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Keifer, Schuttler in Qatar Quarters

January 6, 2000

DOHA, Qatar (AP) _ Defending champion Rainer Schuttler of Germany and top-seed Nicolas Keifer moved into the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open Thursday.

Others who advanced were Sjeng Schalken of the Netherlands, big serving Belarussian Max Mirnyi, Frabrice Santoro of France, George Bastl of Switzerland, Mikael Tillstrom of Sweden and Younes el-Aynaoui of Morocco.

Schuttler extended his Doha record to 8-0, beating Daniel Vacek 6-3, 6-2. This is the second time the 28-year-old from the Czech Republic was knocked out in the second round stage by Schuttler.

Last year, the 23-year-old German defeated Vacek 7-6, 6-3 on the road to the final. Schuttler now faces Mirnyi in the quarterfinal.

Keifer had little trouble against Italian qualifier Cristiano Caratti. The German, No. 6 in the world, sailed through in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1.

Keifer now meets Schalken, who rallied from a set down to defeat Franco Squallari of Argentina. After taking the first set 6-4, Squallari looked like he might repeat the success of their last meeting when he had defeated Schalken 6-3, 7-6 on the clay in Kitzbuhel last July. But Schalken recovered and took the next two sets 6-1, 6-1.

Mirnyi of Belarussia defeated Costa Rican Juan Antonio Marin in a one-sided second round clash, needing just 40 minutes to ease into the quarterfinals with a 6-0, 6-1 victory.

In Friday’s other quarterfinal matches, Santoro of France will meet Bastl of Switzerland, while el-Aynaoui of Morocco takes on Tillstrom.

In the doubles, top seeds and defending champions Alex O’Brien and Jared Palmer of the United State reached the semifinals with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Tillstrom and Yugoslav Nenand Zimonjic.

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