Dokic eliminates Kournikova

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- One point away from reaching the final, Anna Kournikova wasted a pair of chances Saturday and was overwhelmed in the third set by sixth-seeded Jelena Dokic of Yugoslavia, who advanced to the final of the Acura Classic.

Kournikova fell to none for 113 in her WTA career. More known for her stunning looks than any sort of success on the court, she suffered a three-set loss in her first semifinal in five months.


"Of course I'm disappointed to lose it, but the tension is out," said Kournikova, who has reached just four semifinals this year. "I kind of feel down, but I'm really happy with the results in general and with the way I played. The good thing is there is something to work on. I can always improve."

Dokic won, 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-2), 6-0, and will play Venus Williams in the championship match.

Williams had no problem defeating Lindsay Davenport in the evening semifinal, 6-2, 6-1.

After battling inconsistency and an abdominal strain for much of the season, Kournikova has shown improved play of late. The ravishing Russian reached the quarterfinals last week in Stanford.


"I think it' s a huge difference from the last tournaments I played," Kournikova said. "Last week and this week have been great. Obviously I'm getting better and better. Obviously I'm getting more tired and tired."

That was obvious in the second set, when Kournikova led 5-4 and had two match points on Dokic's serve in the next game. Dokic saved them both, eventually forcing a tiebreaker that she easily won.

The match lasted two hours, but the third set required just 21 minutes as Kournikova's game disappeared.

"I knew that was my chance because in the third set I was very very tired," she said. "The first two sets took a lot out of me. She started off very well in he third and then it was very tough to turn it around."

Dokic was coming off a hard-fought quarterfinal victory over two-time former champion Jennifer Capriati on Friday.

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