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Pierce beats Mauresmo to enter semis

Pierce reached the semi-finals of the US Open for the first time, where she'll face Russian Elena Dementieva.

india Updated: Sep 08, 2005 15:03 IST

A supremely confident Mary Pierce, the 12th-seed from France, rolled past third-seeded compatriot Amelie Mauresmo 6-4, 6-1and into the semi-finals of the US Open tennis championships.

Pierce, 30, was firing on all cylinders, solidly holding her serve and using her powerful groundstrokes to punish Mauresmo's lack of aggression.

Mauresmo, who had beaten Pierce twice in indoor tournaments early in 2005, said after the matchon Wednesdaythat Pierce was playing at a different level now.

Pierce, who hasn't dropped a set en route to the semi-finals, said it was natural that the confidence came with success.

Mauresmo, her back against the wall at 5-2 in the first, ratcheted her game up a notch, serving two aces then beating Pierce with a backhand volley before holding with a service winner.

Moving fluidly around the court, Mauresmo gave herself a triple break point in the next with three crisp winners, and although Pierce saved all three Mauresmo passed her again with a cross-court backhand, then followed up with a forehand winner to narrow the gap to 4-5.

But Mauresmo failed to press her case. She gave Pierce two set points in the next game with her first two double faults of the match, Pierce seizing the second one.

She said Pierce's pressure contributed to her mistakes.

Pierce reached the semi-finals of the US Open for the first time, where she'll face either world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport or Russian Elena Dementieva.

Her run to the final four continues a resurgent season that saw her reach the final at Roland Garros and win the Tier One title at San Diego on August 7.

"It's amazing," Pierce said. "What can I say? I'm 30. This is my 17th year on the tour, and there's still firsts for me. That's pretty exciting."

First Published: Sep 08, 2005 15:03 IST