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Bumper fortnight for tennis fans

Martina Hingis will be hoping to defend her Kloten title Keystone Archive

The world's top tennis stars will be descending on Switzerland over the next two weeks with back-to-back tournaments taking place in Kloten and Basel.

The Kloten tournament, which gets underway this weekend, is welcoming 15 of the top 20 women players. Swiss world number one Martina Hingis will be attempting to defend her title from last year while Basel’s Patty Schnyder will be banking on plenty of home support after receiving a wild card entry into the competition.

After a generally disappointing season, Hingis will also need to do well in Kloten if she is to finish the year at the top of the world rankings. The Swiss star still needs to win around 700 more WTA points than her nearest rival and current world number two Jennifer Capriati.

Three top ten players

Apart from Hingis and Capriati, Kloten boasts another three top ten players in Lindsay Davenport, Serena Williams and Jelena Dokic. Davenport has been quite a force at the Swiss tournament in recent years, winning the title in 1997 and 1998, and only ever losing one singles match (last year’s final against Hingis).

Following next Sunday’s final, attention will quickly turn to the men’s game with the start of the Swiss Indoors tournament in Basel.

Commonly cited as Switzerland’s biggest annual sporting event, the Basel tournament offers a total prize fund of one million dollars (SFr 1.64 million) and is televised in more than 50 countries.

Agassi and Kuerten

This year’s field is suitably impressive with world number one Gustavo Kuerten and number two Andre Agassi heading a line-up that includes nine of the world’s top 20 players.

Among them will be Swiss number one Roger Federer, currently 12th in the world rankings. Bern’s Michel Kratochvil, fresh from two recent ATP final appearances, has been offered a wildcard entry by the tournament’s organisers as has Swiss number five George Bastl.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR