Mauresmo moves into final

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The Independent Online

Third-seeded Amelie Mauresmo of France advanced to the final of the $170,000 Croatian Bol Ladies Open today, defeating Gala Leon-Garcia of Spain 6-4, 7-5.

"This is a great comeback," said Mauresmo, who was playing her first tournament since being sidelined by a back injury six weeks ago. "I only expected to play a few matches, but here I am in the final."

It was the second final this year and the 6th overall for the 20-year-old who is currently the world's No 17.

Mauresmo, who ousted defending champion Corina Morariu of the United States in three sets in the quarter-finals, opened strong, racing to a 4-1 lead and could have been more convincing had she converted one of three match points at 5-3.

In the second set, she also led 4-2, but Leon-Garcia, the world's no. 57, leveled at 4-4 with strong baseline play. Mauresmo, however, staved off a break of her serve and rallied to another lead. Again, she could have ended the set earlier, but she failed to exploit a match point at 5-4.

In the other semi-final, 19-year-old Tina Pisnik of Slovenia secured her first career final, downing Maria Sanchez-Lorenzo of Spain in a relatively evenly matched encounter, 7-6 (3), 6-4.

The game tipped in Pisnik's favour in the tie-break when the WTA's no 81 vaulted to a 5-1 lead, which she kept with steady serving and fewer errors than her opponent.

Spurred by the opening set, Pisnik started strong in the second, building up a 3-1 lead. Sanchez-Lorenzo mounted a counter-attack and drew 3-3, but Pisnik stepped on the accelerator and carved a 5-3 lead, before converting her fifth match point.

Results in the semi-finals of the Croatian Bol Ladies Open

Amelie Mauresmo (3), France, def. Gala Leon Garcia, Spain, 6-4, 7-5. Tina Pisnik, Slovenia, def. Maria Sanchez-Lorenzo, Spain, 7-6 (3), 6-4.