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Thursday is Women's Semifinal Day at Wimbledon


Thursday is women's semifinal day at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships outside of London, with top-seeded American Lindsay Davenport facing No. 3 Amelie Mauresmo of France and defending champion Maria Sharapova of Russia taking on Venus Williams of the United States.

Two intriguing matches involving three Wimbledon champions will grace the Center Court Thursday. Davenport, the world No. 1 and champion in 1999, takes on Mauresmo, seeking her first Grand Slam crown.

Davenport, who is now in a groove of sharp hitting and covers the net like an octopus, has won their last seven battles. "The game is so much better now than it was in the mid to late 90's. I think I have done a good job with staying with all the improvements and being able to improve my game," she said. "But there is no question that physically I'm a better athlete and I believe a smarter player. And so is everyone else."

Mauresmo has a variety of skills but has so far failed over the years to show the mental strength required to capture a big title.

There will be a high-decibel count of grunts and shrieks when Sharapova, the defending champion, takes on Venus Williams. This should be an explosive battle of power shots. An intriguing match.

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