Rising Belgian star Kim Clijsters put an end to Martina Hingis' Californian dreams on Thursday, after beating Switzerland's world number one in the semi-finals of the Indian Wells Masters Series tournament.
The 17-year-old Belgian (WTA 19) was in impressive form against Hingis, winning the vast majority of the two players' baseline rallies with a string of hard and low groundstrokes. Having taken the first set 6-2, the youngster then appeared to fade for a while, allowing Hingis to snatch the second set by the same scoreline.
But it was Clijsters who finished the stronger, regaining her focus in the deciding set to wrap up a 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 win. Despite the see-saw nature of the score, the whole match lasted just 71 minutes.
"I let her play well, I wasn't at my best today," said a deflated Hingis afterwards. "She has shown that she certainly isn't afraid to win."
Hingis herself rarely has any qualms about winning with Thursday's defeat ending a run of five tournaments in which the Swiss star has at least reached the final.
swissinfo with agencies