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Mauresmo, Capriati make semi-finals
- WTA CHAMPIONSHIPS

Los Angeles: Jennifer Capriati overcame Russian Anastasia Myskina 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 to earn a place in the semi-finals of the WTA Championships on Saturday.

Russia’s Elena Dementieva outlasted American Chanda Rubin 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 — a result which guaranteed Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo a place in the last four.

In a match of no significance to the round-robin stages, Japan’s Ai Sugiyama upset new world No. 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne 6-2, 6-4 in a Black group encounter. Belgian Henin-Hardenne, who had already clinched her place in the knockout stages, now meets Mauresmo in the semis while Capriati takes on Kim Clijsters.

Capriati, who has been bothered by a problem with her right hip, moved better in her Black Group match against Myskina and struck the ball with more authority than she did in her 2-6, 1-6 defeat by Henin-Hardenne on Friday.

“I wasn’t 100 per cent but it was all or nothing today,” Capriati said.

“I did everything I could to rally, to make myself feel better. This was the last chance I had to go further in this tournament.”

Rubin needed a win to reach the last four in the tournament for the first time in her career. Instead, Mauresmo edged her and Dementieva out on the number of sets won in the Red group.

All three players won one and lost two of their three matches. Top seed Clijsters finished top of the group with three victories.

Rubin, who had won the first set, blew a 5-2 lead in the second after Dementieva began to find her range with her sharp groundstrokes, forcing her opponent to litter the STAPLES Centre Court with errors. A frustrated Rubin lost 11 of the last 12 games.

Mauresmo, who watched the match from her hotel room in Santa Monica, was thrilled.

“It feels good,” she said. “Dementieva was able to reverse the situation. I’m going to buy her a nice present.”

SEMI-FINAL LINE-UP

l Justine Henin-Hardenne vs Amelie Mauresmo

l Kim Clijsters vs Jennifer Capriati

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