Pierce plots path to Graf

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The Independent Online
TENNIS

Mary Pierce the Australian Open champion, swept past the Austrian Judith Wiesner in the quarter-finals of the Paris Open yesterday and immediately looked ahead to a final against Steffi Graf. "I shouldn't start thinking about meeting Steffi yet. There's one match more to play but it is true that I'd like to play her on Sunday," Pierce, who crushed Wiesner 6-2, 6-4, said.

In the semi-finals, Graf will meet the Czech Jana Novotna, seeded third, who struggled to beat the Slovakian Karina Habsudova 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. Pierce will meet the fourth seed Iva Majoli, of Croatia, who yesterday beat the Belgian Sabine Appelmans, 6-2, 6-4. If Graf wins tomorrow's final, she will regain the world No 1 ranking she lost two weeks ago to Spain's Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.

Pierce, who lost a set to the Australian qualifier Rennae Stubbs in the first round, was back to her destructive best against Wiesner.

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