Seles surprised by Novotna

YESTERDAY IN ATLANTA
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The Independent Online
Monica Seles, the No 1 seed, saw her dream of Olympic gold destroyed yesterday by the sixth-seeded Jana Novotna. The Czech won the women's singles quarter-final against the American favourite 7-5, 3-6, 8-6, while Spain's Arantxa Sanchez Vicario beat Kimiko Date 4-6, 6-3, 10-8. Novotna now meets the Spaniard in the semi-final.

Novotna fought back from 5-3 down to win the first set. Seles was forced to save a match point at 5-6 in the third set, but the 22-year-old was at the wrong end of a net cord that gave Novotna a further two match points at 6-7. Seles saved both, her pass landing on the line to Novotna's disgust and then another winner flicking the net cord.

However, Novotna was not to be denied. On the Czech's fourth match point, Seles hit a drive out and Novotna celebrated her second Olympic semi-final and a repeat of her victory over Seles in the French Open. Novotna won a doubles silver at the 1988 Olympics.

Greg Rusedski, Britain's final hope in the Olympic singles, went out after squandering a series of chances to reach the men's quarter-finals. The big-serving Canadian-born left-hander lost 7-6, 6-3 to Spain's Sergi Bruguera in the third round, having had four set points in the tie-break.

In the doubles there was some consolation for Britain when Neil Broad and Tim Henman reached the semi- finals by beating the fifth seeds, Jiri Novak and Daniel Vacek of the Czech Republic, 7-6, 6-4, in 81 minutes. On Sunday the Britons had beaten the No 2 seeds, Grant Connell and Daniel Nestor of Canada, 7-6, 4-6, 6- 4.

Henman and Broad now play Germany's Marc Goellner and David Prinosil tomorrow for a place in the final. If they lose they would face a play- off of the losing semi-finalists for the bronze medal.

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