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Lawn Tennis: Chela survives test of nerve to reach quarters; TENNIS: US OPEN.

Juan Ignacio Chela outlasted Stanislas Wawrinka in an erratic match at Flushing Meadows to reach the last eight of the US Open in New York.

The Argentinian 20th seed defeated his Swiss opponent 6-4, 2-6, 6-7 (6-8), 6-1, 6-4 in three hours 41 minutes at Louis Armstrong Stadium and now awaits the winner of the all-Spanish fourth round meeting between second seed Rafael Nadal and No 15 David Ferrer.

Both Chela and Wawrinka had reached the last 16 courtesy of five-set victories and the fatigue from those encounters quickly told both committed a string of unforced errors and made a number of poor decisions.

Wawrinka, who had previously beaten Chela twice - including in the first round at last year's US Open - had been in a commanding position to advance at 2-0 up in the fifth.

Yet it was Chela, 29, who prevailed; his greater experience and determination seeing him through this grueling match.

"I didn't think too much (when I was) 2-0 down," said the 20th seeded Chela.

"I just played point by point. I started to play better and I came back. Then I broke his serve in the seventh game, I think. It was very tough after that."

Wawrinka, who beat former champion Marat Safin in the second round, began well but Chela hit back and then moved ahead after snatching the third-set tiebreak 8-6.

The Swiss romped through the fourth set and took a 2-0 lead in the fifth but as tiredness set in Chela sensed his chance and won five of the next seven games to clinch victory.

Carlos Moya used all his experience to stop the charge of teenager Ernests Gulis.

In a match between the oldest and youngest men left in the singles draw 31-year-old Spaniard Moya needed four sets to oust the 19-year-old Latvian and deny the youngster his bid to reach last eight on his championship debut.

Moya, seeded 14th, won 7-5, 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4 in two hours 25 minutes at the Arthur Ashe Stadium to set up a potential meeting with number three Novak Djokovic, who was due to play Juan Monaco.

"I feel like a 20-year-old and the way I am playing, it's great," Moya said.

The 31-year-old Moya was in charge early on but world number 88 Gulbis, in his first U.S. Open, hit back superbly to snatch the third-set on the tiebreak.

But Moya broke in the 10th game of the fourth set to clinch victory and reach his second U.S. Open quarter-final, having previously made the last eight in 1998.

Meanwhile, Britain's Jamie Murray admitted his passage into the semi-finals of the mixed doubles could not have been smoother after cruising into the last four with American partner Liezel Huber.

The Scot, who won the mixed doubles at Wimbledon with Jelena Jankovic, and world doubles No 1 Huber were far too strong for Poland's Agnieska Radwanska and Mariusz Fyrstenberg.

The pair claimed a 6-1, 6-2 victory and will now face American Meghann Shaughnessy and Leander Paes of India in the last four.


IMAGES Spain's Carlos Moya hits a return in his victory over Ernests Gulbis yesterday Picture, CLIVE BRUNSKILL/GETTY
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 5, 2007
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