Jarkko Nieminen became the first player from Finland to reach the singles quarter-finals of a Grand Slam event on Tuesday.
updated: February 25, 2007 10:48 IST
New York:Jarkko Nieminen became the first player from Finland to reach the singles quarter-finals of a Grand Slam event on Tuesday. This follows Nieminen's 6-2, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 victory over Fernando Verdasco of Spain in the fourth round of the US Open at Flushing Meadows. He will next meet Australia's Lleyton Hewitt after the third-seeded Australian saw off Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia in straight sets. Nieminen had the chance to make history on Tuesday as he took on Fernando Verdasco. He claimed the first set by six games to two in 26 minutes. The second went to a tie-break, Nieminen having earlier staved off a set point against his fellow left-hander, before edging it to take a two sets to love lead. Erratic play And the Finn eased through the third set, sealing a comfortable victory when Verdasco sent a forehand wide. Nieminen's victory owed much to Verdasco's erratic play - the Spaniard having committed 66 unforced errors to just 14 from the Finn. But it nevertheless took him into the previously uncharted territory of a Grand Slam quarter-final. He reached the round of 16 at the 2003 French Open, and was only the second Finn to get that far in a Grand Slam event following Veli Paloheimo's run at the 1990 Australian Open. (AP)