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Wily Mauresmo too sharp for Sharapova

Written by: Staff

LONDON, July 6 (Reuters) Amelie Mauresmo outwitted Maria Sharapova in their Wimbledon semi-final toay.

After surrendering a set and 3-1 lead, the French world number one used defensive tactics to neutralise the Russian's power-hitting and secure a place in her first Wimbledon final with a 6-3 3-6 6-2 victory.

In the third set Mauresmo sucked Sharapova out of her comfort zone on the baseline and into the net, forcing a string of errors from the 2004 champion.

''I felt tactically I played very well today,'' said Mauresmo, who faces Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne in Saturday's final.

''My game is really different from how the other girls play on grass. It makes it maybe a little bit different for the opponent.

''She has to adjust every time, she has to play almost a winner or passing shot every time.

''That's what I've been doing best here and today I really wanted to do it this way and it worked out pretty well.

''It was not perfect, but it still was a win and a convincing one, I think.'' Mauresmo had lost her previous three Wimbledon semi-finals but the 26-year-old is playing with a new sense of belief after winning her first grand slam title at the Australian Open in January.

''I just hung in there. I kept fighting. I could have let it go mentally in that third set but I just felt it was not going to be this way this time,'' she said.

''So I was able to fight through it. That was good.'' Reuters DH VP0040

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