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Canas sends Hewitt packing

Posted: Monday, June 03, 2002

PARIS -- Top-seeded Lleyton Hewitt, never the same after losing a 91-minute second set in a 15-13 tiebreaker, was knocked out of the French Open by Guillermo Canas on Sunday.

Hewitt, the U.S. Open champion, had 105 unforced errors in a 6-7 (1), 7-6 (13), 6-4, 6-3 loss that put the 15th-seeded Canas into his first career Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Canas won the final six games of the match, then fell to the court in jubilation. He'd lost to Hewitt in a five-set match played over two days in last year's round of 16 at Roland Garros.

Canas won Sunday's marathon tiebreaker on his 10th set point, finally ending it with a crosscourt forehand winner.

Canas will meet the winner of the match between two-time defending champion Gustavo Kuerten and Albert Costa.

The men's third-seeded player, Tommy Haas, was also eliminated Sunday, by No. 22 Andrei Pavel 6-1, 7-6 (9), 6-4. No. 18 Alex Corretja of Spain, last year's runner-up, beat Mariana Zabaleta 6-3, 6-2, 7-5.

Advancing to the quarterfinals on the women's side were Monica Seles, Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Mary Pierce.

Seles beat lanky Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 7-5 to reach the quarterfinals for the 10th time in 10 appearances at the French Open.

Seles' next assignment will also be against a tall player with a large serve -- and it figures to be much more demanding. She faces No. 2-seeded Venus Williams, who beat Chanda Rubin 6-3, 6-2.

No. 3 Serena Williams rallied after dropping the first set and ended the run of qualifier Vera Zvonareva 4-6, 6-0, 6-1.

Serena Williams' quarterfinal opponent will be Pierce, the 2000 champion, who routed No. 9 Silvia Farina Elia 6-1, 6-2.

In other fourth-round matches Sunday, Clarisa Fernandez, who upset No. 4 Kim Clijsters earlier, eliminated No. 13 Elena Dementieva 3-6, 6-2, 6-3; No. 7 Jelena Dokic beat Katarina Srebotnik 7-6 (3), 6-2; and Paola Suarez upset No. 10 Amelie Mauresmo 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.

Seles beat Venus Williams for the first time in seven attempts in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in January.

''On certain court surfaces, just the way Venus plays she has a big advantage with her serve and movement over a person, say, like me,'' said Seles, who hasn't been to a Grand Slam tournament final since the 1998 French Open. ''I have to neutralize with other things and not give her that huge advantage in every service game.''

The sixth-seeded Seles double faulted to lose her serve in the first game of each set, but was able to rely on experience to win key points against the 5-foot-11 1/4, 123-pound Hantuchova.

Seles, the French Open champion from 1990-92, won the final four games of the opening set. She led 4-2 and 40-0 in the second before Hantuchova took advantage of two straight errors for a break and then held for 4-4.

Seles led 6-5 and then broke, winning on her third match point when Hantuchova committed her 52nd unforced error of the match.

''It was such a close match that one or two points decided it. I was just lucky,'' Seles said. ''I had that lead in the second and I let it go. I was just trying so hard to finish the match and concentrate.''



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