Seles advances to semis in Shanghai

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Top seed Monica Seles rallied to beat French qualifier Stephanie Foretz 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 on Friday for a place in the semifinals of the Shanghai Open.

Seles was up a set and a break when the 149th-ranked Foretz began to find her rhythm, hitting the lines consistently with sharply angled groundstrokes and passing the American at the net.

Foretz broke back in the fourth game of the second set, and the two players then remained on serve until Foretz broke Seles again at 6-5 to take the set.

Seles, bothered by close calls throughout the match, regained her composure in the third set, breaking Foretz twice to close out the win.

(Foretz) really played some great tennis once I let her back after I lost my service game at 3-2,'' Seles told reporters.I was lucky to tough it out on key points in the third set.”

Seles meets 20-year-old Australian Alicia Molik in the semifinals on Saturday.

On Friday, Molik beat South Korean Cho Yoon-Jeong 7-5, 7-5.

Italy’s Rita Grande also advanced after fourth seed Ai Sugiyama of Japan retired in the third set of their quarter-final match with a shoulder injury.

Grande, seeded seven, was leading 6-7, 7-5, 1-0. She will play unseeded Australian Nicole Pratt in the semifinals. Pratt beat Taiwan’s Janet Lee 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.