Pierce storms into Acura finals

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:54 IST

Mary Pierce used an overpowering ground game to beat unseeded Peng Shuai of China 6-2, 6-2 Saturday and reach the title match at the Acura Classic.

Pierce storms into Acura finals

Carlsbad: Mary Pierce used an overpowering ground game to beat unseeded Peng Shuai of China 6-2, 6-2 Saturday and reach the title match at the Acura Classic. The sixth-seeded Frenchwoman dominated from the outset and gave the tired Peng few chances to pull off a fourth straight upset. Pierce will face the winner of the semifinal between Ai Sugiyama and Akiko Morigami, the first time in a WTA Tier I semifinal in which two Japanese players have met. Pierce, playing the event for the ninth time, reached her second final. She lost in straight sets to Lindsay Davenport in 1998. Peng couldn't recapture the form that helped her beat seventh-seeded Kim Clijsters of Belgium in straight sets Friday night and knock off third-seeded Elena Dementieva of Russia earlier in the week. Fatigue may have played a role in the loss as the 19-year-old Chinese played slightly more than three hours Friday night between her singles match with Clijsters and a doubles match that lasted until 11 p.m. local time. Pierce, ranked 14th and the only seeded player left in the semis, wasted no time in establishing herself. She broke Peng's serve in the first game at love and broke again in the fifth game for a 4-1 lead. After Peng held serve to cut the lead to 5-2, Pierce fought off six break points in the eighth game before securing the first set with two aces. The second set was almost just like the first, with Pierce breaking Peng's serve in the first game, and adding another break in the fifth game to take a 4-1 lead. Peng, ranked 46th, capped her best week on the WTA Tour, becoming the first Chinese woman to a Tier I semifinal and recorded two of her three wins over top-10 opponents. (AP)
Topics : Tennis
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