LOS ANGELES — Mary Pierce's one-two punch of big serves followed by hard groundstrokes knocked out fellow heavy hitter Lindsay Davenport.

Pierce edged the top-ranked Davenport 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6) in a semifinal matchup of the pro tour's oldest elite players in the WTA Championships on Saturday.

Pierce is undefeated in four matches at the season-ending tournament, including a three-set win over No. 2 Kim Clijsters in the round-robin portion.

"I've been able to have more faith in myself and my ability," she said.

The 30-year-old Frenchwoman advanced to Sunday's final against countrywoman Amelie Mauresmo, who beat mistake-prone defending champion Maria Sharapova 7-6 (1), 6-3.

"Who would have thought that?" Mauresmo said about the all-French final.

No French player has ever won the championships, although Pierce was runner-up in 1997 and Mauresmo finished second in 2003. Pierce had 10 aces in a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 round-robin victory over Mauresmo on Friday.

Sharapova appeared listless against Mauresmo, falling to 4-7 in semifinals this year. The 18-year-old Russian hasn't reached a final since June when she won a Wimbledon warmup at Birmingham.

She has been bothered by a strained right chest muscle since August, and it hurt during the match.

"I couldn't serve very big, especially in the second set," she said. "That's not very good when you're playing a top player in the semifinals. Without the injury, I felt like I was in control and that still gives me a lot of confidence for next year."

TENNIS MASTERS CUP: At Shanghai, China, the Tennis Masters Cup is wasting no time getting to its headline player — top-ranked Roger Federer, whose game could be shaky because of a sprained ankle.

Federer, seeking his third consecutive Masters Cup title, begins the eight-day, year-end tournament Sunday against David Nalbandian.

"I definitely need confidence because I haven't played in seven weeks," Federer said Saturday. "My expectations are low. I just hope to play a good match."

The Swiss star hurt his ankle during practice and will be playing an Argentine opponent also not at the top of his game.

"It's not a bad match to play in the first round," Nalbandian said. "I'm not 100 percent to start tomorrow and he's not 100 percent."

In the second match, Guillermo Coria of Argentina plays Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia.