Mauresmo powers past Pierce in Paris Indoor Open

11th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 10 (AFP) - Former champion Amelie Mauresmo, the second seed, ousted fellow Frenchwoman Mary Pierce to advance to the quarter-finals of the USD 585,000 (EUR 456,500) Paris Indoor Open here on Thursday.

PARIS, Feb 10 (AFP) - Former champion Amelie Mauresmo, the second seed, ousted fellow Frenchwoman Mary Pierce to advance to the quarter-finals of the USD 585,000 (EUR 456,500) Paris Indoor Open here on Thursday.

Mauresmo, the 2001 champion, won 6-4, 6-3 in a tight second round match against the unseeded Pierce, the 1998 winner, after 1hr 24min on court in the Pierre de Coubertin stadium.

Mauresmo, who missed last year's event through injury and received a first round bye, advances to meet Bulgarian eighth seed Magdalena Maleeva, 29, who was earlier 6-4, 6-0 winner over Serbian Jelena Jankovic.

"I really missed not playing last year and want to make the most of this time," said Mauresmo, who is competing in the event for the ninth time, and was twice runner-up to American Serena Williams, the top seed here this year.

In a tough first set the French number one made the crucial break in the tenth game when Pierce's previously impressive form seemed to drop a level.

Taking advantage Mauresmo wrapped up the first set in 40 minutes, and was leading 3-1 in the second before 30-year-old Pierce looked set to rally when she broke 3-2 and held serve to level 3-3.

But Mauresmo dug deep, serving to love, and despite two-time Grand Slam winner Pierce staving off two break points a double fault on a third handed Mauresmo a 5-3 advantage, and she served out for the match and her third win in five meetings with her countrywoman.

"It's always difficult to play another French player because we spend so much time together on the circuit. But even if it was a bit up and down my level improved," said 25-year-old Mauresmo who hit five aces.

Earlier Maleeva, 29, sealed her win on her third match point after 65 minutes on court as 17-year-old French teenager Tatiana Golovin defeated Croatian lucky loser Sanda Mamic 6-3, 6-4 in their second round tie.

Maleeva and Jankovic held serve until the ninth game when the Bulgarian player broke to wrap up the first set 6-4 after 33 minutes.

Jankovic, who struggled with her service hitting five double faults, did not have a look in thereafter suffering a whitewash in the second set.

Mamic, 19, received a late call into the tournament after Maria Sharapova, the third seed from Russia, withdrew through illness, but despite putting up a fight the 106th-ranked fell to the 23rd-ranked Golovin after 1hr 21min.

Golovin next meets Italy's Silvia Farina Elia for a semi-final berth.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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