NEW YORK — Czechoslovakia's Miloslav Mecir battled his way Thursday into the men's semifinals of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships with a 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 upset of seventh-seeded Joakim Nystrom of Sweden.
Mecir, seeded 16th in the year's final Grand Slam tournament, will meet the winner of Thursday night's quarterfinal match between Wimbledon champion Boris Becker of West Germany and Milan Srejber of Czechoslovakia in one of Saturday's semifinals.
The other men's semifinal Saturday will send defending champion and top-seeded Ivan Lendl, yet another Czech, against No. 4 Stefan Edberg of Sweden.
The women's singles semifinals on Friday will send top-seeded Martina Navratilova, seeking her third U.S. Open title in four years, against No. 3 Steffi Graf of West Germany, and No. 2 Chris Evert Lloyd, a six-time winner of America's premier tennis event, against No. 7 Helena Sukova of Czechoslovakia.
On Thursday, Navratilova teamed up with Pam Shriver to gain the women's doubles final with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Graf and Argentina's Gabriela Sabatini.
Top-seeded in the 64-team doubles draw, Navratilova and Shriver's opponents in Sunday's final won't be decided until later. Hana Mandlikova of Czechoslovakia and Australia's Wendy Turnbull defeated Zina Garrison and Kathy Rinaldi 6-1, 7-6 in a quarterfinal match that had been postponed by rain Wednesday night. The winners will meet Elise Burgin and South Africa's Rosalyn Fairbank for a spot in the final.
Mecir continued his mastery over the Swedes. He defeated second-seeded Mats Wilander in the fourth round. And he did it with his patient attacking game, waiting for the right opportunity, then following deep approach shots to the net for easy volleys.
"We try not to talk about it at all," Nystrom said of Mecir's success against the Swedish players. The Czechoslovak right-hander has a 18-3 record against the top six Swedes, three of whom are ranked in the top 10 in the world, over the last two years.
"I had many chances to break him, but I lost all of the important points," Nystrom said. "It's tough for me to do anything against him. My game is not serve and volley. If you have a good serve-and-volley game, you have a good chance to beat him.
"From the baseline, you must play the ball very deep and I hit too many short balls today."