Tennis: Hingis run broken by Davenport

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The Independent Online
Martina Hingis may be miraculous, but she is not a machine. The 16-year- old Swiss, who became the youngest woman to claim the world No 1 ranking on 31 March, lost for only the second time this year, falling in three sets to Lindsay Davenport in the semi-finals of the Acura Classic in California.

"Sometimes you're just a human being," said Hingis, whose only other defeat of 1997 was to Iva Majoli in the French Open final. "Sometimes it's like a car, there's no more gas in there."

Davenport, the defending champion and fourth seed, said she sensed that Hingis's streak was winding down. "She hasn't lost a lot of matches this year, but I thought I had a chance to win," Davenport said. "She's won so many matches, played so many tournaments, she has to start breaking down eventually."

Even so, Davenport came perilously close to wasting her opportunity. Up 5-0 in the third, the 21-year-old American lost four games in a row before breaking Hingis to win the match. She now meets Monica Seles in the final.

Thomas Muster played a near-perfect opening set in a marathon 6-3, 4- 6, 7-6 defeat of Michael Chang in the ATP Championship semi-finals in Ohio. The 29-year-old Austrian, fast shedding his reputation as merely a clay court master, moved a step closer to a third hardcourt title this year with a 2hr 16min victory. The former world No 1 now faces a final with the current No 1 Pete Sampras, who dispatched Spain's Albert Costa 6-3, 6-4 in the other semi-final.