Associated Press

Sydney, January 14:

Lleyton Hewitt’s winning streak over four tournaments at the Sydney International reached 18 matches after the top-seeded Australian beat Max Mirnyi of Belarus 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 in a semi-final. Australian Samantha Stosur advanced to the women’s final on a walkover — the second day in a row she’s had an opponent pull out — when Elena Dementieva of Russia withdrew with heat illness.

On Thursday, Lindsay Davenport of the US withdrew from her quarter-final against Stosur with bronchitis. Davenport was one of five players to pull out injured or ill on Thursday at Sydney. Dementieva’s withdrawal also handed the doubles title to Stosur and fellow Australian Bryanne Stewart. They were to play Deme-ntieva and Ai Sugiyama of Japan.

Stosur will play Alicia Molik in Saturday’s final. Molik beat China’s Peng Shuai 6-4, 6-3.

Hewitt — who won here in 2000, 2001 and 2004 — will play qualifier Ivo Minar, who beat fellow Czech Republic player Radek Stepanek 6-1, 6-2.

Canberra Classic


Serbia-Montenegro’s Ana Ivanovic and Hungarian Melinda Czink will establish an odd record on Saturday when they meet in the Canberra Classic women’s tennis final. Both won their semi-finals on Friday, marking the first time in WTA Tour history that a lucky loser and the player who knocked them out of qualifying will meet in a final. Ivanovic beat Ukrainian Yuliana Fedak 6-1, 6-2 and Czink defeated Lindsay Lee-Waters of the United States 7-6, 7-6.

Kooyong Classic


Top-ranked Roger Federer and second-ranked Andy Roddick will meet in a possible preview of the Australian Open final in Saturday’s Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament title match. Federer beat Tim Henman 6-4, 6-2, earning three match points with a forehand winner and closing with a booming ace down the middle. Roddick advanced to the final after Andre Agassi retired from their match in the first set on Thursday because of hip injury.

Moorilla Int’l


China’s Zheng Jie won the Moorilla International women’s tennis tournament with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over second-seeded Gisela Dulko of Argentina. It was the first career WTA Tour singles title for the 21-year-old Zheng. Zheng reached the final with 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 victory over compatriot Li Na, while Dulko defeated Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-2.

Heineken Open


Fifth-seeded Fernando Gonzalez of Chile advanced into the final of the $426,000 Heineken Open tennis tournament on Friday with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Juan Ignacio Chela. Gonzalez, ranked 23rd, will meet Olivier Rochus in Saturday’s final after the unseeded Belgian’s 6-3, 6-1 win over Jan Hernych in the second semi-final.