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Old 02-28-2003, 03:45 AM   #488
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Arthurs, Norman Set for Quarterfinal Clash
Wayne Arthurs defeats wild card Andreas Vinciguerra and Magnus Norman ousts Kristian Pless.

Second-seed Wayne Arthurs reached his first quarterfinal of the season when he defeated wild card Andreas Vinciguerra 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(6) Thursday at the Copenhagen Open. The Australian, who plays in the Danish capital for the third time, hit as many as 35 aces in the match.

In the quarterfinals Arthurs faces 26-year-old Magnus Norman, who beat local favorite Kristian Pless 6-4, 7-6(6) to make it to his first quarterfinal since Tokyo last fall. The Swede has only played in Copenhagen once before, in 1997, when he encountered a second-round loss.

No. 3 seed Karol Kucera, who turns 29 next week, advanced by scoring a 7-6(5), 6-3 win over Swiss veteran Marc Rosset. His quarterfinal opponent is Michel Kratochvil, who defeated France's Jean-Rene Lisnard 7-6(5), 7-6(6).

Fourth-seed Radek Stepanek ousted 1992 Copenhagen champion Magnus Larsson 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 and will meet Karol Beck in the quarterfinals. Qualifier Tomas Behrend of Germany found himself among the last eight after defeating Jiri Vanek 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3.

WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID

Kratochvil: "It was a very tight match. I had a couple of weak phases but I played well on the important points. I came back from 3-6 in the second tie-break, that was the key to the match."


Kucera: "It was a very tough match. I knew I had to make my points from the baseline. He was serving well, especially in the first set. I managed to break him three times in the second set because I was able to read his serve better."

Arthurs: "It's nice to win a close match and to get back some confidence. I don't think I faced a break point against me all match. I'm very pleased to be in the quarterfinals. I had never won a match in the main draw coming into Copenhagen this year."

Vinciguerra: "He served really well, that was the key for him. I think I won 99 per cent of all points from the baseline. I played well, served well and did everything well."

Norman: "It was a tough match. It's nice to win an even match. It gives you confidence. He played well, especially in the second set. I pretty much had the match under control. Maybe my routine was the decisive factor. I feel that I can still raise my level but I take one step at a time."

"I feel great to have reached the quarterfinal. I didn't expect to play as well as I am. I've playing well in San Jose, Memphis and here."

About playing Arthurs
"He has the best serve in the world. It will be difficult, there will not be too many rallies."

QUARTERFINAL PREVIEW

No. 2 seed Wayne Arthurs takes on Sweden's Magnus Norman in the Copenhagen Open quarterfinals. This marks their first encounter on the ATP circuit. Both players appear in their first quarterfinal of the year. Last season the Australian, who turns 32 next month, hit a career-high 807 aces and won 90% of his service games. Norman is working his way back after having undergone left knee surgery on two occasions in 2002.

Fourth-seed Radek Stepanek meets Slovak qualifier Karol Beck for a spot in the semifinals. The Czech reached the second round in his first Copenhagen appearance last year. In 2002 Stepanek qualified an ATP-best nine times and reached two semifinals (Munich and Gstaad). Beck has enjoyed success on the challenger circuit this season, winning in Heilbronn in January and advancing to the final in Andrezieux last week.

Third-seed Karol Kucera faces Switzerland's Michel Kratochvil. The Slovak advanced to the Chennai final in the beginning of the season as well as the semifinals in Marseille. Kucera is looking for his third semifinal in Copenhagen in as many appearances. In 1995 he lost to Andrei Olohskiy and in 1997 to Martin Damm. Kratochvil is in his first quarterfinal since Nottingham last year.
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