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Hingis on top of the world after semi final win

Switzerland's top tennis player, Martina Hingis, has regained the world number one ranking after beating Germany's Anke Huber in the semi finals of the WTA tournament in Hamburg.

Hingis did not need to perform at her best to beat Huber in straight sets, the German combining the odd perfectly executed ground shot with some weak serving and a number of unforced errors. The decisive period came halfway through the match as Hingis took four games in a row to take the first set 6-3 and build a lead in the second.

Later, with Hingis serving to go 5-2 up, Huber threatened a fightback with the Swiss player pegged at deuce. But a nerveless drop shot impeccably played from the base-line followed by a powerful drive deep beyond the German's forehand took Hingis within one game of winning the match.

Huber held her serve but Hingis was by now well into her stride, winning her own service game to love to take the second and final set 6-2 and reclaim her place at the top of the tennis world.

"I heard yesterday I could be number one if I won," said a smiling Hingis, "but its more important to me to do well in tomorrow's final. "Lindsay didn't stay number one very long," she added, referring to her American rival, Lindsay Davenport. "It's nice - you don't get to be numner one for nothing."

The organisers of the Hamburg tournament presented Hingis with a cake in the shape of a number one to mark the occasion. The Swiss teenager is now aiming to prolong the celebrations with a win in Sunday's final against either Amanda Coetzer or Aranzxa Sanchez-Vicario.

by Mark Ledsom

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