Mauresmo eases into Qatar Open semi-finals
DOHA, Mar 2 (Reuters) Top seed and world number two Amelie Mauresmo outplayed Roberta Vinci of Italy 6-4 6-0 to reach the semi-finals of the Qatar Open today.
The Frenchwoman, riding high after winning three titles including the Australian Open this year, next plays Swiss Martina Hingis after the former world number one outgunned sixth-seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6 6-2.
Mauresmo will claim the top ranking from Belgium's Kim Clijsters if she wins the final on Saturday.
Hingis, who began her comeback at the start of the year after a three-year break following a foot injury, traded baseline rallies with Kuznetsova.
At 4-4 the Russian received medical attention for a leg injury and appeared to be limping at times in a first set claimed by Hingis in a tight tiebreak.
Three service breaks broke Kuznetsova's resistance in the second set.
''As I said yesterday, I am playing well,'' Hingis said.
''It was not an easy match. She (Kuznetsova) fought well in the first set, but I always had the game under control.'' Second seed Nadia Petrova quelled a spirited challenge from Na Li of China to post a 6-4 6-4 victory.
Petrova will meet Ai Sugiyama in Friday's first semi-final after the Japanese veteran defeated Julia Schruff of Germany 6-3 6-2.
Sugiyama, who had upset two times Qatar Open champion and former French Open champion Anastasia Myskina on Wednesday, was never troubled in her 66-minute win over Schruff.
''I was a bit drained after my long match against Myskina on Wednesday. But I think I did well to recover as was evident today against Schruff,'' she said.
REUTERS DH RAI0233