikov saved the breaks.

Wearing a bandanna and wraparound sunglasses on an overcast day, the 12th-seeded Clement's finest moment came in the second set. After Kafelnikov slammed Clement's drop shot to go up 4-2, he had a chance to build on the edge.

With Clement out of position, sliding to return a shot, Kafelnikov tried a half-volley. Clement got to it for the point and Kafelnikov threw his racket to the court in anger.

He recovered his composure to break Clement and went on to win the set. Then Kafelnikov broke twice in the third set before Clement drew a warning for hitting a ball into the stands. While he was arguing the call with chair umpire Enric Molina, rain interrupted play.

When the players returned after 47 minutes, Kafelnikov finished Clement off, capitalizing on 54 unforced errors to advance.

Next for Kafelnikov, in the Open quarters for just the second time, is the winner of the match between No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten and Albert Costa, played later Tuesday.

Venus Williams, Jennifer Capriati, Kim Clijsters and Amelie Mauresmo all advanced to the quarters with victories Monday.

Venus Williams, the defending champion, defeated Sandrine Testud 6-4, 6-0 and plays Clijsters, a 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 winner over Elena Dementieva.

Capriati, seeking her third Grand Slam of the year, ousted Barbara Schett 6-3, 6-3 and next meets Mauresmo, who won an all-French match from Nathalie Tauziat 6-0, 6-7 (1), 6-3.

Capriati and Venus Williams are the only remaining women yet to drop a set at the Open.

On the men's side, four-time Open champion Pete Sampras and two-time winner Andre Agassi advanced to a much anticipated quarterfinal on Wednesday. Sampras defeated Patrick Rafter, a two-time winner of this event, 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-4, and Agassi had an easier time with Roger Federer, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.

Also advancing was defending champion Marat Safin, who defeated Thomas Johansson 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3) Monday night. Next for Safin is Mariano Zabaleta, who advanced with a 6-4, 7-6 (4), 7-5 victory over Xavier Malisse.

Almost as anticipated as the Sampras-Agassi match is Andy Roddick's next outing. The teen-ager plays his third night featured match Tuesday against Tommy Robredo.

Roddick's play has provided a buzz at the Open. He celebrated his 19th birthday during the tournament and has displayed a mature game that some people say could take him straight into the final.

The Roddick-Robredo winner gets a quarterfinal date with the winner of Tuesday's earlier match between Lleyton Hewitt and Tommy Haas.


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