Only one place in the ATP ranking separated Bjorkman  from being a seeded player and such a match couldn’t have occurred in the first week of the event. Kuerten  was a running French Open champion and the beneficial draw (he had played one match vs Bjorkman and won it; Draper was awaiting in 4R) put him in the mix of the event favorites, but the 25-year-old Swede was playing tennis of his life in 1997, especially his returns were amazing at the time, and just like three years before, he destroyed his higher ranked opponent (Edberg 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 in 1994) in the third round US Open night session match on the main arena. Bjorkman’s advantage was overwhelming in the first hour, then Kuerten tighten up, yet the Swede won the 3rd set easily as far as a ‘7-5’ set is concerned. Both players appeared in national, blue-yellow outfits.
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