LEIPZIG, Germany (AP) _ Second-seeded Nathalie Tauziat of France earned a return trip to the final of Sparkassen Cup on Saturday by outlasting Anke Huber over three sets.

Tauziat, the world's ninth-ranked player, blasted her 11th ace to close out the match against the German, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 at the $530,000 event.

``It was a very, very tough match,'' Tauziat said. ``The public was behind her _ I had to play my best to win.''

Tauziat, who won in Moscow two weeks ago, lost the title last year to Steffi Graf, a five-time winner of the event before retiring this year.

In the other semifinal, top-seeded Mary Pierce faces Czech qualifier Kveta Hrdlickova.

Huber, ranked No. 19 in the world, started fast. Backed by 5,000 cheering spectators, she took the first set by pinning Tauziat at the baseline with her hard groundstrokes and drop volleys.

But Tauziat, attacking behind her serve and volleys, erased a 3-2 lead by the German to capture the second set. In the third, she gained a decisive break when Huber double-faulted to fall behind 5-3.

Huber will move up to 16th in the ranking, good enough for the final qualifying spot in the Chase Championships that take place in New York Nov. 16-21.

``I'm practically in the field and that makes me very happy,'' said the German. ``This was the best event I've played in a long time.''

Huber, a 1996 Australian Open finalist, hasn't reached another final since the Canadian Open two years ago. It was her second semifinal of the season.