Switzerland’s Jakob Hlasek moved from the brink of defeat to a stunning victory over John McEnroe Friday to reach the semifinals of the $1.1-million Paris Open.
Hlasek will be joined in the semifinals by Tim Mayotte, Brad Gilbert and Israel’s Amos Mansdorf.
McEnroe seemed poised to end the match when he served at 5-4 in the third set. The 28-year-old New Yorker had not lost his serve since the first round of the tournament and had boomed 11 aces until that point.
But Hlasek, 23, who has risen to No. 25 worldwide after a series of strong showings this year, broke McEnroe’s serve and went on to win the match in a tiebreaker. McEnroe saved three match points to force the tiebreaker but then fell apart as Hlasek completed a 7-6, 2-6, 7-6 victory.
Mayotte rolled to a 6-3, 6-0 victory over eighth-seeded Andrei Chesnokov of the Soviet Union. Chesnokov managed just one point in the final seven games.
Gilbert defeated France’s Guy Forget, 7-6, 6-2, and Mansdorf topped Aaron Krickstein, 6-3, 7-6.
Mayotte, seeded second, faces Gilbert today, and Hlasek meets Mansdorf.
Gilbert has not beaten Mayotte in six career meetings. Mayotte defeated Gilbert for the indoor title in Paris last year and recently beat him in the medal round of the Summer Olympics.
Grand Slam winner Steffi Graf of West Germany extended her winning streak to 42 matches as she swept into the semifinals of a $250,000 tournament at Brighton, England, with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Natalie Tauziat of France.
Graf will face Lori McNeil today. McNeil defeated Claudia Kohde-Kilch of West Germany, 6-2, 6-3.
Pam Shriver, seeded No. 2 behind Graf, also reached the semifinals with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over 1984 titlist Sylvia Hanika of West Germany.
Shriver will meet Manuela Maleeva of Bulgaria today. Maleeva beat Sandra Cecchini of Italy, 6-3, 6-2.
Although the 19-year-old Graf won in 59 minutes, she had to survive some anxious first-set moments against Tauziat.
Tauziat broke Graf to lead, 2-1, and held a 3-2 edge before the world’s No. 1 player rallied and gave up only four points in the last four games of the set.
Graf broke to lead 1-0 in the second set, but the first 4 games went to deuce before she managed to break through for a 4-1 lead.