Originally created 04/22/00

Pierce, Sanchez-Vicario advance to semifinals



HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- Top-seeded Mary Pierce beat Australia's Jelena Dokic 6-3, 6-1 on Friday to advance to the semifinals of the Family Circle Cup.

Pierce, the French star who has lost only nine games in three matches, will face the winner of a match between third-seeded Monica Seles and Romania's Ruxandra Dragomir.

"I just went out there and tried to play my best, and I think I served pretty well and played pretty smart," Pierce said.

Fourth-seeded Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario of Spain also advanced, beating No. 8 Amanda Coetzer of South Africa 7-6 (12), 3-6, 6-3.

"Amanda and I, we always have tough matches and we always play longer matches," Sanchez-Vicario said. "In the end, I started being a little bit more aggressive and I made it through."

Sanchez-Vicario will face second-seeded Conchita Martinez of Spain, a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Canada's Jana Nejedly.

After Sanchez-Vicario took the opening set with a 14-12 tiebreak victory, Coetzer came back to win the second set.

"I knew she's tough and she was not going to give up," Sanchez-Vicario said. "It was going to be tough and I just have to continue."

Sanchez-Vicario broke Coetzer's serve in the third set to take a 5-3 lead.

"When you play Arantxa, you've got to be willing to be out there a long time," Coetzer said. "I was willing to do that."