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Team WTAworld, Administrator, aka Nibbler
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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Anna Kournikova's reward for a hard-fought victory over fellow wild card Selima Sfar of Tunisia is a match with Venus Williams.

Kournikova beat Sfar 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 6-4 in the featured night match of the $585,000 Dubai Open on Tuesday.

Williams, who had a first-round bye, will take over the No. 1 ranking next week after already winning three tournaments this year.

``I lost to her last week (at Antwerp) in a tough match where the first set decided everything,'' Kournikova said. ``I will play as the best as I can as I always like to fight.''

Kournikova, under pressure to live up to the hype surrounding her first visit to Dubai, had a minor injury scare when she fell during the first set.

The Russian, cheered on by the center court audience, regained her composure to beat Sfar, a Dubai quarterfinalist last year.

Sfar, a favorite of the Arabian fans, was drained at the end of the long match and was in tears as she left the court.

``The match had ups and downs as I was not 100 percent physically fit,'' Kournikova said. ``I felt pain in my leg but I fought the best I could.''

Sandrine Testud, the tournament's fourth seed, took 2 1/2 hours to earn a spot in the quarterfinals. She rallied to beat Italian Rita Grande.

``I am just happy I won; it was tough,'' Testud said. ``I made it look a lot more difficult that it seemed.''

Other winners Tuesday were seventh seed Angeles Montolio of Spain, Janette Husarova of Slovakia, Emmanuelle Gagliardi of Switzerland and Jelena Kostanic of Croatia.
 
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