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Tennis: Hingis recaptures No 1 spot in style

MARTINA HINGIS celebrated her return to the No 1 spot by beating Venus Williams 6-4, 6-0, on Sunday, to win the T.I.G. Classic in Carlsbad, California.

Since returning from a five- week break from the game, Hingis looks a much stronger player. She puts this down to an extensive weight-training programme and renewed self belief. "It's a great test to see where I am at. Right now, I think I'm pretty good. I used to have ups and downs in the match, but not today," she said.

Venus Williams, in disposing of the No 1 seed, Lindsay Davenport in the semi-final, ensured that Hingis would recapture the top spot if she got to the final, which she duly did.

Williams gave credit to Hingis after the match, but said she felt fatigued after playing for three consecutive weeks and losing in two straight finals.

Thomas Johansson overcame a groin injury to beat third-seed, Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia, to win the du Maurier Open in Canada, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.

"It's been a great week," the 24-year-old said after he won his first tournament of the year and third of his career. "To win a Super-Nine event is an incredible feeling."

There was a sour note to the match as Kafelnikov was not convinced Johansson's injury was genuine saying, "If you pull your hamstring, you can't run like he did. He wasn't hurt at all."

"He saw I was injured and tried to make me run. Instead of going for winners, he played safe shots," Johansson replied.