Tennis: Moya leads Spanish charge

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The Independent Online
Carlos Moya and Felix Mantilla, of Spain, led a charge by clay- court specialists into the last eight at the Australian Open as the baseline brigade intensified their challenge, writes Derrick Whyte.

Their fourth-round victories in searing heat guaranteed Spain its best Grand Slam performance away from the slow red clay courts of Europe.

The unseeded Moya, who beat the defending champion Boris Becker in the first round, added the Swede Jonas Bjorkman to his list of victims, winning a marathon five-setter 6-3, 1-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. His victory set up a meeting with Mantilla, guaranteeing Spain at least one semi-finalist. Mantilla proved too strong for unseeded American MaliVai Washington, winning 7- 5, 6-2, 6-1.

Michael Chang, Tim Henman's conqueror, dropped his first set of the tournament before overpowering the unseeded Ukrainian Andrei Medvedev 4-6, 6-2, 6- 2, 6-1 and in the last men's match of the day, the Chilean ninth seed Marcelo Rios took his furthest step in a Grand Slam tournament by defeating seventh seeded Swede Thomas Enqvist 4-6, 6-4, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3.

Great Britain's Neil Broad and his partner Piet Norval of South Africa, seeded 16, scored a shock victory over the second seeds, Byron Black of Zimbabwe and Canadian Grant Connell, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the fourth round of the men's doubles.