A dreamlike week for “the Beast” – the 24-year-old Mirnyi  had saved a match point in his first qualifying round, won another two matches easier, and when the anticipated minimum was achieved, from the second round onwards, he went though four consecutive matches against the Grand Slam champions (Kuerten, Ivanisevic, Sampras & Kafelnikov)! # Against Kuerten & Ivanisevic (both major champions of ’01), Mirnyi saved match points too, which meant just the second case in the Open Era (but the first one including qualies) that a player survived within a week three matches being one point from elimination. In the semifinal, Kafelnikov  came back from break down in both sets, but the end of each set belonged to the Belarusian. Interesting H2H between these two players born in the Soviet Union, Kafelnikov edged just 4-3 (2:2 after Stuttgart).
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