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Hingis defeated in French Open semi-final

Hingis congratulates Pierce at the end of their match


Switzerland's Martina Hingis has been knocked out of the French Open in Paris, after losing her semi-final match to France's Mary Pierce. The French title remains the only Grand Slam crown to have eluded Hingis.

The world number one was clearly not on top form in her clay-court clash with Mary Pierce. She lost the first set, 6-4, and had to struggle through the second, eventually taking it in a tie-break.

Her game fell apart in the third set, when she made back-to-back double faults in the fourth game, allowing Pierce to break her serve.

It was downhill from there for Hingis, who managed to claw back just one more game before losing the set, 6-2, and the match.

Hingis was, however, graceful in defeat. There was no repeat of the tantrum and tears which earned her jeers from the crowd last year, after she was beaten in the final by Steffi Graf.

This year, her attitude won her applause from the hostile French fans, who had predictably backed Pierce throughout the match.

Now that her bid for the singles' title is over, Hingis can concentrate on her doubles matches, with her partner and nemesis, Pierce.

The two have been an awesome combination - on Wednesday they moved into the final four when Spain's Martina Conchita Martinez and Argentina's Patricia Tarabini abandoned their quarterfinal encounter, while trailing 6-1, 1-0.

swissinfo with agencies

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