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Tennis-Golovin overcomes Jie, Ljubicic marches on

Written by: Staff

MIAMI, Mar 30 (Reuters) Tatiana Golovin ended the run of China's Zheng Jie at the Nasdaq-100 Open with a scrappy 3-6 6-3 6-2 victory in the quarter-finals.

Men's sixth seed Ivan Ljubicic had an easier outing yesterday after he produced 34 winners to sweep past Argentine Agustin Calleri 7-6 6-3.

The win kept the Croatian second behind Roger Federer in match victories this season. While the world number one boasts a 25-1 record in 2006, Ljubicic stands at 24-3.

''Finally, I'm happy with how I played, Ljubicic told reporters.

''I served amazingly and dominated my service games.

''I'm number two in points earned this year, I feel like number two in the world.'' Ljubicic broke once per set to notch up his fourth successive win over the 65th-ranked Calleri.

The Croatian could face his Davis Cup team mate in the semi-finals if Mario Ancic defeats Argentine third seed David Nalbandian later on Wednesday.

French teenager Golovin needed over two hours to claim victory on Jie's fourth double fault. Jie was the first Chinese woman reach the last eight at Miami.

The match was plagued by 27 break points as holding serve became a chore. Golovin converted eight of her 14 chances, while Jie was successful on six of 13.

The 18-year-old Florida-based Golovin next plays the winner of the all-Russian showdown between fourth seed Maria Sharapova and 2004 Roland Garros winner Anastasia Myskina.

With Golovin yet to beat either of the Russians, the Frenchwoman knows she will have her work cut out.

''It is good to get to the semi-final,'' Golovin told reporters.

''It will be a different situation and atmosphere.

''I want to go out and play my best, I have nothing to lose.'' Golovin was caught off-guard by the game of Jie. ''I was surprised at how well she played.

''She was taking the ball early and going for her shots.

''It took me time to find my rhythm but then it go better.

''I'm happy to be in the semi-finals, it will be great.'' Golovin struck 25 winners and was helped by 45 unforced errors from Jie.


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