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Notes from the Chase Championships

November 22, 1997

NEW YORK (AP) _ Beware of Nathalie Tauziat.

The French Fed Cup star was the 14th-seeded entry into this week’s 16-player Chase Championships, yet is in the semifinals of the season-ending tournament.

Playing the Championships for the first time since 1993, Tauziat so far has knocked off fourth-seeded Amanda Coetzer of South Africa and No. 6 Iva Majoli of Croatia. She also has reached the final in two of the last three tournaments she played before the Chase Championships, in Zurich, Switzerland, and Chicago.

``I have been playing really well for the past month and knew that if I played real well I could beat anybody,″ Tauziat said. ``I have improved my game and got a lot of confidence.″

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TWISTED ANKLE: French Fed Cup stars Alexandra Fusai and Nathalie Tauziat advanced to the doubles final at the Chase Championships when Manon Bollegraf of the Netherlands suffered a pulled calf muscle in her left leg Friday night and was unable to continue.

Fusai and Tauziat defeated Bollegraf and Nicole Arendt of Princeton, N.J. and will take on the third-seeded team of Lindsay Davenport and Jana Novotna for the title.

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GO FIGURE: Mary Pierce served three aces in Thursday’s quarterfinal match, one less than her opponent, top-seeded Martina Hingis. Pierce served six double-faults, while Hingis had only one.

Pierce won 94 total points in the two-hour, six-minute match, two less points than Hingis won.

Pierce, however, won the match, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.

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TENNIS FOREVER: The United States Tennis Association’s Play Tennis America program has proven highly successful not only in introducing people to the game but creating tennis players, according to a survey conducted by Sports Research Inc. of Hopewell, N.J.

In a recent survey of people who participating in Play Tennis America in 1995, Sports Research Inc. found that 80 percent are still playing today.

The two most common reasons cited for continued play were fun (48 percent) and fitness (41 percent).

Since 1995, more than 150,000 people have started playing tennis through a national free less program, with more than 40 percent continuing to play regularly in Play Tennis America.

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LEADING THE CHEERS: Baltimore Orioles second baseman Roberto Alomar Jr. was cheering on Mary Pierce as she upset top-seeded Martina Hingis at the Chase Championships.

Sitting with Pierce’s coach, Craig Kardon, Alomar had his left arm in a sling.

Pierce wore a necklace with Alomar’s No. 12 on a gold chain around her neck.

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GOODBYE GIGI: Doubles specialist Gigi Fernandez was honored with a farewell ceremony at Madison Square Garden Friday night.

Among her gifts was a set of golf clubs from the famed New York arena. She used a wedge to hit four autographed tennis balls into the audience.

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