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Mauresmo loses to
Sharapova in U.S. Open semifinal

Mauresmo loses to
Sharapova in U.S. Open semifinal

Maria Sharapova will shoot for her first U.S. Open title on Saturday after upsetting world number 1 player Amelie Mauresmo in three sets in the semifinals. Sharapova will face Justine Henin-Hardenne, who reached her fourth grand slam final of the year by beating 19th-seeded Serbian Jelena Jankovic 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 on Friday.

Third-seed Sharapova struck 20 winners in the day's later match, double the number from Mauresmo, to win 6-0, 4-6, 6-0 and reach the second grand slam final of her career. Frenchwoman Mauresmo, the openly lesbian 27-year-old champion of Wimbledon and the Australian Open, played a miserable first set and won just seven points in the final frame.

The top seed secured her only service break in the last game of the second set but was unable to keep the momentum going. "It was tough to get broken in that last game of the second set," said the 19-year-old Sharapova, who will move up to number 1 in the world if she beats Henin-Hardenne. "She just played some good tennis. But I hung in there. I went to the changeover and thought, 'It's all right. It's one set all. You haven't lost the match yet. Now it's equal.' So I just kept going." (Reuters)

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