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TENNIS ROUNDUP

France Advances to Face U.S.

April 08, 2002|From Wire Reports

Defending champion France defeated the Czech Republic, 3-2, at Pau, France, on Sunday to advance to a Davis Cup semifinal match with the United States, winning on Fabrice Santoro's five-set victory over Bohdan Ulihrach.

France began the day leading 2-1 on Saturday's doubles victory by Santoro and Michael Llodra over Jiri Novak and David Rikl.

Novak beat Sebastien Grosjean, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-1, in Sunday's first reverse singles, sending it to the deciding match, where Santoro outlasted Ulihrach, 7-6 (2), 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3.

France will face the U.S. in the semifinals Sept. 20-22.

In other quarterfinals, Russia completed a 4-1 victory over Sweden, and Argentina defeated Croatia, 3-2, on a straight-sets victory by Gaston Gaudio over Ivo Karlovic.

Those two winning countries will play in the other semifinal.

At Buenos Aires, Ivan Ljubicic beat Juan Ignacio Chela, 6-3, 1- 6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, to pull Croatia even with Argentina at 2-2, before Gaudio overwhelmed Karlovic, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

At Moscow, Mikhail Youzhny and Andrei Stoliarov stepped in for teammates Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who clinched Russia's victory on Saturday with a doubles victory over Jonas Bjorkman and Thomas Johansson.

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Top-seeded Jelena Dokic defeated Tatiana Panova, 6-2, 6-2, to win the $140,000 Sarasota Open in Florida.

Dokic didn't drop a set in five singles matches during the tournament, played on green clay. It was her first title of 2002.

Dokic also teamed with Elena Likhovtseva to defeat Conchita Martinez and Els Callens, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-3, for the doubles title.

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