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  Wednesday, 5 September, 2001, 01:11 GMT 02:11 UK
Kuerten finds his form
Kuerten is the top seed at Flushing Meadows
Kuerten is the top seed at Flushing Meadows
G Kuerten (Bra, 1) bt A Costa (Spa) 6-4 6-4 7-6 (9-7)

Y Kafelnikov (Rus, 7) bt A Clement (Fra, 12) 6-3 6-4 6-3

Brazilian number one seed Gustavo Kuerten produced some sublime play to claim his place in the US Open quarter-finals.

Kuerten beat Spain's 40th-ranked Albert Costa and now faces Yevgeny Kafelnikov, the seventh seed, who beat Arnaud Clement.

Guga was in top form to take the first two sets by a 6-4 scoreline, and with the third set reaching its climax, the court was invaded by flying insects.

Costa wanted the game to be stopped, but play continued and the set went into a tie-break.


I think it's Brazilian week or something
Guga salutes his fans

Kuerten had to dig deep but eventually took the breaker 9-7 to complete his win.

After the match, Kuerten paid tribute to his ever-vocal supporters: "There was a lot of noise," he said appreciatively.

"I think it's Brazilian week or something - a festival this weekend.

"A lot of Brazilians probably came to New York because I'm here.

"They don't get too much of this in their life, a Brazilian tennis player playing in the US Open, on this stage - I'm sure everybody is having a great time."


Right now I think I'm probably enjoying (tennis) as much as I did in the early stage of my career
Yevgeny Kafelnikov
Kafelnikov secured his berth in the quarter-finals by beating Clement in a rain-delayed match.

Clement looked a shadow of the player who had dazzled crowds around the world with his sharp forehand returns.

He was broken as early as the second game of the match.

The Frenchman had a chance to break the Russian back in the seventh game, before a tussle at deuce saw Kafelnikov come through.

Clement made an equally poor start to the second set losing his serve in the opener.

The number 12 seed finally managed to win a break of his own in the sixth game, but just as the crowd thought the tide was turning for the underdog, back came Kafelnikov to win another break for 4-3.

Rain delays match

Clement broke the Russian again only for him to drop his guard once more.

Kafelnikov eventually held his own and clinched the second set, before breaking Clement twice in the third.

The heavens soon opened up on Flushing Meadows just before the inevitable, but after an hour delay the players returned.

Clement broke Kafelnikov and there was a hint that a shock could be on the cards.

But in the ninth game Kafelnikov soon showed the crowd why he was seeded five places higher by securing victory after a tense battle at deuce.

Afterwards the Russian added that he felt in the best form of his life going into the last eight.

"Right now I think I'm probably enjoying (tennis) as much as I did in the early stage of my career," said Kafelnikov.

"Every match that I win brings me joy, no question about it. Still my goal remains to win as many matches in my career as I can, to win as many tournaments."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Gustavo Kuerten
"I played at the same levels all the time"
Albert Costa
"It was difficult to play long points"
Russia's Yevgeny Kafelnikov
"I'm enjoying each game as much as I did at the start of my career"
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