<font size=5><font color=orange>Pierce Rallies to Stay on Track at AIG
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Mary Pierce, the top seed at the AIG Japan Open, continued her bid for her first ETA title by regrouping after losing the first set to Britain's Anne Keothavong. Britain's No. 1 has been very impressive in only her second event of the season. Anne reached the Tokyo doubles final last week with doubles partner Monica Seles, qualified for the main draw of Tokyo, and this week reached the semifinals, knocking out 8th seeded Patty Schnyder in the round of 16.
Pierce, the No. 10 seed, hasn't looked dominant, struggling to get good starts. Though her and doubles partner Gabriela Sabatini are currently on a 6 match win streak and are searching for their second straight doubles title. Mary will also try to become the first player to win the double crown, talking both singles and doubles tommorrow.
Her opponent in the finals will be suprise finalist Amanda Coetzer of South Africa. The small statured player has used her coutner attacking game to upset power players like No. 2 seeded Monicas Seles, and No. 7 seeded Mirjana Lucic. Not only that, Coetzer has shown tough mental prowess in keeping her head in nail biting tiebreaks.
Kimiko Date had her dreams dashed of winning her home tourney when she fell in three sets to Amanda Coetzer. The Japanese No. 1 though, has shown she has what it takes to compete with the top players as she reached her first ETA semifinal. The Japanese fans greatly appreciated her effort in her semifinal loss.