Monday February 20, 2006
CLIJSTERS-AMELIE FINAL: World number one Kim Clijsters will face Amelie Mauresmo in the final of the Diamond Games after a 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 semi-final defeat of fifth seed Elena Dementieva in Antwerp on Saturday.
Defending champion Mauresmo booked her spot with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over fourth seed Nadia Petrova.
The final clash of the US and Australian Open champions will be the first meeting of the two since Clijsters was forced to retire with a foot injury during their Australian Open semi-final last month.
“Kim in the final is of course great for the crowd, but will be extra hard for me,” said Mauresmo. “I am expecting a very tough game. Kim is a very dangerous player.” – Reuters
CLEMENT UPSETS NADAL: Frenchman Arnaud Clement staged a dramatic fightback to shock world number two Rafael Nadal of Spain 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the Marseille Open here on Saturday.
The 28-year-old, ranked 65 in the world, will face sixth seed Mario Ancic of Croatia as the giant big server rubbed out the chance of an all-French final when he beat the eighth seeded Sebastien Grosjean 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in the other semi-final.
“To beat the world number two, and in this way, it’s fantastic,” said Clement. “It’s like a dream. For me, I played the best match of my life, apart from the first set.” – AFP
MIRZA OPENER FOR HINGIS: Martina Hingis will play Indian teenager Sania Mirza in the first round of this week’s Dubai Tennis Championship as she continues her comeback after almost three years away from tennis.
The top four seeded players – Australian Open winner Amelie Mauresmo, defending champion Lindsay Davenport, Maria Sharapova and Justine Henin-Hardenne – all received first-round byes in the 32-player tournament that starts today.
Hingis, who won the inaugural Dubai Tennis Championship title in 2001, returned to tennis in January. – AP
WILLIAMS SISTERS PULL OUT: The slide of the Williams sisters continued on Saturday, with both Venus and Serena pleading injury as they withdrew from this week’s Dubai Tennis Championship.
The pair of former world number one threats whose former dominance has evaporated over the past several slumping seasons have played just four matches between them in 2006, all at the Australian Open.
Tournament officials said Venus withdrew due to a right arm ligament strained during training. Serena claimed ongoing knee pain. – dpa
MOYA DOWNS FERRERO: Twice champion Carlos Moya reached the final of the Copa Telmex in Buenos Aires for the fourth time with a 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory over fellow Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero on Saturday.
Fifth-seeded Moya, who won the tournament in 1995 and 2003 and lost the 2004 final to Guillermo Coria, will meet Italy’s Filippo Volandri, who beat Argentine Agustin Calleri 6-3, 6-4 in the other semi-final. – Reuters