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February 16: Molik pushes Seles
DOHA, Feb 16 AFP -

Australia's Alicia Molik pushed top seed Monica Seles to three sets before bowing out in the semi-finals of the Qatar Open today.

American Seles and Thailand's Tamarine Tanasugarn will clash in the final of the $US170,000 ($A330,353) WTA tournament after contrasting matches.

Seles, a legend at 28 and winner of 51 titles, overcame a spirited fight from Molik before winning 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 and advancing to the final against the 21st-ranked Tanasugarn who is still looking for her first singles crown.

Tanasugarn, the fourth seed here, earlier stopped Janette Husarova of Slovakia 6-0 7-6 (7-2) to clinch her fifth final appearance. This will be the second time Tanasugarn and Seles have met in a final, the US superstar having beaten the Thai to the title at the 2001 Japan Open.

"I have had a few tough matches with her before. She is really playing well so I've to be fully prepared for the final," said Seles, who received a thorough testing by the 21-year-old Molik. "I knew the semi-final would be tough but I didn't expect it to be this tough. Alicia really came back in the second set."

Molik said she'd been happy with her performance, but claimed a disputed line call had upset her concentration. "I disputed a call in the third game of the third set and let it play on my mind and that was the turning point. I thought Monica had picked up the ball after it had bounced twice although TV replays proved me wrong. It was a close match and could have gone any way."