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Rusedski Is Slowed to a Crawl, but Wins Match Built for Speed

U.S. Open: He reaches semifinals though getting only two aces to Krajicek's 10; Bjorkman advances when Korda retires.

September 04, 1997|JULIE CART | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NEW YORK — The anticipated match bringing together two of the ATP Tour's biggest servers fizzled rather than sizzled Wednesday. A persistent wind at the U.S. Open saw to that.

Greg Rusedski of Great Britain and Richard Krajicek of the Netherlands chose the conservative path on a day when the ball went where it was blown, rather than where it was hit.

In a performance that hardly rated dragging out the speed guns, Rusedski had two aces and Krajicek served 10.

Rusedski won the quarterfinal match, 7-5, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (8-6).

In the night session, Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden made the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the first time, advancing after Petr Korda retired during their match. Bjorkman was ahead, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, 1-0, when Korda said he couldn't go on.

The 15th-seeded Korda called for the trainer during the second set. He was suffering in the cold and wind, which exacerbated his condition. Korda told a tour trainer that his head was pounding and his leg "felt like lead."

Korda continued through the set but dragged. Ninety-one minutes into the match, the Czech called it off. The chilled fans booed as Korda quickly left the court.

Korda had played superbly to defeat Pete Sampras in the fourth round Monday night, but looked off from the beginning Wednesday.

Bjorkman will play Rusedski in the semis.

The earlier match was more of a ground-stroke contest than a serve-and-volley duel.

"I served smartly today rather than trying to hit the hard serves," Rusedski said. "When it's a windy day, you need to get a lot of first serves in."

"It was a shame," Krajicek said of his chance in the third-set tiebreaker after being down 2-5. "Got a little tight, obviously, at 5-4. I win both points on his serve. This was my chance, suddenly from him being so close to winning, to take it to a fourth set."

Krajicek blew a set point and Rusedski capitalized on his to win.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

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