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Monica Seles is in a familiar place, the finals of the Toyota Princess Cup.

Seles, a five-time champion and winner of the event the last three years, defeated eighth-seeded Ai Sugiyama of Japan, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3), in the semifinals Saturday.

The second-seeded Seles will play top-seeded Lindsay Davenport, who yielded only 11 points on her own serve in an easy 6-2, 6-1 victory over seventh-seeded Amy Frazier in the other semifinal.

"I'm the huge underdog here in Tokyo," Davenport joked of Seles' winning streak. Seles, ranked fifth in the world, has a 5-0 record in the tournament, also capturing the trophy in 1991 and 1992.

"I haven't played her almost a year since last November," said Davenport, the world's No. 2 player. "It's going to be a difficult match. She's never going to give up."

"Lindsay has been playing some terrific tennis last week in the Fed Cup and again here," Seles said. "So, it would be a very difficult match."

Both players were members of the U.S. Fed Cup team that captured its 16th title with a 4-1 win against Russia last weekend.

France in Davis Cup finals

France reached the final of the Davis Cup for the third time in the 1990s with a convincing doubles victory against Belgium.

The French pair of Olivier Delaitre and Fabrice Santoro defeated the inexperienced Belgian team of Xavier Malisse and Christophe Van Garsse, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3, giving France an insurmountable 3-0 lead in a best-of-five semifinal series.

In the other semifinal, Australia defeated Russia, 3-1, after Lleyton Hewitt's 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 win over Yevgeny Kafelnikov.

Kafelnikov and Andrei Olhovskiy had defeated Aussies Mark Woodforde and Sandon Stolle, 6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 4-6, 8-6, earlier in doubles.

France, which will have home court advantage in the final against Australia, is looking for its third Davis Cup triumph of the decade. The final will be played at either Nice or Bordeaux.

Around the nets

Kim Clijsters, a 16-year-old Belgian, joined her better known countrywoman, Dominique Van Roost, in the finals of the Seat Open in Luxembourg with an impressive semifinal victory. Clijsters beat Belgian veteran Sabine Appelmans, 6-2, 6-7 (7-3), 6-1. Van Roost, seeded No. 2 and ranked 13th in the world, beat 15-year old Russian prodigy Lina Krasnoroutskaya, 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.

Former Grand Island resident Jimmy Arias was eliminated in his first tournament on the senior tour, losing to Mikael Pernfors in the semifinals of the BTI champions event in Atlanta. The scores were 6-3, 5-7 (10-6). A tiebreaker replaces the third set in senior events. Arias finished second in the round-robin portion of the tournament. Pernfors will play Mats Wilander in today's final.

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