ibnlive » Sports

Sep 30, 2006 at 03:16pm IST

Korea Open: Daniilidou, Sugiyama in final

Seoul:Japan's Ai Sugiyama will face Eleni Daniilidou of Greece in the final of the Korea Open after they strolled through their semi-final ties on Saturday.

Fourth-seed Sugiyama defeated Virgina Ruano Pascual of Spain 6-0, 6-3 while Daniilidou knocked out No 3 seed Marion Bartoli of France 6-1, 6-0.

Daniilidou, ranked 58th in the world, will be trying for her fourth career singles title, with her last victory coming in 2004 in Auckland.

FINAL TANGO: Sugiyama defeated Virgina Ruano Pascual while Daniilidou knocked out Marion Bartoli.

Daniilidou, approaching her first final since winning the 2004 ASB Classic, overcame long and hard-fought starts to each set before closing out the win in just 75 minutes. After breaking Bartoli in the second game of the last set, she clapped her racket and blew a kiss to the crowd.

Daniilidou dictated play, firing lightning backhands and forcing Bartoli into difficult returns then easily finishing her off. On match-point, Bartoli stood and watched as the ball sailed down the line.

Sugiyama, the world No 27, has beaten Daniilidou four times in their six meetings, with her last win over the Greek player coming at the French Open this year.

Sugiyama has won all three hard-court encounters, as well as this year's three-setter at the French Open.

Sugiyama will be vying for her seventh career title.