Raymond reaches Hawaiian final

Sept. 14, 2002 at 8:31 PM

WAIKOLOA, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Second-seeded Lisa Raymond advanced to her second tour final of the year Saturday with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Belgium's Els Callens at the Big Island Championships.

In Sunday's final at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, Raymond will face Zimbabwe's Cara Black, who was leading her semifinal, 6-1, 2-1, when Spain's Gala Leon Garcia retired due to tendinitis in her left shoulder.

Raymond, the nine-year tour veteran who is 24th in the WTA rankings, reached her 10th career tour final. Earlier this season, she captured her third career title at the Memphis hardcourt event. She also won the 1996 Quebec and 2000 Birmingham crowns.

"I've been real clear-minded here this week," Raymond said. "It's such a beautiful place. Anytime you go out on the court, you enjoy it, and I've really enjoyed my week here and it's showed in my results."

Raymond broke Callens' serve in the opening game and easily took the first set. In the second, Callens opened 4-1 lead before Raymond reeled off six of the final seven games to close out the match.

"This whole week, I have really been hanging in there and not counting myself out, even when I get down a break, knowing that I'm playing well enough that I can break back and get back in the match," Raymond said.

The 23-year-old Black will attempt to win her first WTA title in her second career final.

"I'm really looking forward to it and I'm really excited. It would mean a lot to me as it's something I've been trying for all year," Black said. "(Raymond and I) have played a couple times before. I don't think I've beaten her, so it's a good time for revenge."

Raymond has won her four previous meetings with Black.

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