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Roman Conquest: Mauresmo Hands Serena Second Loss Of Season

Photo By Art Seitz By Adrianna Outlaw

It was a first, but Amelie Mauresmo made it last. Winless in five previous meetings against top-ranked Serena Williams, Mauresmo was two points from defeat in the second set before fighting back to storm into the Italia Telecom Masters with a 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory over the defending tournament champion.

It was the second loss of the season for the reigning Roland Garros champion. Williams, who suffered her first setback of the season to Justine Henin-Hardenne on clay in the Family Circle Cup final, fell to 26-2 on the season.

The match was a mismatch at the outset as Williams rolled to a 6-1, 5-3 lead. She lost only four points in the first five games of the match and seemed in complete command.

Serving for the match at 5-4, Williams was two points from victory, but could not close. She missed a backhand volley that gave Mauresmo a service break and new life at 4-5.

The fourth-seeded French woman took full advantage, sweeping the final four games of the second set to even the match at one set apiece.

Empowered by her survival experience, Mauresmo began taking the initiative in rallies. Stepping into her shots and moving with confidence around the court, Mauresmo opened a 4-3 lead.

Facing break point in the ensuing game, Williams hit a forehand that was initially called good, but the chair umpire over-ruled, called the shot out and Williams dropped serve to hand Mauresmo a 5-3 lead.

A concentration lapse in the final game proved costly as Williams committed four unforced errors and Mauresmo advanced to the final where she will play either second-seeded Kim Clijsters or 13th-seeded Ai Sugiyama.

psychotic banana
3,022 Posts
why do matches become such an errorfest...
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