ARANTXA Sanchez Vicario and Mary Pierce overcame illness to storm into the final of the First Pacific Bank Challenge last night at Victoria Park. Sanchez, the world number two, saw off Japan's Naoko Sawamatsu 6-1, 6-3 in impressive fashion while Pierce was equally clinical in disposing of crowd favourite Martina Navratilova 6-1, 6-0. But both victors admitted to suffering from colds as a result of the wintry weather currently afflicting Hong Kong. 'It was hard to play because I found it difficult to breathe,' said Sanchez, last year's French and US Open champion. 'I actually thought I had a fever in the morning but felt much better during the match. 'But I played the best I could. I tried to attack as much as I could and put pressure on her. 'I was aggressive and felt pretty comfortable with how I played the match.' Pierce looked in perfect health as she outplayed an off-form Navratilova. But Pierce also said she was suffering from a cold, brought on after her preliminary round victory over Hong Kong's Willy Chan Lee on Thursday night. 'I do not want to say it is better but its not any worse,' said Pierce, referring to her cold. But she could not complain about her performance against veteran Navratilova, who conceded the match in 58 minutes. Said Pierce: 'I could not ask for much better. I was not expecting to play so well. When you play against Martina, you have to do really, really well, so I am very happy.' Despite her quick defeat, Navratilova won over the 2,000-odd crowd by her sheer presence and a memorable confrontation with the chair umpire, with whom she unsuccessfully pleaded to over-rule a line call. But, as she was to admit, she needed more than a single over-ruling to have won the match. 'Mary came up with some really good shots and I was not sharp enough,' said Navratilova, who meets Sawamatsu in this afternoon's third and fourth place playoff match. 'Players like Mary hit the ball so hard and usually you work your way up in tournaments to play those players. Here, I met her in my first match. 'There were five games when I had game point but I couldn't take advantage of it.' Pierce, whose ground-strokes and service returns often left Navratilova stranded, breezed through the first three games of the match before her opponent offered her any resistance, taking her to deuce in the next three games. Navratilova won her first game in the sixth, a low backhand cross-court making it 1-5. Pierce then served to 15 to wrap up the first set. At 30-30 in the opening game of the second set, Navratilova served an ace to suggest she was ready to get back into the match. But Pierce, the world's fifth-ranked player, would not allow it, capitalising on her opponent's errors to break and then fighting off break point to go 2-0 up. Navratilova fought desperately to hold on to her serve but was broken twice more on deuce before Pierce successfully held to 30 to wrap up the match. Sanchez shot to a 5-0 lead over Sawamatsu before the Japanese could win a game and never looked back.