Hingis finds way to put away Seles 6-4, 6-4 quarterfinal win earns match with Novotna

September 09, 1998|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF

NEW YORK -- No. 1 Martina Hingis had great hits, mis-hits and desperation hits, but they all produced the same result, landing safely in play and devastating Monica Seles.

In a quarterfinal match that has been anticipated since the U.S. Open began 10 days ago, Hingis had little trouble eliminating Seles, the No. 6 seed, 6-4, 6-4, in 1 hour and 12 minutes last night.

It was Hingis' first win over Seles after two previous losses, and put her in her ninth consecutive Grand Slam semifinal.

"I don't think Martina is given enough credit for how very creative she is," said Seles. "She is very quick, and she puts her racket out and the ball hits it. Is that quickness or is that that she reads the ball very well?

"I think it's probably a combination of both. She puts her racket there and the ball comes back and you have to finish the point off. When you play her, you just expect the ball to come back and you have to deal with it."

The next to have to deal with it is No. 3 seed Jana Novotna, who beat No. 11 Patty Schnyder, yesterday, 6-2, 6-3.

The other half of the semifinals will be decided today, when No. 2. Lindsay Davenport, plays No. 13 Amanda Coetzer, and No. 4 Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario meets No. 5 Venus Williams.

Seles, who again complained of the wind in the stadium, started strong enough last night, but she gave up the lone break in the opening set in the fifth game. Hingis played solidly, and did not allow Seles even a break-point opportunity until the second set.

In that set, the two exchanged breaks in the first two games, and after staying on serve through 3-3, Hingis demonstrated just how good and lucky she was when she earned the decisive break point off a net cord in the seventh game.

Hingis is the defending champion here and struggled in earlier rounds, but not last night. Seles said she knew Hingis would raise her game, and had no answer for why she, herself, couldn't do so.

As for Hingis, she knew it was a big moment, having lost the last two meetings with Seles.

"I found new motivation to go out there and fight again," Hingis said. "I played very focused today. She had beaten me twice and it was a tough match. She's a tough player. But I got a lot of balls today and I feel like I am controlling games again."

Featured matches

Today

Play begins at 11 a.m.

Amanda Coetzer (13) vs. Lindsay Davenport (2)

Patrick Rafter (3) vs. Jonas Bjorkman (12)

Play begins at 7: 30 p.m.

Venus Williams (5) vs. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (4)

Pete Sampras (1) vs. Karol Kucera (9)

Pub Date: 9/09/98

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