posted on Jun, 2 2004 @ 02:35 PM
David Nalbandian set up an all-Argentine semi-final with Gaston Gaudio by ending
Gustavo Kuerten's hopes of a fourth French Open title. Nalbandian won a see-saw encounter 6-2 3-6 6-4 7-6 (8/6) despite a gallant effort by the winner
in 1997, 2000 and 2001.
The unseeded Gaudio had earlier destroyed Lleyton Hewitt 6-3 6-2 6-2 with an impressive display to book his place in the last four of a Grand Slam for
the first time. Gaudio taught his seeded opponent a lesson in claycourt tennis, using acute angles to send the Australian scurrying all over Chatrier
Court. Hewitt crucially lost serve at 3-4 in the first set, having been 40-0 up, and the 12th seed could find no way back. Gaudio, in his first major
quarter-final, never lost his grip on the match and earned five more service breaks.
In the match of the day, Kuerten should have at least have forced a final set after enjoying the better of the fourth, but Nalbandian used his
fighting qualities to wrap up victory in just over three hours.
[Edited on 2/6/04 by TRD]