Saturday, November 16, 2002

Hewitt reaches Masters Cup semis


Top-ranked player faces Federer today

The Associated Press

SHANGHAI, China - Lleyton Hewitt has the No. 1 ranking - and a semifinal berth at the season-ending Masters Cup, thanks to Carlos Moya.

Hewitt, the defending champion in the eight-man tournament, advanced to the semis when Moya outlasted French Open champion Albert Costa 7-6 (7), 3-6, 6-4 Friday night. If Costa had won, Hewitt's season would have been over.

The last semifinal spot went to Juan Carlos Ferrero, who defeated Jiri Novak 7-5, 6-3. The round-robin portion of the tournament ended when Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson, an alternate for the injured Andre Agassi, was defeated 6-3, 7-5 by Roger Federer.

Hewitt, who clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking Thursday when Agassi lost to Ferrero, will take on Federer today. The other semi pits Moya against the Ferrero.

Moya squashed all speculation that he might not play his best so that Costa, a fellow Spaniard, could win and reach the semifinals. Instead, Moya's best was just good enough to run his record to 3-0 on the indoor purple court.

Costa finished with a 1-2 record. Hewitt was 2-1 and Marat Safin lost all three of his group matches.

Ferrero controlled the points from the baseline and was too strong for Novak. After winning the opening set, Ferrero took a 4-1 lead in the second and held serve to close out the victory.

LUCIC SUSPENSION: The International Tennis Federation and WTA Tour have refused to recognize the one-month suspension from French tournaments that Mirjana Lucic was given after a positive drug test May 29.

Lucic tested positive for the banned stimulant Bupropion during this year's French Open, but the ITF said Lucic had a "valid medical exemption" for the drug and was given approval on May 10 to use Bupropion until May 31.

DAVIS CUP: Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov were selected to play for Russia in the Davis Cup final against France. Mikhail Youzhny and Andrei Stolyarov will be the substitutes.

Kafelnikov, a two-time Grand Slam tournament champion, has said he will retire if Russia wins. Safin won the 2000 U.S. Open.

The Davis Cup will be played on clay courts Nov. 29-Dec. 1 in Paris.




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