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Hingis scrapes through after Majoli scare

Hingis found herself stretched to the full on Friday


Swiss tennis star Martina Hingis had to come through a three set thriller against Croatia's Iva Majoli before finally booking herself a place in the fourth round of the US Open.

After suffering a stunning defeat by the Croat in the final of the French Open four years ago, Hingis hardly needed reminding of Majoli's potential for causing upsets.

A reminder was exactly what the world number one got, though, with Majoli breaking Hingis early on to take the first set of Friday's match 6-4.

But Hingis struck back in the second, breaking Majoli at 4-4 before serving successfully to level the tie.

Third set tie-break

Majoli appeared to be on the ropes in the deciding set, calling for an injury timeout after losing the first three games. But after having her right thigh heavily taped up, the Croat came back to square the set and force a third set tie-break.

Down 5-4, Hingis seemed on the brink of becoming the first US Open top seed to lose in the third round since Billie Jean King in 1973. But the Swiss player held on to win the next three points and with them the match.

"The match was just not the best I ever played," Hingis said. "Being two points away from losing, it can't get much worse."

A loss would have allowed American Jennifer Capriati to bump Hingis out of her number one spot by reaching the semifinals next week.

Instead the Swiss star went through to the fourth round, where she is due to face 14th-seeded Jelena Dokic.

Vavrinec and Bastl unlucky

Swiss compatriot Miroslava Vavrinec was less fortunate - losing to the rising Belgian player, Justine Henin, in straight sets. The sixth-seed overpowered Vavrinec to win 6-3, 6-2.

In the men's draw Swiss number four George Bastl also saw his US Open adventure come to an end when he lost his second round tie against Russian seventh seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov, despite having taken a two set lead.

Bastl was 6-2, 7-5 up and just one set away from one of the biggest wins of his career. But, just like Hingis, the former Australian Open and French Open winner was able to respond, taking the next three sets 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 to cruelly end Bastl's dreams of a place in the third round.

swissinfo with agencies


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