Tennis: Pierce revels in awesome power

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The Independent Online
A THOROUGHLY confident Mary Pierce trounced Amanda Coetzer of South Africa 6-1 6-0 in their first round match at the year-end Chase Championships yesterday, setting up a quarter-final with Martina Hingis.

"I just had a good day." said Pierce, the No 6 seed. "I played really well. All my shots worked for me."

Pierce spent a brief 45 minutes tearing the normally resilient Coetzer's game apart bit by bit. "It was just over too quickly." Coetzer said. "She started off great. I was never given a chance."

Pierce, a finalist here last year, has improved her domination over Coetzer to 7-2 in career meetings.

The victory puts the Frenchwoman into the quarter-final of the season- ending finale against another player she has a winning record against in her career: the No 2 ranked Hingis. Pierce has a 5-3 edge over Hingis, a player who relinquished the world No 1 ranking to Davenport last month.

"I'm looking forward to it since we always have great matches." Pierce said of playing Hingis. "We always have fun matches, exciting matches."

Pierce arrived at this tournament having won nine successive singles matches and two recent singles titles at Moscow and Luxembourg. "I'm not tired at all." Pierce said. "My body feels like it needs a vacation. Other than that, it doesn't feel like the end of the year."

The big difference between Pierce and Coetzer was in their ability to win points on first serve. Pierce won an impressive 71 percent of her first serves that were good, while Coetzer was successful on just 37 percent of her first serve points.

In the Tuesday night match, Steffi Graf continued her remarkable comeback by beating the third seed and defending champion, Jana Novotna, 6-7, 6- 4, 61 in the first round.