Mauresmo continues final quest

World number one Amelie Mauresmo is in determined mood to complete her quest for a place in the Wimbledon final this year.

World number one Amelie Mauresmo is in determined mood to complete her quest for a place in the Wimbledon final this year.

The top seed booked a fourth consecutive semi-final appearance after a battling 6-1 3-6 6-3 victory over Anastasia Myskina on Court One.

Although it was not her most complete performance of the Championships, having not previously dropped a set en route to the last eight, Mauresmo produced the goods when it mattered in the decider.

The Frenchwoman will celebrate her 27th birthday tomorrow with confidence growing she can add the All England crown to her Australian Open title.

Mauresmo said: “I am trying to learn after every match.

“Today was some great tennis, at some points some not-so-good tennis.

“You learn from your experiences. As to whether is it going to be enough or not, we will see the answer on Thursday.

“But hopefully I am ready for the match.”

Mauresmo will face 2004 champion Maria Sharapova, the fourth seed, after the Russian beat Elena Dementieva in straight sets.

“The tournament is getting tougher and tougher as you go through rounds - that is what happened today and that is what is going to happen again on Thursday,” said the Wimbledon top seed.

“But I am really looking forward to this one.

“It is obviously why you play tennis, for these big matches and to be able to walk out on these big courts in such big occasions.

“There have been three losses in the semi-final for me here and so I am looking forward maybe next time to go through this one and trying to reach the final.”

Mauresmo admitted she made far too many unforced errors having breezed through the opening set in just 21 minutes.

She said: “When you start to make so many unforced errors, the nerves get involved into that, especially in that second set today

“But then in the third set, I was really able to make it look a little bit better.”

Myskina had secured an early break in the very first game of the match, but the Russian former French Open champion was unable to hold her next service game.

Mauresmo, 26 and the top seed here, then moved 4-1 ahead following another break and soon closed out the opening set.

Myskina, 24, had beaten her opponent just once in four previous meetings – in Moscow during 2003 – and lost to Mauresmo at the same stage of Wimbledon last year.

The Russian 2004 French Open champion started to find her range during the opening games of the second set, and put Mauresmo under pressure for the first time to lead 3-0, then 5-2 before taking the match to a decider.

There was little to choose between the pair when they returned to court as the tension grew in the early afternoon sunshine at SW19.

The first break chance of the final set came in game six against Myskina.

This time the crucial point went the way of the number one seed following a long return from the Russian.

Mauresmo held her next serve to move within sight of a fourth straight semi-final.

A stunning cross-court backhand set up a match point in the following game, but she could not convert it.

The world number one, though, did not have to wait long to close out a battling victory on her very next service after one hour and 23 minutes.

Mauresmo is hoping for a double celebration tomorrow, when the French football team take on Portugal for a place in the World Cup final.

As for the chance of a Les Blues and Wimbledon double, she quipped: “Well, we both have to get to the final first, so we will talk about it on Thursday.”

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