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Morigami stops Sania's run

NEW DELHI: Sania Mirza found an inspired Akiko Morigami of Japan too hot to handle as she went down 6-4, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the $170,000 WTA Tour tennis tournament in Cincinnati.

"I tried whatever I had, but she played great. Obviously, she was in very good form, having beaten the second seed and she had an answer to everything I did,'' said ania.

The Hyderabad girl had beaten the 25-year-old Japanese in the first round of Wimbledon recovering from 2-4 to win 8-6 in the decider.

"Grass is a lot quicker. These hardcourts were slower than usual, and it was much easier for her to return my serves and respond to my shots,'' said Sania.

"I had to mix it up and keep my shots varied. Am very happy with the way I am playing,'' said the 72nd ranked Morigami who will be playing the fourth seed Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia in her third career semifinals.

Coach John Farrington of the Bahamas who has been watching Sania and working with her from this week felt positive about the overall scenario.

"The Japanese served well, hit the ball better and returned good. She had great anticipation and had an answer to everything that Sania threw at her. Sania was unlucky with a few net-chords. In future, we are going to win such matches. The idea is to hang in there for long, hope that the opponent's level would fall a bit and finding your way to win,'' said Farrington.

Bhupathi-Damm out

Top seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and his Czech partner Martin Damm were sent packing by the wild card pair of Andreas Beck and Sebastian Rieschick in the quarterfinal of the men's doubles event at the Mercedes Cup at Stuttgart. Beck and Rieschick won 6-4, 6-0.

Rafael Nadal moved to No. 2 in the rankings as he beat Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 6-2, 7-5 to run his winning streak on clay to 33 matches.

The results:

At Cincinnati (Cincinnati Women's Open): Quarterfinals: Daniela Hantuchova bt Cho Yoon-jeong 6-7(1), 6-4, 6-1; Akiko Morigami bt Sania Mirza 6-4, 6-3; Patty Schnyder bt Shahar Peer 7-6(1), 6-2; Bethanie Mattek bt Jelena Jankovic 6-1, 0-6, 6-2.

At Indianapolis: (RCA championships): Quarterfinals: Karol Beck bt George Bastl 6-4, 7-5; Taylor Dent bt Paul Goldstein 6-3, 6-2; Robby Ginepri bt Andy Roddick 4-6, 7-6(2), 7-5; Greg Rusedski bt Nicolas Kiefer 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4.

At Palermo (Palermo International): Quarterfinals: Anabel Medina Garrigues bt Mariana Diaz-Oliva 7-5, 6-1; Klara Koukalova bt Martina Muller 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-2; Tszvetana Pironkova bt Nathalie Vierin 4-6, 7-5, 6-2; Flavia Pennetta bt Roberta Vinci 6-1, 4-6, 7-6(3).

At Amersfoort (Priority Telecom Open): Semifinals: Fernando Gonzalez bt David Sanchez 6-2, 6-1; Agustin Calleri bt Ivo Minar 6-4, 6-4. Quarterfinals: Sanchez bt Nicolas Massu 6-3, 4-6, 6-3; Gonzalez bt Daniele Bracciali 6-3, 6-3; Calleri bt Melle van Gemerden 6-4, 6-4; Minar bt Mariano Puerta 6-2, 5-7, 7-6(4).

At Stuttgart (Mercedes Cup): Semifinals: Rafael Nadal bt Jarkko Nieminen 6-2, 7-5; Gaston Gaudio bt Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 2-1 (retd.). Quarterfinals: Gaston Gaudio bt Mariano Zabaleta 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.

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