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Tennis: Pistolesi Advances to Nordea Nordic Light Open Finals - 2003-08-09

Anna Pistolesi of Israel has moved closer to a second straight tennis title on Saturday, advancing to the final of the Nordea Nordic Light Open with a three-set triumph over eighth-seed Karolina Sprem of Croatia.

Pistolesi avenged a June loss with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 victory. Sprem beat the second-seeded Israeli en route to the Vienna final. Pistolesi extended her winning streak to eight matches. She won the crown last week in Poland, also a claycourt event.

The 27-year-old Pistolesi will seek her eighth career title Sunday against Croatian qualifier Jelena Kostanic, who posted a 7-6, 7-2, 6-4 win over Russian Vera Douchevina.

Kostanic reached her first career final after appearing in three semifinals, including last week at Sopot. In their only prior meeting, she beat Pistolesi in straight sets in the quarterfinals at Vienna in 2001.

At the JP Morgan Chase hard court tennis tournament in Los Angeles, American Lindsay Davenport has reached the finals with a straight-set win over Japan's Ai Sugiyama.

Davenport, the second seed, defeated the Japanese player in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2.

The hard-court tournament is a key warm-up for the U.S. Open, which gets underway later this month at the U.S. Tennis Center in New York.