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9/15/05 11:52 PM
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Fed Cup Finals In Paris

September 15, 2005
by Glaken Centaine

France plays defending champion Russia in the Fed Cup final this weekend. The French are aiming for their third Fed Cup title and looking to avenge last year's 3-2 loss to Russia in Moscow.

Since neither Mary Pierce nor Amelie Mauresmo played in last year's final, France should be much better under new coach Georges Goven when singles play begins Saturday at Roland Garros Tennis Center in Paris.

Russian captain Shamil Tarpischev will be without top-ranked Maria Sharapova, but the team still boasts 2004 French Open champion Anastasia Myskina and runner-up Elena Dementieva.

This will be the third straight year France and Russia have met and the eighth time overall in the Fed Cup, dating to 1985. Russia leads 4-3.

Mary Pierce worked out Wednesday, showing no ill effects from a timely right thigh injury sustained at the U.S. Open where she took a suspicious 12-minute injury timeout before defeating Elena Dementieva in the semifinals.

France's Mary Pierce insists she is over a thigh injury which threatened her participation in this weekend's Fed Cup Finals. The 30-year-old reached the final of the US Open last Saturday only to be beaten in straight sets by Belgian Kim Clijsters.

"I love this court," Pierce said, referring to the Philippe Chatrier center court. "I have so many happy memories: my victory, my two finals, and the support from the fans."

In 2000, she won the French Open against Conchita Martinez and was runner-up to Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in 1994 and this year to Justine Henin-Hardenne.

Mary Pierce and Amelie Mauresmo are expected to be France's designated singles players while Tatiana Golovin and Nathalie Dechy should play the doubles on Sunday. Russia will be led by Elena Dementieva and Anastasia Myskina, who won the French Open in 2004. Teenagers Dinara Safina and Vera Douchevina complete Russia's lineup.

Amelie Mauresmo is undefeated in the Fed Cup since losing to Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova in 2002 and is 24-5 overall dating to 1998. Pierce made her debut in 1990 but dropped out between 1997 and 2003 and is 17-12.

France and Russia have dominated the Fed Cup over the past three years. The teams faced each other in 2003 in Moscow with France coming out on top. In 2004 the clash again took place in the Russian capital but this time the host nation prevailed.

Currently the lines average out around France -283 and Russia + 152.  I believe Pierce and Mauresmo win 3 of 4 of their matches with the doubles on Sunday only being eye candy.

Head-To-Head Records

Mary Pierce vs Elena Dementieva

US Open Sep 11 2005 M Pierce (12) - E Dementieva (6) 3-6 6-2 6-2
Sarasota Apr 6 2003 E Dementieva (5) - M Pierce 3-6 6-1 6-2
Key Bisc. Apr 2 2000 E Dementieva - M Pierce (3) 6-3 2-1

Mary Pierce vs Anastasia Myskina

Fed Cup Nov 20 2003 A Myskina - M Pierce 4-6 7-62 7-5
US Open Sep 7 2003 A Myskina (7) - M Pierce 7-6 6-1
Charleston Apr 13 2003 M Pierce - A Myskina (7) 6-4 1-6 6-2
Doha Feb 16 2003 A Myskina (2) - M Pierce 7-5 6-4
Sarasota Apr 7 2002 A Myskina - M Pierce 6-4 3-6 7-6

Amelie Mauresmo vs Anastasia Myskina

Wimbledon July 3 2005 A Mauresmo (3) - A Myskina (9) 6-3 6-4
Sydney Jan 18 2004 A Mauresmo (3) - A Myskina (5) 6-4 7-6
Hopman Cup Jan 11 2004 A Mauresmo - A Myskina 6-2 7-6
Fed Cup Nov 20 2003 A Mauresmo - A Myskina 6-73 6-3 6-4
Philadelp. Nov 2 2003 A Mauresmo-(2) - A Myskina (3) 5-7 6-0 6-2
Moscow Oct 5 2003 A Myskina (4) - A Mauresmo (2) 6-2 6-4
Wimbledon July 7 2002 A Mauresmo (9) - A Myskina (18) 6-4 6-2
US Open Sep 9 2001 A Mauresmo (8) - A Myskina 3-6 6-1 6-4


Amelie Mauresmo vs Elena Dementieva

US Open Sep 12 2004 E Dementieva (6) - A Mauresmo (2) 4-6 6-4 7-61
Roland G. June 6 2004 E Dementieva (9) - A Mauresmo (3) 6-4 6-3
Championship Nov 9 2003 A Mauresmo (4) - E Dementieva (6) 6-3 6-2
Moscow Oct 5 2003 A Mauresmo (2) - E Dementieva (3) 6-4 6-1
Toronto Aug 17 2003 E Dementieva (9) - A Mauresmo (3) 3-6 6-4 6-2
Paris Feb 9 2003 A Mauresmo (3) - E Dementieva 6-0 6-0
Fed Final Nov 7 2001 E Dementieva - A Mauresmo 6-3 0-6 6-4
Amelia I. Apr 15 2001 A Mauresmo (6) - E Dementieva (3) walkover
Rome May 9 1999 A Mauresmo (10) - E Dementieva-Q 1-6 6-3 7-5
Prague July 12 1998 A Mauresmo (8) - E Dementieva-Q 6-76 7-63 6-1


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