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Nervous night in store for soccer fan Mauresmo

Written by: Staff

LONDON, July 4 (Reuters) Amelie Mauresmo will probably spend her birthday tomorrow biting her fingernails.

It is not just Thursday's Wimbledon semi-final against Russia's Maria Sharapova that will be concerning, however, rather France's World Cup semi-final against Portugal in Germany.

''It's nice. I like to follow these kind of events, big events in sports,'' a relaxed Mauresmo told reporters after her 6-1 3-6 6-3 defeat of Russia's Anastasia Myskina.

''I'm going to watch a bit of the men's (tennis) then watch the soccer at night. We'll see how it goes.'' Since breaking her grand slam title duck at the Australian Open this year a weight has been lifted off of Mauresmo's shoulders and she is clearly at one with herself here.

Thursday's match will be her fourth semi-final in her last four Wimbledon visits, and although all the others have ended in defeat the world number one feels she has nothing to prove.

''I don't think I have anything to prove to myself, first of all, or to anybody,'' she said.

''I just want more. That's probably the key thing for me.

''I want to be able to have some more great matches with great emotions, try to get some titles, and that's why I'm playing.'' Mauresmo, the top seed here, sailed through the draw without dropping a set until a wobble against Myskina in the second set.

She knows she can ill afford a similar lapse against Sharapova on Thursday, a player she has beaten twice.

''I started to make way too many unforced errors today,'' Mauresmo said. ''Probably I wanted to do even more when sometimes you just have to stay on what you do and do it well.

''When you start to make so many unforced errors the nerves get involved. That happened in the second set.

''But it's a good lesson to learn and I'm trying to learn after every match.'' Reuters DH VP0052

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