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Hingis progresses to San Diego semi-final

In the second set, Hingis was given a hard time by Japan's Ai Sugiyama

(Keystone)

Switzerland's world number one tennis player, Martina Hingis, has defeated Japan's Ai Sugiyama at the Acura Classic women's tennis tournament in San Diego. Hingis is to face the United States' Monica Seles in the semi-finals.

Friday's quarter-final match started out easily for Hingis, who took the first set 6-3. However, her pace was soon interrupted by Sugiyama's low, hard groundstrokes and brilliant passing shots.

After losing the first three games, Hingis was able to catch up and went ahead 5-4 with a running forehand pass. On her third match point, she produced an admirable backhand shot, winning the match 6-3, 6-4.

"I think I played a good match," Hingis said after defeating Sugiyama, who beat her five years ago in the second round of the Atlanta Olympic Games.

On Saturday, Hingis is to face Monica Seles, who eliminated Jennifer Capriati on Friday in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. Up until now, Hingis has won 13 out of 15 encounters with Seles, and all seven of her last matches against the American player.

Hingis said she was looking forward to her encounter with Seles on Saturday.

"I don't mind her power," she said. "If I can wrong-foot her, I can be sure of winning the point," Hingis concluded.

The San Diego WTA tournament is provided with $750,000 in prize money.

swissinfo with agencies


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