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Mauresmo Beats Hingis, Advances to Final

March 3, 2006

DOHA, Qatar (AP) _ Top-seeded Amelie Mauresmo of France defeated Martina Hingis 6-2, 6-2 Friday and will play second-seeded Nadia Petrova of Russia in the final of the Qatar Open.

Petrova topped Ai Sugiyama of Japan 6-1, 7-6 (2) in the earlier semifinal.

``In the final tomorrow, my serve is likely to play a big role,″ Mauresmo said. ``It will be a tough match.″

Mauresmo, who has won three titles this season, beat the Swiss former No. 1 and 2001 inaugural Qatar champion for the fifth time in six meetings.

The Australian Open champion broke Hingis twice in the first set and four times in the second.

``She is a solid player, the one to beat in tomorrow’s final,″ Hingis said. ``I lost to a great player today. She is playing her best tennis. However, I wouldn’t say that I am playing bad tennis. I am improving with every outing. I know there are certain areas in which I can improve.″

Mauresmo is pleased with her consistency on the court.

``I think all aspects of my game are OK at the moment,″ Mauresmo said. ``I am being consistent with my play. Being consistent is a very important part of my game.″

Petrova, a quarterfinalist at the Australian Open, broke Sugiyama’s serve in the second and fourth games of the first set. In the second, Sugiyama fought back from 4-0 down and won five consecutive games to force a tiebreaker.

Petrova then played a baseline game with deep forehands and crosscourt shots to win the match.

``I was in no doubt about the result, I gave everything I had,″ Petrova said. ``I stuttered a little in the second set, when Sugiyama won a few games, but I played my natural game in the tiebreaker.″

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