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Seles returns to old magic

Monica Seles is back in the Italian Open final, 10 years after her only victory in Rome launched her into tennis stardom.

The hard-hitting left-hander looked like the Seles of old Saturday, hitting winners from both sides and giving no quarter in a 54-minute drubbing of unranked Corina Morariu.

Seles' 6-3, 6-1 win sets up a final today against Amelie Mauresmo, who rolled over Fabiola Zuluaga 6-1, 6-2.

But the story on Rome's red clay has been Seles, who's cranked up her game exactly a decade after she beat her idol, Martina Navratilova, to capture the 1990 Italian Open at the age of 16.

Seles followed that win a month later with a French Open title, her first of eight Grand Slams in a 30-month stretch.

"Ten years is a long time," Seles said after Saturday's match. "It's been a fantastic time, lots of highs, lots of lows and lots of in-the-middle's. But in all that time I've never lost my love of the game."

GERMAN OPEN: Gustavo Kuerten faces Marat Safin in the final today in Hamburg. Safin ousted defending champion Marcelo Rios in the semifinals 7-6 (10-8), 6-2 after saving three set points. Kuerten beat qualifier Andrei Pavel 6-3, 6-3.

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