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Johansson Reaches Sweden Semis

November 24, 2000

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ Top-seeded Magnus Norman overcame cramps late in the match and survived a strong challenge from Sjeng Schalken to reach the semifinals of the Stockholm Open Friday.

The Swede won 6-7 (2), 7-5, 7-6 (4), ending the match with an ace before a boisterous sellout crowd at Royal Tennis Hall.

Norman cramped up after hitting an ace in the 12th game of the final set, forcing the tiebreak at 6-6. After a three-minute visit with a trainer, Norman came back and won the tiebreaker.

Norman, who overcame flu early in the week, will play Thomas Johansson in an all-Swedish match Saturday.

Johansson made a great comeback in the quarterfinals, saving five match points before beating compatriot Jonas Bjorkman 6-7 (6), 7-6 (7), 7-5.

Twice, Johansson battled back from seemingly hopeless deficits.

Down by one set and behind 6-1 in the second-set tiebreak, Johansson saved five match points and came back to win 9-7 to even the match at one set apiece.

Johansson raised his game again in the decisive set, battling back from 1-4 and 15-40 with serve.

``It was unbelievable,″ Johansson said. ``It was a match that I shouldn’t have won. I was extremley tired at the end.″

Johansson’s main weapon was his big serve and he managed to stay on top until the end, firing an ace past Bjorkman for his second match point at 6-5. Another strong first serve forced Bjorkman, who has one of the best returns in the game, to hit out long.

The match lasted 2 hours, 52 minutes.

Second-seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov faced Sweden’s Andreas Vinciguerra in the last quarterfinal.

In the first quarterfinal, No. 6 Sebastien Grosjean defeated Rainer Schuettler 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (5).

Grosjean withdrew from the semifinals a few hours later because of the death of his grandmother. The funeral is Saturday.

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