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S. Williams in German Tennis Semis

February 18, 2000

HANNOVER, Germany (AP) _ Top-seeded Serena Williams had 11 aces and surged into the semifinals of the Faber Grand Prix with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Patty Schnyder today.

In the semifinals of the $535,000 indoor event, Williams will play third-seeded Amelie Mauresmo of France, who beat Anna Smashnova of Israel 6-2, 6-1.

Williams raced through the first set in 21 minutes, blasting winners from all over.

``I was serving very well in the first set but my serve went down a bit in the second,″ said Williams, the U.S. Open champion who is ranked No. 4.

She showed no trace of the knee injury that left her hobbling through a loss against Nathalie Tauziat in the title match at Paris Sunday.

Schnyder, who also lost to Williams at the Paris tournament, won this event in 1998.

The Swiss player stayed far behind the baseline and had no answer for Williams’ powerful ground strokes. Schnyder’s double fault gave Williams a 5-1 lead and Williams quickly served out the set.

Up a break in the second set, Williams was called for a foot fault. Upset over the call, Williams dropped her serve and Schnyder tied it 3-3.

``Maybe it was a foot fault, but she (the lineswoman) didn’t even look at it,″ Williams said. ``I almost never do it.″

With the chance to turn the match, Schynder failed to gain a point on her serve and again fell behind a break. Williams seized control and won in 63 minutes, sending a service winner down the middle on her first match point.

``I lost focus a little in the second set,″ Williams said. ``It’s tough to stay focused after winning 6-1.″

Mauresmo also used her powerful ground strokes to overwhelm Smashnova on the fast indoor surface.

With the score 2-2, Mauresmo reeled off nine games in a row before Smashnova halted the run. Mauresmo wasted two match points but then hit a backhand winner down the line to close it out.

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