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Bogeyman beats Federer in New York

Wimbledon champion Roger Federer's US Open run juddered to a halt when he was bounced by his Argentine bogeyman.

india Updated: Sep 05, 2003 12:28 IST

Wimbledon champion Roger Federer's US Open run juddered to a halt on Thursday when he was bounced by his Argentine bogeyman but Kim Clijsters was on fine form as rain clouds finally cleared from Flushing Meadows.

Federer, seeded second here on the back of his grasscourt grand slam triumph, fell once again to Argentine David Nalbandian, this time 3-6 7-6 6-4 6-3 in the fourth round.

The stocky 21-year-old from Cordoba has now beaten Federer all five times they have met on the Tour -- three times this year and twice in 2002.

"I guess I am struggling against him," Federer smiled wryly.

"I don't know what to comment on this.

"I am trying to figure out how to beat him. He likes my game, that's all I can say about it."

Thirteenth seed Nalbandian, himself a finalist at Wimbledon last year, was also at a loss to explain his hold over the stylish Swiss player.

"I like playing against him, what can I say?" he laughed.

"I like his game... I don't know exactly why."

Clijsters reached her first US Open semi-final with a comprehensive 6-1 6-4 victory over France's Amelie Mauresmo.

The Belgian top seed will face former champion and third seed Lindsay Davenport for a place in Saturday's final after the American ousted Argentine Paola Suarez 6-4 6-0.

"It's definitely a great feeling," Clijsters grinned.

Her fellow Belgian and second seed Justine Henin-Hardenne was also feeling great having booked her spot in the last four with a 6-2 6-3 win over Anastasia Myskina.


Myskina had earlier in the day completed her fourth round victory against Mary Pierce.

The Russian seventh seed won that contest, which spanned four days, 7-6 6-1 but was no match for Henin-Hardenne under the floodlights.

French Open champion Henin-Hardenne will face Jennifer Capriati in the last four after the American also beat a "second-hand" opponent.

Italy's Francesca Schiavone had also played earlier on Thursday, completing a 6-7 7-5 6-2 win over seed Ai Sugiyama.

Like Myskina, Schiavone could not duplicate that form later in the day and sixth seeded Capriati won 6-1 6-3 in straightforward fashion.

"I played tough... I had a lot of energy out there," Capriati said.

"Even though I am here in the US Open, I don't feel I have any of the pressure," she added, looking ahead to the semis.

"I've just got to go out there and give it all I've got."

Australia's Lleyton Hewitt underlined his revival in form, beating Thai Paradorn Srichaphan 4-6 6-2 6-4 6-2 in a fourth round clash.

The 2001 US Open champion has endured a poor grand slam year and this result gave him his best run at a major in 2003.

"It took me a few games to get into it but then I really started working it well," Hewitt said.

First Published: Sep 05, 2003 11:32 IST