Seles sees the need to improve

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The Independent Online
Monica Seles reached the final of the Toshiba Classic in Carlsbad, California, after a 6-3, 6-4 victory over South African Amanda Coetzer. She now faces the world No 1, Martina Hingis, who has only lost once this year, in the final of the French Open.

Seles, still looking for her first title of the year, raised her game enough to beat Coetzer, but she knows she will have to improve to beat Hingis.

"It was good tennis but not the calibre to win against Martina," Seles said. "If I make a lot of errors I have zero chances because she's so consistent."

"Steffi [Graf] was in the zone, I was in the zone and now she's there. She's playing very confident and some some great tennis. She's got both things going for her and her record is unbelievable. I'm going to have to play some great tennis."

Seles took the opening set with the help of a crucial service break in the eighth game. Coetzer, the world No 6, had a chance to take the match into a third set after going up a break in the second. But Seles reeled off five of the last six games to end the contest. "I tried to cut down on my errors. It was all up to me and I did that," Seles added.

Hingis had few problems with the sixth seed from France, Mary Pierce, as she moved into her 10th final in as many tournaments.

Hingis played a flawless match and even unleashed seven aces for a 6- 0, 6-2 49-minute thrashing in a repeat of the Australian Open final. "I played so good, I almost didn't make one error," Hingis said.

Pierce had been in good form in her quarter-final win over French compatriot Sandrine Testud on Friday but she could not maintain this, winning just eight points in the first set.

"This match to me wasn't a match," Pierce said. "When you lose the first set 6-0 in 18 minutes, you know nothing happened. It was just mistake, next point."

But the next point was not much better for Pierce, who double-faulted away the opening game of the second set as the rout continued to its inevitable conclusion.

n Rain halted the Bjorn Borg-John McEnroe semi-final match in the third set at The Challenge tournament for over-35 players in Colorado Springs. Borg was ahead, 3-6, 6-3, 1-0. The winner will meet Jimmy Connors in the final after the American defeated Yannick Noah in the other semi-final 6-7, 7-5, 6-1. The champion will receive $150,000 (pounds 100,000)

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