Courier rewarded for determination

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Michael Chang, the defending champion, and his fellow American Jim Courier won their quarter-finals in contrasting styles yesterday to set up a semi- final meeting in the Hong Kong Open.

Chang, the top seed, sailed through his match against the un seeded Dane Kenneth Carlsen 6-3, 6-2, while the third-seeded Courier had to recover from a set down to defeat Russia's Alexander Volkov 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.

Chang, who lost in straight sets to Courier in the Japan Open last week, is eager for revenge. "I am looking forward to playing him again. I enjoy playing him very, very much," Chang said. "Courier is playing about the same as last week but we are in a new place, on a new day and it's a new match."

Courier had to stick doggedly to the task against the unpredictable Volkov who served eight double-faults. After taking the first set 7-5, Volkov lost the first five games of the second before breaking Courier's serve in the first game of the deciding set.

But Courier, the former world No 1, stormed back with two breaks for a decisive 4-1 lead. Courier said: "I just had to hang in there and take my chances when they came - sometimes that is what you have to do. I was tenacious and I got through."

The other semi-final will be between Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman and his unseeded compatriot and doubles partner, Jan Apell.

n South Africa's Amanda Coetzer and Mary Pierce, the Australian Open champion from France, both won singles matches yesterday to leave the countries tied at 1-1 in the first round of the World Group Fed Cup in Metz, France. Coetzer beat France's Julie Halard, 6-2, 6-4, before Pierce defeated Joanette Kruger, 6-4, 6-3, in the second singles.