Hingis making progress

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The Independent Online
TENNIS

Martina Hingis reached a senior tournament semi-final for the first time yesterday after a 7-6, 6-1 victory over the Austrian Judith Wiesner at the Hamburg Open women's clay-court event.

The 14-year-old Swiss held her nerve on crucial points against the seventh seed to move into the last four and a match against the German fifth seed, Anke Huber. Huber booked her place in the last four with a 3-6, 6-4, 6- 2 victory over her compatriot, Petra Begerow.

Hingis is gaining in concentration as her experience grows, but the conqueror of the former Wimbledon finalist, Jana Novotna, in the second round is still learning to deal with the physical strains at the highest level.

"I was still a bit tired from the Novotna match. That is why I went for quick winners and that did not always go well,'' Hingis said.

Hingis is restricted to 12 tournaments a year because of her age and she is clearly keen to play more. "It is not enough," she said. "That is only one tournament a month."

Michael Stich, the former Wimbledon champion, rediscovered his touch on clay courts with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Stefan Edberg in the quarter- finals of the Munich Open yesterday.

After disappointing performances on the surface in recent weeks, Stich destroyed Edberg who struggled with his forehand and rarely got his serve- and-volley game going.

Stich had won six of their previous 11 encounters and took just 53 minutes to win the 12th after cruising through the second set without dropping a game.

In today's semi-finals Stich, the defending champion, will meet Uruguay's clay-court specialist, Marcelo Filippini, who beat the Austrian Gilbert Schaller 7-5, 6-1 in his quarter-final.

The fourth seed, South African Wayne Ferreira, and Spain's Alex Corretja will meet in the other semi-final.

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