PARIS -- Unseeded Franco Squillari became the first Argentine since 1982 to reach a Grand Slam men's semifinal when he beat Albert Costa 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 today at the French Open.
Squillari will next play the winner of today's quarterfinal between third-seeded Magnus Norman and No. 12 Marat Safin.
''I think it's wide open,'' Squillari said. ''Although I was tired, I think I played great tennis today.''
Martina Navratilova, playing in a Grand Slam for the first time since 1996, lost in the third round of doubles. She and Mariaan de Swardt were eliminated by Alexandra Fusai and Nathalie Tauziat 2-6, 6-2, 7-5.
Top-seeded Martina Hingis will play her doubles partner, sixth-seeded Frenchwoman Mary Pierce, in the women's semifinals Thursday. The other matchup will be between two Spaniards, No. 5 Conchita Martinez and No. 8 Arantxa Sachez-Vicario, a three-time champion.
The last Argentine to play in the men's semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament was Guillermo Vilas at the U.S. Open 18 years ago. Vilas and countryman Jose-Luis Clerc also reached the semifinals at the French Open that year.
''They were the inspiration for a whole generation of tennis players,'' Squillari said.
Squillari, 23, has never previously advanced beyond the second round at a major tournament. He is ranked 45th and came to Roland Garros with a record of just 15-13 this year. He has won the Munich tournament the past two years for the only titles of his career.
But against Costa, Squillari played a masterful clay-court match, combining patience with the foot speed needed to endure long rallies. Hardly overpowering, the left-hander used his serve merely to start the point and played several steps behind the baseline, waiting for short balls he could attack to win points.
The approach worked, and Squillari beat the unseeded Costa for the first time in their four meetings.
Squillari broke serve twice in the first set, and on set point hit a forehand that smacked the net cord and landed softly on Costa's side.
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