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Davenport, Williams Wins Semifinals

October 17, 1998

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) _ Defending champion Lindsay Davenport and Venus Williams won semifinal-round matches in the European Championships today to make for an all-American final.

Davenport breezed past Romania’s Irina Spirlea 6-2, 6-3 and Williams spoiled fourth-seeded Nathalie Tauziat’s 31st birthday, beating the French player 6-3, 6-4.

Playing in her first tournament since being elevated to the No. 1 ranking, Davenport is seeking her sixth title of the season.

The 22-year-old American has not lost a set this week.

``I played one of my best matches of the week,″ said Davenport, who on Monday took over as the world’s No.1, bringing to an end Martina Hingis’s 80 week stay atop the rankings. ``It’s been very exciting to be No.1 and it has really pushed me to play well and defend my title.″

Williams advanced to the semis with a victory over Mary Pierce in the quarterfinals.

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