Tauziat made to work for final place

Second-seeded Nathalie Tauziat of France, earned a return trip to the final of the Sparkassen Cup in Leipzig, Germany on Saturday by outlasting Anke Huber over three sets.

Second-seeded Nathalie Tauziat of France, earned a return trip to the final of the Sparkassen Cup in Leipzig, Germany on Saturday by outlasting Anke Huber over three sets.

Tauziat, the world's ninth-ranked player, blasted her 11th ace to close out the match against the German, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 in two hours, three minutes at the $520,000 event.

"It was a very, very tough match," said the 32-year-old Tauziat. "The public was behind her - I had to play my best to win."

In Sunday's final, Tauziat will face Kveta Hrdlickova, a Czech qualifier who upset top-seeded Mary Pierce of France, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3. For the 67th-ranked player, it was her biggest career win.

Huber, the world No 19, started the match fast. Backed by 5,000 cheering spectators, she took the first set by pinning Tauziat at the baseline with her hard groundstrokes and drop volleys.

But Tauziat, attacking behind her serve and volleys, erased a 3-2 lead by the German to capture the second set. In the third, she gained a decisive break when Huber double faulted to fall behind 5-3.

Tauziat, who took the title in Moscow two weeks ago, lost the final at Leipzig last year to Steffi Graf, a five-time winner of the event before retiring.

Huber will move up to 16th in the ranking, good enough for the final qualifying spot in the Chase Championships that take place in New York from 16-21 November.

"I'm practically in the field and that makes me very happy," said the German. "This was the best event I've played in a long time."

Huber, a 1996 Australian Open finalist, has not reached a final since the Canadian Open two years ago. It was her second semi-final of the season.

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