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30 Jun 2004 00:00
French fourth seed Amelie Mauresmo blew hot and cold as she disposed of Argentina’s Paolo Suarez 6-0, 5-7, 6-1 in the Wimbledon quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Mauresmo will play top seed and defending champion Serena Williams for a place in the final, a repeat of their last-four meeting in 2002, won easily by the American.
There was rarely a hint of an upset in the first set as Mauresmo, seen as the main threat to the Williams crown, totally dominated against the little South American clay-courter who had made the last eight for the first time in 10 appearances.
Behind her powerful serve and heavy groundstrokes, Mauresmo belied her slow-starter reputation by imposing her game on her much smaller opponent.
She rattled off the first six games in a row to win the first set to love.
Suarez, the number-one-ranking doubles player in the world, got some sympathetic applause from a sparse number-one-court crowd by winning her first game on serve in the second game of the second set.
That appeared to settle down Suarez and after a sequence of service-dominated games, she stunned Mauresmo by breaking her serve to lead 4-3.
She failed to confirm the break in her following serve but with Mauresmo reluctant to take the initiative by leaving her baseline, Suarez started to dictate the pace of the game.
Suarez broke the Mauresmo serve again to lead 6-5 and she then levelled the tie at one set all on her second set point.
Three service breaks in a row at the start of the decider left Mauresmo 3-1 ahead and firmly back in control as she finally decided to attack the net more regularly.
The Frenchwoman rattled off the next three games to set up another crack at Williams who has dominated her to date in the Grand Slam events.—Sapa-AFP
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