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Tennis: Pierce Reaches Acura Classic Semifinals

Former French Open tennis champion Mary Pierce of France has reached the semifinals of the Acura Classic hard-court women's tournament in San Diego, California.

Pierce, the sixth seed, scored a 6-4, 6-3 win over Switzerland's Patty Schnyder to advance. The French player takes on unseeded Shuai Peng of China in Saturday's round of four. The 46th ranked Peng upset seventh seed Kim Clijsters of Belgium in a 6-4, 6-4 match in Friday's quarterfinals, which were all decided in straight sets.

Japan's Ai Sugiyama advanced with an easy 6-1, 6-2 win over Sesil Karatantcheva, 15, of Bulgaria. Sugiyama will next face countrywoman Akiko Morigami, who beat Anna Chakvetadze of Russia late Friday, 6-3, 6-4.

The tournament is a key warm-up for the last major tournament of the year, the U.S. Open, which starts August 29 in New York.

Some information for this story provided by Reuters and AFP.