Tennis: Hingis sparkles on clay

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The Independent Online
MARTINA HINGIS wasted no time in taking control over an impatient Serena Williams in their Italian Open quarter-final yesterday, reeling off 16 of the first 17 points to set up a straight-sets victory.

Hingis, the defending champion and top seed, gave the sixth-seeded American a lesson in clay-court tennis on a windy afternoon, cruising to a 6-2, 6-2 victory. Williams often had herself to blame, amassing more than two dozen unforced errors in the 62-minute encounter.

Hingis, the world's top-ranked player, established a 4-0 lead whilst dropping just one point - on her own double-fault in the second game. "I just didn't miss. I was very focused, and didn't let her back in the game," she said. "And I didn't give her the chance to kill me. I guess I made her kill herself."

Williams did not even get on the scoreboard until a forehand passing shot won her the fifth game, after which she raised her arms in ironic celebration. Hingis' will now meet the winner of Venus Williams' match against Dominique Van Roost of Belgium.

On the other side of the draw, Amelie Mauresmo ended Sylvia Plischke's string of upsets, overpowering the unseeded Austrian in straight sets to reach the semi-finals.

Mauresmo won 6-2, 6-3 in exactly an hour. She now goes on to meet her compatriot Mary Pierce in today's semi-final. Pierce advanced by beating another French player, Sandrine Testud 6-4, 7-5.