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Last Updated: Monday, 2 June, 2003, 17:50 GMT 18:50 UK
Robredo claims Kuerten scalp
Spain's Tommy Robredo plays a forehand against Gustavo Kuerten
Robredo's forehand was a potent weapon
Spain's Tommy Robredo claimed his second major scalp of the French Open by beating three-time former champion Gustavo Kuerten to reach the quarter-finals.

The 21-year-old, who beat world number one Lleyton Hewitt in the previous round, emerged a 6-4 1-6 7-6 6-4 winner over the number 15 seed.

Using his booming forehand and the drop-shot to superb effect, Robredo shook off the loss of the second set to edge ahead after a third set tie-break.

He then broke Kuerten's serve to go 4-3 up in the fourth, and had two match points on Kuerten's serve in the ninth game.

I've beaten the ace, I've beaten the king - now I need to beat the jack
Tommy Robredo
But the Brazilian saved those two, plus two more as Robredo tried to serve out the match.

But the 28th seed again turned to the drop shot, and maintained his composure to finally seal victory on his fifth match point with a fortunate mis-hit forehand.

"At the end of the match, it was easier for me to make a drop shot than to hit the ball hard," Robredo said.

"When I was trying to hit, the ball was going two metres out, so that was a good tactic at the end."

Robredo, one of four Spaniards in the last eight, will next play compatriot and defending champion Albert Costa.

"I've beaten the ace, I've beaten the king," Robredo said in reference to his wins over Hewitt and Kuerten.

"Now I need to beat the jack, don't I? If I beat Costa, I'll have beaten the entire pack of cards."

Costa booked his place in the quarter-finals with a relatively straightforward 6-2 7-5 7-5 victory over Frenchman Arnaud Clement.

It was in contrast to his previous three matches, when the 27-year-old Catalan had been taken to five sets each time, although the match still lasted over three hours.

But he hit top gear against world number 36 Clement, who failed to respond to the backing of the centre court crowd.

"I feel great now," Costa said. "Today is the first day that it was three sets but I don't feel tired.

"This match gives me confidence because I played much better tennis and also I played less time.

"Today I found my serve. I don't know why. At the right moments I served pretty good."

But Clement was unhappy to have fallen in the last 16 once more.

"I have made it to the last 16 nine times but I have lost seven times. It's a ridiculous statistic," said the 2001 Australian Open finalist.

"I can play better. Apart from the very end of the match when at times I felt more relaxed I was only average when serving and attacking."

Links to more French Open 2003 stories


Tommy Robredo
"It was easier for me towards the end of the match"

French Open photos - day eight
02 Jun 03  |  Photo Galleries

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