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Hingis heads for final Indian Wells showdown

Hingis returns a shot during her semi-final tie against Monica Seles Keystone

Switzerland's Martina Hingis has made it through to the finals of the Indian Wells Open tournament in California.

The current world number four booked her place in the final after notching up a two-set victory over her American rival, Monica Seles, 6-3, 6-2.

The 21-year-old player has now won a total of 15 encounters against Seles, while the American has emerged victorious just four times.

But hopes of an all-Swiss final were dashed when Hingis’s compatriot, Emmanuelle Gagliardi, crashed out of the tournament’s other semi-final tie.

After winning the first set, the Swiss player fell behind to lose her match against Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova 4-6, 6-0, 6-4.

Hingis will now go on to meet the 18-year-old Slovakian in Saturday’s final, as she tries for her second Indian Wells title in four years.

Hantuchova, who is still looking for her first singles title, sounded upbeat about Saturday’s final against Switzerland’s most celebrated female tennis player.

“It really is extraordinary for me to find myself for the first time in the final of such a tournament,” she said after defeating Gagliardi.

“And it is just as amazing to be given the chance to play against one of the best female players in the world,” she added.

As Hingis began to gear up for the final showdown, Switzerland’s Roger Federer kissed goodbye to his own dreams of grabbing the 2002 Indian Wells title.

Federer lost his third round match against Sweden’s Thomas Enqvist, 7-6 (8-6), 2-6, 6-1.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR