Stefan Edberg was so fortunate to win, he almost felt guilty about it.
Edberg overcame two match points, getting a controversial call to stay alive on one of them, and outlasted Jakob Hlasek of Switzerland, 6-7 (9-7), 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (8-6), Thursday in the quarterfinals at the International Players Championships.
"I sort of feel sad for him," Edberg said. "We both played some really good tennis in the last set. What happened on the match point . . . sort of took the edge out of the match.
"When you hit so close to the line like both of us were doing, there are going to be a few bad calls."
The Swede trailed, 6-5, in the third-set tiebreaker when Hlasek punched a forehand volley down the line and out of Edberg's reach. The unseeded Hlasek, thinking his shot was good, threw his hands up in glee, thinking he had won, when linesman Pete Conklin called the ball out.
After arguing briefly with chair umpire Gerry Armstrong, Hlasek double-faulted, then hit a backhand wide and the match was over.
Hlasek walked over to Conklin and shook his hand, and the crowd booed the linesman.
"I shouldn't have done that," Hlasek said later, his anger subsided. "I was just frustrated."
Hlasek said he thought the disputed call was wrong, but attributed his loss to "bad luck." Edberg said the ruling easily could have gone Hlasek's way.
Edberg, at No. 3 the highest-seeded player remaining in the men's draw, advanced to a semifinal match today against No. 15 Emilio Sanchez. The Spaniard, who upset top-ranked Ivan Lendl on Wednesday, swept past No. 10 Martin Jaite of Argentina, 6-3, 6-3.
In other men's quarterfinals, fifth-seeded Andre Agassi got past No. 14 Jim Courier, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, and seventh-seeded Jay Berger won by default over No. 16 Pete Sampras.
In the women's semifinals, third-seeded Monica Seles of Yugoslavia defeated No. 9 Nathalie Tauziat of France, 6-3, 6-1, and No. 15 Judith Wiesner of Austria upset fifth-seeded Conchita Martinez of Spain, 6-2, 6-1. Seles and Wiesner will play for the championship Saturday.