DOHA, Qatar, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Top seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov suffered his second straight quarterfinals defeat at the $1 million Qatar Open on Thursday when he fell to 1999 winner and seventh seed Rainer Schuettler, 7-5, 6-4.
Kafelnikov, the Russian who also was the No. 1 seed a year ago, lost in three sets to Bohdan Ulihrach of the Czech Republic at the 2001 event.
This year's fifth seed, Ulihrach reached his second straight semifinal by routing Spain's Fernando Vicente, 6-1, 6-1.
Ulihrach, who lost to Marcelo Rios in last year's championship match here, will meet another Spaniard in the final four on Friday. No. 8 Felix Mantilla advanced to the semifinals with a
6-3, 6-3 win over another Czech, Radek Stepanek.
Schuettler, who captured his lone title of 2001 at Shanghai in September, will square off against No. 6 Younes El Aynaoui for a place in Saturday's final. The Moroccan outdueled Czech Jiri Novak, the fourth seed, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4.
Kafelnikov, who finished 2001 fourth in the ATP rankings, had struggled through his first two matches this week, edging Czech Daniel Vacek and fellow Russian Nikolay Davydenko.
El Aynaoui is looking to win his second tournament in five months. He won the Gelsor Open in September at Bucharest, Romania.
Mantilla also enjoyed his lone triumph of 2001 in September, capturing the International Championship of Sicily at Palermo.