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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 June, 2004, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Nalbandian sees off Kuerten
David Nalbandian
David Nalbandian ended Gustavo Kuerten's dreams of a fourth French Open title with a 6-2 3-6 6-4 7-6 (8/6) win in the quarter-finals.

Nalbandian got off to a flying start, racing through the first set as Kuerten struggled to find his rhythm.

The Brazilian crowd favourite hit back to take the second, before Nalbandian again stepped up a gear in the third.

Kuerten should have taken the match into a decider but squandered four set points and Nalbandian edged through.

Nalbandian will face Gaston Gaudio in all-Argentine semi-final, with another Argentine, Guillermo Coria, taking on Tim Henman in the other semi.

MEN'S SEMI-FINALS
Nalbandian v Gaudio
Coria v Henman

"It's not easy to play Guga here, he's like a local," said Nalbandian.

"But the crowd was very respectful. I knew they would be with him so one of the keys was to stay calm and just shut out everything."

Former world number one Kuerten had never lost to a fellow South American in a Grand Slam tournament but he was troubled by a long-term hip injury as well as Nalbandian's solid baseline play.

"If I did not have the problems with the hip then I would be able to play at the same level as the others," said Kuerten.

"I felt like I had more chances today but I am struggling a lot in one part of my body.

"Today was tough but still a great pleasure to be out on the main court playing the quarter-finals."


WATCH AND LISTEN
Brazil's Gustavo Kuerten
"I suffered a lot"



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