Daniilidou, Sugiyama to play for Korea Open title

Updated: September 30, 2006, 8:45 AM ET
Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea -- Eleni Daniilidou of Greece cruised to a 6-1, 6-0 upset over third-seeded Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli on Saturday to advance to the finals of the Korea Open.

She will meet fourth-seeded Ai Sugiyama of Japan, who easily dispatched Spain's Virginia Ruano Pascual, 6-0, 6-3 in the other semifinal.

Daniilidou, who advanced to her first final since 2004, overcame long and hard-fought starts in each set before closing out the win in just 75 minutes. After breaking Bartoli in the second game of the last set, she clapped her racket and blew a kiss to the crowd.

"Despite the score, it was not an easy match. I had to fight for each point. I had fun," Daniilidou said.

Sugiyama, a quarterfinalist in Seoul last year, leads Daniilidou 4-2 in head-to-heads -- including a three-set victory at the French Open -- and has won all three meetings on hard courts.

"But tomorrow is a new day," said Daniilidou. "I will be like I was today, quiet, calm and positive. I will be aggressive."


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE