Schuettler, Kuerten to meet in Brasil Open semis

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Costa do Sauipe, Brazil (Sports Network) - Top-seeded German continued his fine 2003 campaign on Friday by reaching the semifinals at the $380,000 Brasil Open. Schuettler will meet defending champion on Saturday. The world No. 8 Schuettler blew past Paraguay's 6-1, 6-3 and will next battle the Brazilian crowd favorite Kuerten in the round of four. The 27-year-old Schuettler, a semifinalist for a sixth time this season, has only lost seven games in three matches this week.

Schuettler, currently sixth in the ATP Champions Race, has won 52 matches this year (52-23), including a 14-4 record at the Grand Slam events.

The third-seeded Kuerten blitzed fellow Brazilian Ricardo Mello 6-2, 6-2 to set-up the showdown with the German Schuettler. "Guga" is a perfect 3-0 lifetime against Schuettler, including a semifinal victory on the hardcourts at Indian Wells earlier this season.

The three-time French Open titlist and former world No. 1 Guga bested Argentine in last year's Brasil Open final.

Friday's other quarterfinal action saw second-seeded Dutchman defeat fifth-seeded American 7-6 (7-0), 6-2 and Argentine Gaston Etlis upend eighth-seeded Dane 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3.

Schalken will meet Etlis in Saturday's other semi, with the Dutchman holding a 1-0 all-time series edge. The two haven't met since Schalken posted a victory in Bogota, Colombia in 1996.

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