Tennis: Gustafsson on march

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The Independent Online
Magnus Gustafsson became the first semi-finalist at the Paris Open yesterday when he put controversy over let calls to one side to beat Marc Rosset, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.

Rosset and Gustafsson got into prolonged discussions with the chair umpire, Rich Kaufman, over the electronic let detector used to feel the ball clipping the net on service. The device replaced the judge sitting with his finger on the net who was considered to be in danger of being hit by tennis balls coming past at high speed.

Rosset did not think much of the machine. "I think there's a better way than to spend so much money for a machine that does not work," Rosset said. "If you are serving more than 200kph [125mph], and the ball is passing close to the net, maybe the vibration is going to make the thing beep."

The tournament supervisor, Mark Darby, was summoned. "In the second [set] we had some problems and we tried to adjust the sensitivity of the machine. In the third set there were no problems. One thing for sure, it has to touch the net to make a sound," was Darby's contribution to a debate that provided more excitement than the match.

Monica Seles and Jennifer Capriati moved closer to their first meeting since 1992 when they both won in the Ameritech Cup in Chicago yesterday.

Seles, who shares the world No 1 ranking with Steffi Graf, defeated Irina Spirlea 7-6, 6-2, in their quarter-final taking advantage of 33 unforced errors and 12 double-faults by the Romanian. Capriati, ranked 50th and a late entry in Chicago, put out the No 8 seed and defending champion, Magdalena Maleeva, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 in the second round.