Sharapova, Henin-Hardenne in Dubai final
Dubai, February 25:
Maria Sharapova ousted defending champion Lindsay Davenport 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 to reach the final of the Dubai Women’s Open against Justine Henin-Hardenne.
Henin beat Svetlana Kuznetsova and Francesca Schiavone in straight sets on a day when all the semi-finalists had to play twice, and endured another lengthy rain delay. In the quarter-finals, Henin beat Schiavone 6-4, 7-6 (5). Davenport beat Russia’s Maria Kirilenko 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 first up, then rued her missed chances in the three-setter with Sharapova.
ROTTERDAM: Nikolay Davydenko beat Daniele Bracciali 6-4, 6-2 and entred his second semi-finals of the year at the ABN Amro. He will play Radek Stepanek, who beat Novak Djokovic 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (2).
Belgium’s Christophe Rochus beat British lucky loser Arvind Parmar 6-3, 6-3, but the chance to face his younger brother Olivier was spoiled by Jarkko Nieminen of Finland, who won a marathon 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (3).
MEMPHIS: French qualifier Julien Benneteau upset top-seeded Andy Roddick 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the quarter-finals of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships.
Benneteau will play sixth-seeded Tommy Haas, a 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-4 winner over Dmitry Tursunov of Russia. Britain’s Andy Murray fought off seven match points before losing 6-1, 6-4 to Robin Soderling of Sweden. Soderling will play Kristof Vliegen of Belgium, a 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 winner over qualifier Paul Capdeville of Chile.
In women’s play, Sofia Arvidsson swept past Amy Frazier 6-2, 6-2, and will play Marta Domachowska, a 6-1, 6-0 winner over Jill Craybas, for the Cellular South Cup.