Swiss women fade out as hopes lie with Federer

Unseeded Hingis crashed out of the Australian Open in the quarter-finals Keystone

Martina Hingis's dream comeback has ended in defeat in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne.

This content was published on January 25, 2006 - 17:06

Fellow Swiss Patty Schnyder was knocked out by Amélie Mauresmo of France on Wednesday, while Hingis lost to Belgium's second-seeded Kim Clijsters.

There was some consolation for Swiss fans, however, as Roger Federer notched up his 50th straight win on hard courts, against Nikolay Davydenko, earning a place in the men's semi-finals.

Clijsters reclaimed the world number one spot by beating Hingis 6-3, 2-6, 6-4. The Swiss player was taking part in her first major tournament since retiring from the game three years ago due to injury.

Despite the loss, Hingis said she was satisfied with her first Grand Slam event since 2002.

"I think I can be proud of myself. You just can't think you're going to go out there and win everything. Losing to Kim today still gives me so much to look forward to. I just have to work harder. I have to start believing," Hingis said.

Schnyder straight out

The win advanced Clijsters into Thursday's semi-final against Mauresmo, who beat Schnyder 6-3, 6-0 in a 52-minute game earlier in the day.

Mauresmo said she had expected a more difficult match from Schnyder but that she felt her opponent found it hard to find solutions.

Hingis, who said her comeback would continue, won the Australian Open in 1997, 1998 and 1999. She quit the tour in 2002 due to persistent foot and heel injuries, only returning to competitive tennis earlier this month.

She was ranked number 349 coming into the match and was playing on a wild-card entry at the season's first major tournament.

Struggling Federer

Meanwhile Roger Federer, the 2004 Australian Open champion and reigning Wimbledon and US Open titleholder, struggled for the second consecutive match but still advanced to the semi-finals by ousting fifth-seeded Davydenko of Russia 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6.

The Russian saved one match point while serving at 5-6 in the fourth set. He led 2-1 in the tiebreak before Federer took control by winning four straight points.

"I'm extremely happy to come through tonight," said Federer. "I really had to fight. It was hard."

Federer will next play Nicolas Kiefer of Germany, who survived a match lasting nearly five hours to defeat Sébastien Grosjean of France.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Latest Swiss results at the Australian Open:

Women's quarter-finals: Hingis lost to Kim Clijsters, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4. Schnyder lost to Amélie Mauresmo, 6-3, 6-0.
Men's quarter-finals: Federer beat Davydenko, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (5).

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