Kafelnikov reaches quarterfinals

June 12, 2002 at 8:26 PM
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HALLE, Germany, June 12 (UPI) -- Defending champion Thomas Johansson of Sweden and two-time winner Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia moved into the quarterfinals Wednesday at the Gerry Weber Open.

Johansson, the third seed, posted consecutive wins for the first time since the Tennis Masters Monte Carlo in April as he eliminated Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic, 6-3, 6-4.

"I'm so happy with my performance today," Johansson said. "I played really solid. I served and returned really well."

Kafelnikov, the top seed who is ranked just 34th in the ATP Champions race, notched a 6-3, 7-5 win over French qualifier Cyril Saulnier.

In the quarterfinals for the first time since the Pacific Lite Open in March, Kafelnikov improved to 19-18 overall in 2002.

"It's definitely different than before, but I'm not sure whether I can judge my performance on the match today," Kafelnikov said. "To win any matches for me at this stage is important. I'm only lacking confidence and by winning matches I will get it back."

Bohdan Ulihrach of the Czech Republic also moved into the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-7 (2-7), 7-5 win over German Rainer Schuettler.

Mikhail Youzhny of Russia defeated eighth-seeded Frenchman Fabrice Santoro, 6-0, 7-6 (7-5) in a first-round match Wednesday.

Michel Kratochvil had a 6-3 lead over Denmark's Kenneth Carlsen when rain forced the postponement of their second-round match. It will be completed Thursday.

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