Chakvetadze battles past Mauresmo
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Top seed Anna Chakvetadze of Russia battled past former world number one Amelie Mauresmo in three sets to advance to the semi-finals of the WTA Paris Indoor Open on Friday.
Top seed Anna Chakvetadze of Russia battled past former world number one Amelie Mauresmo in three sets to advance to the semi-finals of the WTA Paris Indoor Open here on Friday.
The 20-year-old clenched her fist in delight after achieving her first victory in four meetings against two-time winner Mauresmo 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
"I've played against her (Mauresmo) a lot so I knew how she was going to play and had my game plan," said Chakvetadze.
She will now meet French number one Marion Bartoli, the third seed, who coasted past countrywoman Virginie Razzano, 6-1, 7-6 (7/3).
Mauresmo, 28 and coming off a disappointing Australian Open where she went out in the third round, had been bidding to claim her third Paris title after 2001 and 2006 and put her poor form since her injury-blighted 2007 behind her.
The 18th-ranked Frenchwoman had looked to be on her way as she went 3-0 after just six minutes, holding her advantage until the seventh game when the Russian broke for 3-4 only to lose the next two games.
Chakvetadze lifted her game in the second set, breaking for 5-3, to level proceedings at one-set all.
But in a third set which saw seven consecutive breaks of serve in as many games, Chakvetadze proved to have the edge, finally holding for 5-3, and wrapping up the tie after 2hr 4min.
"There wasn't much in it," said sixth-seed Mauresmo.
"I was lacking a little bit in all areas. I need to play more matches like that to bridge that tiny margin there is with her physically and mentally."
World number seven Chakvetadze, who won four of her six WTA titles last year, achieves her first semi-final in Paris on her third attempt.
She comes up against Bartoli who beat her in their only previous meeting last year in Luxembourg.
Now carrying home hopes Bartoli, 23, has reached the final four of her home tournament on her fourth attempt.
She proved fresher than Razzano, 24, who was playing her sixth match in seven days after returning from Beijing following last weekend's Fed Cup loss to China.
"Anna is a very good player who is improving fast and has had excellent results last year," said Bartoli.
In Saturday's second semi-final, Russia's Elena Dementieva, the fourth seed, will square up against Hungarian teenager Agnes Szavay, seeded seventh.
Dementieva, 26, ousted Kateryna Bondarenko of the Ukraine 7-5, 6-2, while Szavay shocked second seed Daniela Hantuchova 7-6 (7/4), 6-1.
Szavay, 19, made her breakthrough last year claiming titles at Palermo and Beijing, but has struggled this season failing to get past the first round of the two tournaments she played in at the Gold Coast and the Australian Open.
"I didn't play very good at the beginning of the year but I got confidence in the Fed Cup," said Szavay.
"If I keep this up it could be one of my best wins," she added.
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