Sat, Jul 10, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Mantilla through to quarterfinals at the Swiss Open

TENNIS Felix Mantilla, who won the 1997 tournament, beat David Ferrer, while Gaston Gaudio needed three sets to beat Olivier Patience in Sweden

AP , GSTAAD, SWITZERLAND, BASTAD, SWEDEN AND NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND

Former champion Felix Mantilla beat fellow Spaniard and sixth-seeded David Ferrer 6-3, 7-6 (2) to reach the quarterfinals of the Swiss Open on Thursday.

It marked the fifth time Mantilla has reached the quarterfinals in eight appearances at the Alpine clay-court event. The Spaniard won the tournament in 1997 and was runner-up in 1996.

In other play, third-seeded Rainer Schuettler of Germany defeated compatriot Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-2.

Heavy and unrelenting rain washed out the rest of the day's matches.

Marc Rosset was leading Czech Radek Stepanek 6-4, 2-3 when rain forced organizers to halt play and schedule the finish for yesterday. Thursday's featured match between local favorite Roger Federer and Ivo Karlovic of Croatia never started and also had to be rescheduled for yesterday.

It marks the second time in 10 days Federer and Karlovic meet. Federer won their fourth-round match at Wimbledon last week en route to his second straight title.

Federer is making his seventh appearance in Gstaad.

The Swiss, who won his 24th straight match on grass in Sunday's Grand Slam final, is seeking his first tournament title on home soil.

In opening round play Tuesday, he posted a 6-1, 6-1 victory over German Tomas Behrend for his 13th straight win and the 21st in his last 22 matches -- including titles at Hamburg, Halle and Wimbledon.

Karlovic's best performance on clay came in Rome, where he defeated Tommy Haas and Tommy Robredo before falling to Carlos Moya in the third round.

SWEDISH OPEN

French Open champion Gaston Gaudio needed three sets to beat Olivier Patience and join three other Argentinians in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Gaudio rallied from one set down to defeat the unseeded Frenchman 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

After splitting the first two sets, Gaudio broke for a 3-1 lead in the third set after a pair of easy mistakes by Patience.

Gaudio then held at love and clinched the match with another service break in the final game.

At No. 2, Gaudio is the highest remaining seed in the tournament. Top-seeded Carlos Moya withdrew because of an injury he sustained last weekend in an exhibition against fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal. Nadal, who trounced Spanish qualifier Santiago Ventura 6-1, 6-2 in the most one-sided match so far in the tournament, and Gaudio will meet in one of Friday's quarterfinals.

Juan Ignacio Chela, another Argentinian, edged Fernando Verdasco of Spain 6-4, 7-5 for a place in the final eight.

Chela, seeded fourth in the clay-court tournament that is one of the oldest in the world, picked up his game in crucial moments of the second-round match.

He broke Verdasco's serve at 4-4 in the first set, then at 5-5 in the second and closed it out by holding serve.

Hall of Fame Championships

Top-seeded Vincent Spadea of the US on Thursday overcame back pain and poor play early in the second set to defeat countryman Brian Vahaly 6-1, 7-6 (5) and advance to the quarterfinals.

After winning the first set in just 26 minutes, Spadea trailed 1-4 in the second when he took an injury timeout. He responded by sending the set to a tiebreaker, where he rebounded from a 2-5 deficit to win 7-5.

"In sports you just never know how much you have," he said. "Sometimes you can get through a match like that and end up winning the tournament."

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