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Sunday, November 2
Mauresmo avenges loss in Kremlin final

Associated Press

VILLANOVA, Pa. -- With Anastasia Myskina tiring and staying back on the baseline, Amelie Mauresmo sensed an opening.

Amelie Mauresmo
Mauresmo wins a 2nd title in 2003, thanks to Williams' withdrawals.
She shook off her slow start and beat Myskina 5-7, 6-0, 6-2 Sunday to win the Advanta Championships for her second title this season.

"As the match was going on, I could feel my game was going better," Mauresmo said. "I could feel she was getting a little tired. She was not adjusting as well."

Mauresmo, seeded second and ranked seventh, dominated the final two sets for her 10th career title. The Frenchwoman is the first Advanta champion since 2000. The championships returned to the WTA schedule after a three-year absence. She received a winner's check of $93,000 and an extra $1,000 in cash in the hard-court tournament.

Mauresmo and Myskina were coming off semifinals that lasted about 2½ hours, and neither player looked strong. But once Mauresmo got going she was nearly unbeatable. Myskina won only eight points in the second set.

"The second set was perfect, the third set was close to perfect as well," Mauresmo said.

Myskina was making her fifth finals appearance of the season. The third-seeded Russian defeated Mauresmo in the finals of the Kremlin Cup three weeks ago.

"You beat me last time in Moscow and now it's my turn here in Philly," Mauresmo said. "I really wanted revenge today."

Myskina played the late match on Saturday and was bothered in her three-set semifinal by cramping in her legs and her wrist. She then had trouble sleeping.

"I wasn't ready to beat her today," Myskina said. "I completely lost concentration and couldn't keep focus."

The Advanta Championships, held from 1971-79 and 1991-2000, were usually the final tournament before the season-ending WTA Tour Championships. When the championships moved from New York to Germany, Advanta was phased out. This year's championships are in Los Angeles.

Mauresmo's path to the final was helped by the withdrawals of Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Lindsay Davenport, leaving the Frenchwoman the highest-seeded player left in the tournament.

The two finalists stayed along the baseline for most of the match, but Mauresmo made the most of her few trips to the net. Mauresmo smacked some overhands past a flailing Myskina, who usually hit the ball into the net when she did make a return.

"I'm getting more and more confident and comfortable at the net," Mauresmo said.

Myskina, ranked ninth, was frustrated throughout, often slamming her racket on the court or standing with her hands on her hips wondering how her game collapsed so quickly.

Mauresmo won 67 percent of her first-serve points to only 48 percent for Myskina.

Mauresmo, who missed four months of the season with an injured right knee, played in her fifth finals appearance this season. She won the J&S Cup in May in Warsaw, Poland when Venus Williams quit in the third set with a strained muscle.

Martina Navratilova and Lisa Raymond won the doubles final, beating Cara Black and Rennae Stubbs 6-3, 6-4. Navratilova has 173 career doubles WTA Tour titles.

Raymond and Navratilova were teaming for the first time since 1996. They will play together for the United States in the Fed Cup.

"We both know how to play doubles and it's a pleasure to play out there," Navratilova said. "I'm so much more relaxed."

The doubles championship was a homecoming for Raymond, of nearby Wayne, Penn.

"I love the fact that people want to come out and watch me play," Raymond said. "I'll kid around about how many ticket requests I have, but I love it."

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