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Hingis celebrates another Australian title

All smiles for Hingis (right) after beating Davenport in the final Keystone

Switzerland's Martina Hingis has won the Sydney International tennis tournament, beating Lindsay Davenport of the United States in the final.Two tournament victories in the past week augur well for the upcoming Australian Open.

World number one Hingis beat Davenport in three sets, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, to win the women’s title for the second time in five years.

On her way to the title, Hingis also beat the Williams sisters. After her victory in the final, she said: “I beat the top players out there. It was the best field ever at this tournament so I’m very happy about going to the Aussie Open.”

In the 15th finals clash between the world’s top two women, Hingis broke Davenport in the seventh game to take a 5-3 lead and then served out for the set.

But she was frustrated in the second set, destroying her racket after slamming it into the court when Davenport broke back from 2-4 to level at 4-4.

Hingis earned an automatic code violation warning and was frustrated further when the 24-year-old US player won the next two games to send the final into a deciding third set.

The pair exchanged breaks until 3-3 and then games went with serve until 5-5, when Davenport conceded three break points and then smashed an overhead forehand into the net to allow Hingis to serve for the match.

In the end, Hingis won 10 of the last 11 points and sealed the championship when Davenport hit a forehand return wide down the line.

The 20-year-old Swiss reversed her last two Australian results against Davenport, who beat her in last year’s Australian Open decider and in the 1999 International final.

Hingis still trails in head-to-heads, but reduced the gap to 10-12. Davenport now holds a 9-6 lead in their finals encounters.

Saturday’s victory sealed her spot as a firm favourite for next week’s Australian Open. Only last week, Hingis won a title in the Hopman Cup in Australia.

swissinfo with agencies

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