Kafelnikov crushes Rusedski

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The Independent Online

Yevgeny Kafelnikov, of Russia, cruised to a 6-3, 6-3 win over Britain's Greg Rusedski yesterday to advance to the semi-finals of the Australian Hardcourt Championships in Adelaide.

Kafelnikov, who is aiming to win the event for the second time in three years, was particularly effective with his return of serve, especially on Rusedski's second serve.

"I have a lot of confidence going into the semi-finals, especially after winning in 1994," Kafelnikov said. "I knew that it would be tough against Greg, so I tried to be more focused and keep every ball in the court."

Kafelnikov now plays the unseeded Javier Frana, of Argentina, who beat Renzo Furlan, of Italy, 7-6 , 6-3.

Byron Black, of Zimbabwe, who is seeking the first singles title of his career, earlier surprised the second-seed Daniel Vacek from the Czech Republic. Black, previously regarded as a doubles specialist, triumphed 7-6, 6-7, 6-4. He now will face Martin Damm, of the Czech Republic, who advanced when Sweden's Henrik Holm retired with a shoulder injury after losing the first set of their quarter-final 6-3.

Holm complained of losing power in his right arm from a long-term shoulder injury. He said he plans to fly to Melbourne and rest in a bid to be fit for the Australian Open.

Black said he is confident. "I have played Damm and I've had a win over him, so it is looking pretty good and I'm feeling pretty good going into the semi."

Marc Rosset overpowered Martin Sinner in straight sets to lead Switzerland into the final of the Hopman Cup team Championship in Perth. Rosset, the Olympic champion, hit 13 aces as he beat Sinner 6-2, 6-4 and went on to complete a 3-0 win over the defending champions, Germany, in their Group B round-robin match.

It was Switzerland's third consecutive win and they will face the top- seeded Croatian team of Goran Ivanisevic and Iva Majoli in today's final.

Martina Hingis defeated Anke Huber 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 in the opening women's singles as Huber suffered only her second defeat in 10 Hopman Cup singles matches. "Anke played very fast at the start, but I served pretty well in the second and thirds sets," Hingis, 15, said.

Huber's serve was her other weakness. Hingis broke it nine times in the 78-minute contest.