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Kuznetsova faces Sharapova

Former US Open champion Kuznetsova routed Mauresmo 6-1, 6-4 to reach NASDAQ-100 Open final.

india Updated: Mar 31, 2006 10:58 IST

Former US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova routed the top-seeded Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo 6-1, 6-4 to reach the final of the WTA and ATP NASDAQ-100 Open on Thursday.

Mauresmo had won their first four encounters before Kuznetsova posted a 7-6 (13-11), 6-4 win in the Dubai quarter-finals earlier this year.

The 2004 US Open champion, Kuznetsova will meet fourth-seeded countrywoman Maria Sharapova, who was awarded a 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 4-3 triumph after Tatiana Golovin retired with a left ankle injury.

Golovin, who was born in Moscow but is a French citizen, jumped to a 2-1 lead in the third set.

But she rolled her ankle while attempting to track down a shot and, after having it taped, determined she could not continue.

Sharapova has won her two prior meetings with Kuznetsova, both on grass.

In the first of two men's quarter-finals at the 6.9 million dollar hardcourt event, 11th-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer edged fourth-seeded American Andy Roddick 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

Roddick broke Ferrer in the eighth game to draw even in the final set, but Ferrer immediately broke back and held in the 10th game to keep Roddick without a tournament win on the year.

In their only previous meeting, Roddick saved two match points in a third-set tiebreaker at the Masters Series indoor event in Paris last year.

Ferrer has the dubious task of facing top seed Roger Federer, w recorded a 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 victory over American James Blake.

On March 19, Federer bested Blake 7-5, 6-3, 6-0, in the final of the ATP Masters Series event in Indian Wells, California, to win his seventh consecutive title on American soil.

The world's top-ranked player from Switzerland, Federer improved to 4-0 lifetime against Blake, who moved up to a career-best ninth in the rankings last week and was the ninth seed here.

The 24-year-old Federer, the defending men's champion here, extended his record winning streak in Masters Series events to 22 matches with the triumph over Blake.

Federer, who has won 46 consecutive matches in the United States, is 26-1 this year and is one victory away from reaching his 11th consecutive tournament final.

Blake, 26, had improved to 22-5 this year with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 triumph over Juan Ignacio Chela on Tuesday.

Earlier that day, Blake was named to the US Davis Cup team for its quarter-final tie against Chile next month.

First Published: Mar 31, 2006 10:58 IST