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Tennis: Holm puts away Lendl

(Photograph omitted)

PETE SAMPRAS, Michael Chang and Boris Becker, the top three seeds, reached the semi-finals of the Japan Open in Tokyo yesterday but Ivan Lendl, the former world No 1, was eliminated by Sweden's Henrik Holm.

Holm, the 11th seed, hit 15 aces to defeat the Czech-born American, the winner here 14 years ago, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 in two hours and 14 minutes.

Sampras, the world's No1 player seeking his sixth victory of the season after winning the Salem Open in Osaka last week, outlasted Australia's Patrick Rafter 6-1, 5-7, 6-1. In an all-American quarter-final, Michael Chang beat David Wheaton 7-6, 6-3, while Boris Becker, of Germany, played an almost flawless serve-and-volley game to beat another American, Brad Gilbert 6-3, 6-0.

'I am very satisfied. It was an easy match. This doesn't happen often in a quarter-final,' said Becker who now meets Chang. 'It's a 50-50 match. Although he hasn't beaten me yet, Chang is very strong in Asia.'