Sydney, January 14:
Lleyton Hewittâ€™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 womenâ€™s final on a walkover â€” the second day in a row sheâ€™s had an opponent pull out â€” 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. Dementievaâ€™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 Saturdayâ€™s final. Molik beat Chinaâ€™s Peng Shuai 6-4, 6-3.
Hewitt â€” who won here in 2000, 2001 and 2004 â€” will play qualifier Ivo Minar, who beat fellow Czech Republic player Radek Stepanek 6-1, 6-2.
Serbia-Montenegroâ€™s Ana Ivanovic and Hungarian Melinda Czink will establish an odd record on Saturday when they meet in the Canberra Classic womenâ€™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.
Top-ranked Roger Federer and second-ranked Andy Roddick will meet in a possible preview of the Australian Open final in Saturdayâ€™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.
Chinaâ€™s Zheng Jie won the Moorilla International womenâ€™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.
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 Saturdayâ€™s final after the unseeded Belgianâ€™s 6-3, 6-1 win over Jan Hernych in the second semi-final.