Tennis: Rusedski books final spot

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GREG RUSEDSKI reached the final of the MFS Pro Championships at Brookline, Massachusetts, after a 6-4 5-7 6-2 win over Frenchman Arnaud Clement on Saturday.

In last night's final, Rusedski was due to face Russian teenager Marat Safin, who continues to give warning to world number one Pete Sampras that their first-round match at the US Open will be no walkover.

Currently ranked 33rd in the world, 19-year-old Safin advanced to his first career ATP Tour final by rallying to a 5-7 6-3 6-1 victory over Dutchman Sjeng Schalken, the winner of this event in 1997. Safin had failed to advance in three previous semi-final appearances this season.

Venus Williams celebrated her elevation to the number three ranking by upsetting top seed Lindsay Davenport 6-2 7-5 in the final of the Pilot Pen Tournament on Saturday.

The victory for second-seeded Williams gave her a fifth title of the year and earned her $80,000. Even more importantly, it takes her into Monday's US Open with her confidence on a high. It was also her second straight win over Davenport in the past month.

Davenport held a slight edge in the early stages as Williams struggled with her first serve. But in a match that never really caught fire as both players failed to find their best form, Williams gradually turned things in her favour.

"I played pretty good," said Williams. "In the past she would overpower me, and when you're getting overpowered you rush and make the error. But now it's not the same any more. I'm not as young and I have better technique. I've gotten stronger and gotten better."