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France, Russia tied 1-1 in Fed Cup final

By wire services
Published September 18, 2005

PARIS - Amelie Mauresmo salvaged the opening day of the Fed Cup final for France with a 6-4, 6-2 victory Saturday over Russia's Anastasia Myskina, who made one error after another in a match that left the series tied 1-1.

"That's the worst I've ever played," Myskina said. "What can you do when you play like that?"

Elena Dementieva had given defending champion Russia a 1-0 lead at Roland Garros by beating Mary Pierce 7-6 (7-1), 2-6, 6-1 in a reprise of their match at the U.S. Open.

France, which lost to Russia in last year's final without Pierce and Mauresmo, is trying to win the title a third time.

Mauresmo will play Dementieva in Sunday's reverse singles in the best-of-five final at the home of the French Open. Pierce, who played Saturday with her right thigh bandaged, may be dropped for the second match against Myskina.

"There is a plan B in place in case we need it," said France captain Georges Goven, who can use Tatiana Golovin or Nathalie Dechy.

Mauresmo, who is unbeaten in Fed Cup singles since July 2002, has lost her last two matches to Dementieva.

"She's full of confidence, but this is a chance to set the record straight," Mauresmo said.

Myskina lost four straight games at 2-2 in the second set and made 40 unforced errors overall. She hit a forehand long on match point.

"I could not control my tennis," said Myskina, the 2004 French Open champion. "I'm defending my country. It's a different situation. You're not playing for yourself. There's so many people behind you and you think you're disappointing them."

WISMILAK INTERNATIONAL: World No. 2 Lindsay Davenport advanced to today's final with a lopsided 6-2, 6-2 win over China Li Na in Bali, Indonesia.

The top-seeded Davenport will face fourth-seeded Francesca Schiavone after the Italian recorded a win over Switzerland's Patty Schnyder, who retired after the second set due to heat exhaustion. The second-seeded Schnyder dominated the first set 6-1 before losing the second 4-6.

BCR OPEN: Victor Hanescu and Andrei Pavel lost in the semifinals in Bucharest, Romania, eliminating the possibility of a first Romanian champion in the tournament.

Igor Andreev of Russia beat fourth-seeded Hanescu 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 to advance to today's title match. He'll meet Florent Serra of France, who eliminated Pavel 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-3.

IF THE SHOE FITS ... : Memo to Maria Sharapova: Keep track of the fancy footwear.

The top-ranked Russian met South Korean fans in Seoul two days before an exhibition match against Wimbledon champion Venus Williams on Monday in the Olympic Gymnasium. Sharapova then had to dash back and retrieve a gold sneaker after it slipped off following a photo-signing session.

[Last modified September 18, 2005, 02:15:36]


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