TENNIS: MASTERS CUP, LISBON

Marat Safin through to semi-final while Kafelnikov goes down to Agassi Marat Safin gained his second victory of this competition last night, winning 6 – 4, 6 – 4 against Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt. Also in the “Red group”, Spain’s Alex Corretja finally managed to win today against Lleyton Hewitt, 3 – 6 ; 7 – 6 ; 6 – 3. This leaves the “red group”: Safin Played 2, won 2 – automatically qualified for semi-finals Sampras Played 2 won 1 lost 1 Hewitt Played 3 won 1 lost 2 Corretja Played 3 won 1 lost 2 Games to play : Safin vs Sampras In the “Green group”, Kafelnikov proved to be the victim of his own mistakes, a situation which was threatening yesterday in the match against Sweden’s Magnus Norman, although Kafelnikov won 4-6, 7-5, 6-1. Today, against Andre Agassi (USA), the result was 6 – 1, 6 – 4 to Agassi and little room is left for doubts. Agassi’s vast experience counts with every shot he plays and for younger players such as Kafelnikov, such experiences can be valuable lessons. After all, sport is all about competing and doing one’s best… "I am sure it was not my best today. I did my best but Andre was very solid and his service was very good” (Kafelnikov, after the match) “I am familiar enough with his game” (Agassi) Also in this group, the Brazilian Gustavo “Guga” Kuerten beat Norman 7-5, 6-3. This leaves the Green group as follows: Agassi played 2, won 2 Kafelnikov played 2 won 1 lost 1 Kuerten played 2 won 1 lost 1 Norman played 2 lost 2 Games to play : Kuerten against Kafelnikov ; Norman against Agassi Basically, Kafelnikov has to play at his best to go through to the semi-finals.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey Pravda.Ru Lisbon