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  Thursday, 6 September, 2001, 20:22 GMT 21:22 UK
Top seed Kuerten toppled
Gustavo Kuerten and Yevgeny Kafelnikov
Kuerten seemed strangely out of sorts
Y Kafelnikov (Rus, 7) bt G Kuerten (Bra, 1) 6-4 6-0 6-3

Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten has been sent tumbling out of the US Open by seventh seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov.

The Russian Olympic champion swept into the semi-final with a shock straight-sets victory over the number one seed.


That is probably the biggest victory in a couple of years for me - along with the Olympic victory
Yevgeny Kafelnikov
Kafelnikov, who reached the last four two years ago, will meet the winner of Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick, who were meeting later on day 11.

Lacklustre Kuerten lost 11 consecutive games at one stage, and twice had treatment from the trainer for a groin injury.

He won just seven games overall, and repeatedly put his trademark top-spin backhand wide.

Asked why he failed so dramatically, the Brazilian was lost for an answer.

"Don't know," said Kuerten. "We are human, no? I am not a machine. Sometimes it's like this.

"I didn't have any energy to step up and play my best. I couldn't find my pace to see myself running and going for the shots.

"Everything was like twice as difficult. Maybe a little bit of everything, tired, him playing well and a little bit of pain here and there."

Yevgeny Kafelnikov
Kafelnikov made short work of Kuerten
Kafelnikov rifled 28 winners in a one-sided match lasting just 92 minutes.

"I'm thrilled to be through," said Kafelnikov, who won the Australian Open in 1999 and the 1996 French Open.

"I'm taking it each match at a time."

Kafelnikov and defending champion Marat Safin have a chance to set up the first all-Russian Grand Slam final.

"I can't describe how important this is for our country, it will be exciting when we step on court in the semi-finals," Kafelnikov said.

Kuerten was left to rue another missed opportunity to take a Grand Slam title on a surface other than clay.

"If it comes, it comes," said Kuerten . "If not, I'll be trying. It's not that I don't care but I'm not going to give all my life for this.

"I prefer to be happy. If I have to change this to win a Slam, I don't need to win.

"I feel disappointed and frustrated. But also I can have a good dinner tonight, drink a beer, go out. If I win, I don't have this chance. That's the good part."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC tennis correspondent Iain Carter
"An embarrassing one-sided encounter"
Russia's Yevgeny Kafelnikov
"The key was winning the first set"
Gustavo Kuerten
"I didn't have energy to lift my game"
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