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Hingis title dream shattered in Tokyo

Hingis played her seventh Pan Pacific final Keystone

Switzerland's Martina Hingis has missed a chance to claim her first title since returning to tennis less than a month ago.

Russia’s Elena Dementieva crushed the former world number one 6-2, 6-0 in the final of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Sunday.

Dementieva overpowered Hingis, a four-time winner of the Tokyo tournament, with her serves and returns.

The 25-year old Swiss got off to a sluggish start and had no answer to Dementieva’s clever use of lobs. Hingis was broken three times in the first set and made series of unforced errors.

“I’ve exceeded my expectations and am happy to playing good tennis once again,” Hingis said.

“But I guess it was probably one Russian too many,” she smiled.

Hingis who had entered the tournament as a wild card, beat Maria Kirilenko and knocked out top seed Maria Sharapova before reaching her first final since coming out of retirement last month.

Top 50

Despite her defeat to Dementieva on Sunday Hingis is likely to move just outside the top 50 in the world ranking.

She also had a strong run at the Australian Open in Melbourne where she made it to the quarter-finals and won the mixed double with India’s Mahesh Bhupathi.

Hingis said she would continue her return in Dubai and Doha later this month.

The “Swiss Miss” claimed five grand slam singles titles between 1997 and 1999 and won the Tokyo tournament four times before her premature retirement from competitive tennis in 2002.

swissinfo with agencies

Hingis has won 40 singles titles, five grand slams and 36 doubles titles on the Women’s Tennis Association tour.

She was only 16 when she took over the top ranking in March 1997 and spent most of the next five years in the top spot.

She withdrew from competitive tennis in October 2002 after battling with foot injuries.

In January 2006 she made her comeback, reaching the Australian Open quarter-finals in Melbourne in the women’s single event and winning the mixed double title.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR