Tennis: Hingis to face latest rival

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The Independent Online
AMELIE MAURESMO will face Martina Hingis in a repeat of last month's bristly Australian Open final after cruising to a 6-2, 6-1 win over Karina Habsudova at the Gaz de France Open yesterday. She will take on the world No 1 in a quarter-final there today. The match resumes the rivalry that began before the Melbourne final when Hingis described Mauresmo, who is a lesbian, as "half a man." Mauresmo responded by saying Hingis had been stupid, though the Swiss teenager has since said the media overplayed her comments. Hingis won the Australian final 6-2, 6-3.

Mauresmo was never in any trouble against Habsudova, dominating the Slovak's service and asserting her own game. She won in just 52 minutes. Earlier, the Belgian Dominique van Roost, seeded third, maintained her fine start to the year by beating Spain's Virginia Ruano-Pascual 6-4, 6-0. France's Julie Halard-Decugis, Nathalie Dechy and Russia's Elena Likhovtseva, also qualified for the quarter-finals. This year, Van Roost has reached the last eight of the Australian Open, and the final of the Auckland WTA event.

Meanwhile, Anna Kournikova of Russia needed just 51 minutes to beat Kristina Brandi 6-3, 6-1 in the second round of the IGA Superthrift Tennis Classic. Kournikova, ranked 13th in the world, was making her tournament debut. She advances to the quarter-finals to face fifth-seeded Chanda Rubin, the only other seeded player in action. Rubin defeated Australian Nicole Pratt 6-3, 6-2.

Two unseeded Americans also reached the quarter-finals. Alexandra Stevenson beat Russian Tatiana Panova 2-6, 7-6, 7-5 and Jane Chi beat Mashona Washington 7-6, 6-3.