Pierce Advances to Semifinal with Seles
Third seeded Seles is coming off a victory last week in the season's first clay-court tournament in Amelia Island, Fla. She will face top-seeded Mary Pierce in Saturday's semifinals. Pierce beat Australia's Jelena Dokic 6-3, 6-1.
Also, Mary Pierce, third seeded Monica Seles and Spanish stars Conchita Martinez and Arantxa Sanchez won in South Carolina Friday to reach the semi-finals of the WTA Family Circle Cup.
The top four seeds will meet to determine berths in the $1.08 million clay court event, the final WTA event in the United States until late July.
Dragomir, who beat sixth-seeded Anna Kournikova in the third round, said she had to continuously adjust her game against Seles.
"She was really reading my game," Dragomir said. "I just think she played very well or I just wasn't as aggressive. Maybe I was just a little bit unlucky."
Pierce has lost only nine games in three matches.
"I just went out there and tried to play my best, and I think I served pretty well and played pretty smart," the French star said.
Fourth-seeded Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario of Spain also advanced, beating No. 8 Amanda Coetzer of South Africa 7-6 (12), 3-6, 6-3.
"Amanda and I, we always have tough matches and we always play longer matches," Sanchez-Vicario said. "In the end, I started being a little bit more aggressive and I made it through."
Sanchez-Vicario will face second-seeded Conchita Martinez of Spain, a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Canada's Jana Nejedly.
After Sanchez-Vicario took the opening set with a 14-12 tiebreak victory, Coetzer came back to win the second set.
"I knew she's tough and she was not going to give up," Sanchez-Vicario said. "It was going to be tough and I just have to continue."
Sanchez-Vicario broke Coetzer's serve in the third set to take a 5-3 lead.
"When you play Arantxa, you've got to be willing to be out there a long time," Coetzer said. "I was willing to do that".
The top three players in the world are not competing in this tune-up event for next month's French Open. Defending champion Martina Hingis is not entered, world number one Lindsay Davenport had a sore left ankle and withdrew.
US Open champion Serena Williams withdrew due to race issues involving the South Carolina state capitol flying a Confederate flag - (Several Sources)
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