Seles ousts young Russian

FORMER world No.1 Monica Seles fended off a late surge by Lina Krasnoroutskaya of Russia to reach the semi-finals of the Pan Pacific Open today.

The American top seed double-faulted on a break point to go 2-3 down in the first set but recovered to score a convincing 6-4 6-4 victory.
Krasnoroutskaya, the only qualifier to reach the quarter-finals, threatened to come back from 0-4 down in the second set, hitting an array of hard strokes from the baseline.

But the Russian, ranked 129th in the world against Seles’ ninth, made a backhand error to give the American double match point in the 10th game.

Seles cashed in at the second attempt.

“Even though I lost today, I’m very happy with my week coming through qualifying and making the quarter-finals with some good wins,” said Krasnoroutskaya, 18, who was ranked 34th two years ago.

“Monica was just too good today. She was moving me around very well.”

In tomorrow’s semi-finals, Seles will take on fellow American and fourth seed Chanda Rubin, the winner over Sydney Olympic silver medallist Elena Dementieva of Russia 3-6 6-1 6-3 today.

Rubin started the match with a double fault and lost the first set with double fault number two at 3-5 and 0-40.

But Dementieva returned the favour by double-faulting to lose three games in the next two sets.

The 22-year-old crawled back to 3-4 with a service break in the seventh game, but Rubin broke back the following game – after eight deuces – and then served out the match.

“It was a really good match to get through because Elena’s a good player and I needed to play very well to beat her today,” Rubin said.

“She started very strongly but once I found my rhythm, I felt comfortable.”

Dementieva said: “I played a good first set but Chanda raised her game in the second and played really well after that.

“I had my chances to get back to 4-4 in the third set, but I was a little unlucky.

“I think it was a good match for me and I think I played quite well here in Tokyo.”