Pierce wins 500th career match

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/M/Marypierce.jpg' class='caption'> Mary Pierce won her 500th career match, defeating Elena Dementieva of Russia 6-2, 6-3 in the WTA Championships on Wednesday night.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
  • Total Shares

Los Angeles:

Mary Pierce won her 500th career match, defeating Elena Dementieva of Russia 6-2, 6-3 in the WTA Championships on Wednesday night. Pierce improved to 2-0 in round-robin play, including her three-set upset of Kim Clijsters on opening night. "That was a great thing to play Kim first,'' she said. "After playing her, everybody else is going to be easier because Kim is quickest.'' Top-ranked Lindsay Davenport played Patty Schnyder of Switzerland and Clijsters faced Amelie Mauresmo of France in later matches. The oldest player in the eight-woman field at 30, Pierce put herself in good position to reach the semifinals, which are single elimination. "I always like my chances,'' she said. "I feel like I'm improving all the time. It's really amazing.'' Active player Pierce, in her 16th year as a pro, is the third active player after Conchita Martinez and Lindsay Davenport to reach 500 wins. "Oh, sweet,'' she said when informed of the milestone. "That's pretty cool. I'm proud of that.'' Playing in the season-ending championships for the first time since 1999, Pierce used big serves and sharp volleys against Dementieva, whom she beat in the US Open semifinals. "I watched her match last night and I was shocked by the way she was playing,'' Dementieva said. "She was playing unbelievable the whole year.'' Pierce collected all three service breaks in the first set, winning when Dementieva double-faulted. The Frenchwoman broke for a 2-0 lead in the second set, then rallied from love-40 on her serve to go up 3-0. Faltered briefly She faltered briefly leading 4-2, losing serve on a double fault. But Dementieva missed a forehand to fall behind 5-3 and then netted a backhand volley on match point. Near the end, Pierce repeatedly grimaced and rotated her right shoulder. "It was killing me,'' she said. "My shoulder was getting really, really tight and I was having trouble serving. I don't think it's anything serious.'' Dementieva fell to 1-9 in the championships since 2000, when she was a semifinalist in her debut. She played five straight weeks in attempting to qualify for the tournament. "I don't feel fresh enough to play my best here, which is very disappointing,'' she said. The players are assigned to Green and Black groups and play each other once. The two players with the best record from each group advance to the semifinals. Pierce leads the Black group with a 2-0 record. (AP)

For the latest Sports news , like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and get the NDTV Cricket app for Android or iOS

  • Tennis

Leave a comment