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Tasjkent   08 okt 2005 S: Bychkova (72) 6-1 6-3 

Wtatour.com, 8 oktober 2005

First-time finalists in Tasjkent

In semifinal action Saturday, No.5 seed Krajicek of the Netherlands knocked out top-seeded Russian Ekaterina Bychkova 61 63 in just under an hour while wildcard Amanmuradova took just a little longer to eliminate No.7 seed Maria Elena Camerin of Italy 63 64. It's the first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles final for both players.

Bychkova has struggled to get her groundstrokes going in the tournament and relied heavily on her powerful serve to see her through the earlier matches. But the serve just wasn't enough against the all-court game of Krajicek on Saturday.

The way she's played in the tournament so far, it's hard to believe that Krajicek, sister of 1996 Wimbledon champion Richard, is just 16. She plays with minimum fuss and there's a certain mature efficiency in the way she hits her shots and moves her opponents around the court.

Krajicek broke Bychkova in the first game of the match and raced through the first set in just 20 minutes. Then there was her usual second-set stutter; she dropped serve in the first game. But she recovered quickly and broke right back and then again in the fourth game to deny Bychkova the chance to get back into the match.

With nothing left to lose, Bychkova finally started swinging freely and started landing her groundstrokes inside the court. She played some of her most positive tennis for a spell and had a break point in the seventh game but Krajicek held on resolutely.

Said Krajicek, who has now beaten Bychkova all three times they've played so far: "Today was a very good match. I played very well and am satisfied.

"Since I've beaten her before, I was confident but I didn't think it would be so easy."

Said Bychkova: "It was a bad day Ö not my day. She (Michaella) is a good player, played well, played smart."

Asked how she felt about making her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour final, Krajicek replied, "Actually, I was more nervous yesterday (about winning her first quarterfinal). But it's great to be there and I'm satisfied. I'm looking forward to making a match of it tomorrow."

About Amanmuradova, her opponent tomorrow, she said: "She's serving well; it's going to be tough.

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First-time finalists in Tasjkent   8 oktober 2005
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