Two critical double-faults by France's Henri Leconte opened the door just wide enough Friday to allow John McEnroe to squeeze into the semifinals of the $380,000 Fila Trophy indoor tennis tournament.
The top-seeded New Yorker advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 victory at Milan's Lido Sports Palace to become the only American left in the tournament.
In other matches, Vitas Gerulaitis was beaten by Tomas Smid of Czechoslovakia, 6-3, 7-6; John Sadri lost to Anders Jarryd of Sweden, 6-2, 6-3, and Tim Wilkison was upset by Jakob Hlasek of Switzerland, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4.
In today's semifinals, McEnroe will play the 19-year-old Hlasek for the first time, and Jarryd will face Smid, whom he has met six times. The two are tied at 3-3.
Leconte caused McEnroe a few problems but lacked determination on the decisive points. He double-faulted away the eighth game of the first set and the seventh of the second, giving the world's No. 1 player the breaks he needed for the victory.
Top-seeded Jimmy Connors breezed past Johan Kriek, 6-3, 6-2, and second-seeded Ivan Lendl of Czechoslovakia defeated Brad Gilbert, 6-4, 6-2, at Fort Myers, Fla., to advance to the semifinals of the $325,000 Paine Webber tournament.