Pierce on a winning streak

Mary Pierce defeated Amelie Mauresmo 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 in an all-French match at the WTA Championships on Friday to complete round-robin play with a 3-0 record.

By winning, Pierce finished first in the Black group and will play top-ranked Lindsay Davenport in Saturday’s semifinals.

Davenport won the Green group with a 2-1 record.

Maria Sharapova played Nadia Petrova in an all-Russian match and Kim Clijsters faced Elena Dementieva later at Staples Centre.

Mauresmo also advanced by finishing second in the Black group with a 2-1 mark. She will play Sharapova in the semifinals.

Pierce beat Mauresmo in straight sets in the United States Open quarterfinals, her first win over her countrywoman in nearly six years.

This time, Mauresmo dominated the first set. She broke Pierce to go up 2-1 in the second, and they stayed on serve until Pierce broke back on Mauresmo’s forehand error to wrap up the set, 6-4.

Mauresmo netted a backhand volley to get broken at 3-1 in the third, and then Pierce won on her third match point with Mauresmo’s forehand error.

Mauresmo also reached the semifinals of the season-ending tournament last year, losing to runner-up Serena Williams.
No Frenchwoman has ever won the championships, although Mauresmo finished second to Clijsters in 2003.

Making her first appearance since 1999, Pierce scored victories over Clijsters, Dementieva and Mauresmo this week. She surged to number five in the world—her best ranking in nearly five years—on the strength of runner-up finishes at the French and US opens and two tournament titles.—Sapa-AP

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