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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Williams to face Pennetta in Mexican Open final

Acapulco, Mexico (Sports Network) - Italian Flavia Pennetta is one victory away from capturing her third Mexican Open, but will have to overcome top- seeded American Venus Williams in the final on Saturday.

Pennetta, the reigning champion, secured a berth in her sixth Mexican Open final on Friday as the second seed blew past 2004 champion Iveta Benesova 6-3, 6-3 in the first semifinal bout on the red clay at The Fairmont Acapulco Princess. The Czech Benesova, seeded fourth this week, beat Pennetta in the 2004 finale here.

The reigning Wimbledon champion Williams, last week's titlist in Dubai, breezed past unseeded Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 6-0, 6-3, in the second semifinal.

Pennetta, who beat France's Alize Cornet in last year's finale here, also captured this event in 2005 and was the runner-up in 2004, 2006 and 2007. The 27-year-old, who celebrated a birthday here on Wednesday, will appear in her 15th career final, seeking a seventh title. This marks her first final of 2009.

As for Williams, she'll be after her 41st career title.

Pennetta is 3-2 all-time against Williams, but she lost the last encounter in straight sets, falling in the final of an event in Zurich last year.

The 2009 Acapulco champion will earn $37,000.

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