PARIS (AP) -- The men's and women's top-seeded players, Gustavo Kuerten and Martina Hingis, advanced to the semifinals of the French Open Tuesday.
Kuerten, the defending champion, proved again why he is favored to retain the title by defeating No. 7 Yevgeny Kafelnikov 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4.
The Brazilian, who narrowly escaped defeat in the fourth round, was back in top form against the 1996 champion, repeatedly hitting searing backhand winners.
"Two days ago I was almost out," said Kuerten, who saved a match point against American qualifier Michael Russell on Sunday. "Again in the semifinals, it's a great feeling."
Hingis moved a step closer to taking the one Grand Slam title that has eluded her by defeating Italy's Francesca Schiavone 6-1, 6-4.
The win sent her into the semifinals, where she will meet either No. 4 Jennifer Capriati or No. 6 Serena Williams.
The Swiss star has won every other Grand Slam title at least once. She was twice a runner-up at Roland Garros, most recently in 1999, when she was three points away from beating Steffi Graf for the championship.
Hingis last won a Grand Slam title at the 1999 Australian Open.
Schiavone is ranked 51st in the world and played in her first Grand Slam quarterfinal.
Kuerten sped through his first set in 20 minutes, then came unglued against Kafelnikov's powerful forehand and volleying tactics.
At 4-4 in the third set, Kuerten saved five break points to hold serve. He closed out the tiebreaker when Kafelnikov sent a backhand into the net.
Kuerten took a 3-0 lead in the final set, twice breaking serve when his opponent double faulted.
Kafelnikov broke back once but failed to tie the set and Kuerten served for the match at 5-4, clinching victory when the Russian hit a backhand return into the net.
Kuerten won the French in 1997 and again last year. He beat Kafelnikov in the quarterfinals both times.
Meanwhile, Belgian teen-ager Justine Henin, seeded 14th, advanced to her first Grand Slam semifinal by beating unseeded Russian Lina Krasnoroutskaya 6-1, 6-2 in only 50 minutes.
Henin was close to shutting out Krasnoroutskaya in the second set, but at 5-0, she lost the next two games.
All of her matches so far have been against unseeded players. She likely will face her first big test in the semis, against compatriot Kim Clijsters.
Clijsters, seeded 12th, was to play Hungarian qualifier Petra Mandula Tuesday.
Andre Agassi's fascination with the French public faces a tough test Wednesday, when he plays local favorite Sebastien Grosjean, the only Frenchman in the quarterfinals.
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