Unseeded Emilio Sanchez of Spain eliminated Boris Becker of West Germany, 6-3, 6-4, Friday in the quarterfinals of the $435,000 Italian Open tennis championships, and Ivan Lendl and Yannick Noah advanced to a semifinal showdown.
Sanchez, ranked 34th in the world, will face Mats Wilander of Sweden, who defeated Libor Pimek of Czechoslovakia, 6-1, 6-2, on the clay court at Rome's Foro Italico. Wilander, seeded No. 2, had little difficulty in dismissing the unseeded Pimek, who is ranked 52nd in the world.
Defending champion Noah, of France, overcame a stiff challenge by Diego Perez of Uruguay before winning, 7-6, 6-4.
Earlier, the top-seeded Lendl, of Czechoslovakia, knocked out Henri Leconte of France, 6-4, 6-2, to set up today's match with Noah, who beat him in two sets last Saturday at the Tournament of Champions in New York.
Noah won the first-set tiebreaker, 7-5. In the second set, he seemed to have the match won when, at 5-4 and 40-15, he served an apparent ace. The umpire started to declare him the winner, but Perez insisted the ball was out, and Noah agreed to replay the point.
Then Noah squandered three match points before Perez hit the fourth ball into the net.
Top-seeded Martina Navratilova had to battle hard to overcome Catherine Tanvier of France, 6-3, 7-6, and reach the quarterfinals of the $150,000 West German Open women's tournament.
Navratilova needed 1 hour 47 minutes to subdue Tanvier's spirited challenge on the clay court at West Berlin's Rot-Weiss club.
Navratilova will face Jo Durie of Britain today. Durie, coming back from a two-month layoff, rallied from one set down to outlast Catharina Lindqvist of Sweden, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
In other matches, Petra Huber of Austria upset Terry Phelps, 6-4, 6-4, and Claudia Kohde-Kilsch of West Germany struggled to a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Laura Garrone of Italy.