Rested Reneberg eyes semi spot

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 October, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 October, 1996, 12:00am

A well-rested Richey Reneberg stood on the brink of a semi-final place at the $5.65 million Marlboro Championships after a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Denmark's Kenneth Carlsen yesterday at Victoria Park.

The 31-year-old American, seeded fourth in the tournament, takes on compatriot Vincent Spadea today in his final Blue Group match, postponed from Tuesday because of rain. The postponement meant world number 27 Reneberg had two more days to acclimatise to the Hong Kong conditions, a situation he said worked to his advantage.

'I arrived from the US on Saturday so I had another two days to prepare and I think it helped me,' said Reneberg, who needs only one set against Spadea to clinch a place in the last four. Spadea, beaten in three sets by Carlsen on Wednesday, must defeat Reneberg in straight sets if he hopes to advance from the group.

Reneberg said: 'Out of all the young Americans on the tour, I think Vince has the best chance of doing well. He is a tough player and has as much chance of beating me in the same way I beat Carlsen.' It will be the first meeting between the two players. Already through to the semi-finals is Australian Patrick Rafter, who won both his matches in the Silver Group.

His march to the last four came at the expense of Russia's French Open champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov, the world number four and third seed, who lost to Rafter on Tuesday, and again to American Michael Joyce 7-5, 6-3 in his last group match.

The tournament's top seed and world number one, Pete Sampras, takes on Zimbabwe's Byron Black tonight to determine the Silver Group winner, while second seed Austrian Thomas Muster, playing Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman today, is tipped to win the Gold Group.

In doubles, Hong Kong's Des Tyson and Christopher Lai lost 6-1, 6-3 to the experienced pair of Canadian Grant Connell and Black.