Davenport wins second straight Advanta title

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Lindsay Davenport isn't in any hurry to get to New York. She's going to savour her latest - and perhaps final - victory in Philadelphia.

Lindsay Davenport isn't in any hurry to get to New York. She's going to savour her latest - and perhaps final - victory in Philadelphia.

Davenport beat Martina Hingis 7-6 (7), 6-4 today to win the Advanta Championships, defeating the Swiss star in the title match for the second straight year.

The tournament will be played next year in Nice, France, ending a 10-year run in the Philadelphia area.

Davenport, ranked No. 2 in the world, heads into this week's season-ending Chase Championships in New York with consecutive tournament victories.

"I'm going to stay here for the next day or two before I head up there," Davenport said. "I'll most likely play Wednesday night so I have a little time to relax a bit then get ready to go again."

Davenport had great success in the Advanta tournament, reaching the finals four straight times. She's now won four championships this year and 30 overall.

But she might not get another opportunity in Philadelphia.

"It's sad. You hate to see it go off the calendar," Davenport said. "I've always done well here, could've won all four. As an American, it's always hard when you lose a tournament to Europe."

In the doubles final, Hingis and Anna Kournikova beat Lisa Raymond and Rennae Stubbs 6-2, 7-5 to qualify for the Chase.

Hingis, No. 1 in the world, twice rallied from match point and reeled off nine straight points against Davenport before losing serve in the final game.

"You felt whoever wins the first set, there would be a letdown," Hingis said. "It's hard mentally to keep yourself going after losing the first set."

Davenport, coming off a dominating performance in the semifinals against Conchita Martinez, came back from double set point to win the tiebreak in the first set after twice failing to hold serve.

She repeatedly frustrated Hingis in the 86-minute match with a strong backhand and powerful serve.

"With her, you have to have a perfect shot," Hingis said.

Davenport, who earned dlrs 87,000 for the victory, won the Advanta last year by beating Hingis in straight sets.

This was the 21st meeting between the world's top two players. Davenport is 12-9 against Hingis, who had won the previous two matches.

Davenport lost the Advanta final to Hingis in 1997 and to Steffi Graf in '98 before winning last year.

"I don't think either one of us played particularly well," Davenport said. "I guess that's a credit to me that I won."

Davenport had seven service breaks to six for Hingis. Both players exchanged service breaks to open the match before Davenport broke again for a 2-1 lead. Backed by two aces, Davenport held serve to make it 3-1.

Davenport lost one game despite getting three aces.

"It was a strange match because we kept breaking each other," Hingis said. "The surface is slow here so you have more time for your returns."

Hingis, who attacked the net in the semifinal, finally showed that aggressiveness midway through the first set, breaking serve to tie it at 4. She broke serve again to force the tiebreak.

"I tried to come in every now and then, but she hits every ball so long and deep," Hingis said. "She doesn't give me time to play the finesse game."

Hingis had won three consecutive tournaments and 15 matches since losing to Venus Williams in the U.S. Open quarterfinals.

Regardless of her performance in the Chase Championships, Hingis will end the year where she began - at No. 1. Davenport will remain at No. 2.

Final result from the $535,000 Advanta Championship tennis tournament (seedings in parentheses)

Singles

(2) Lindsey Davenport (US) def. (1) Martina Hingis (Swit) 7-6 (7), 6-4.

Doubles

(2) Martina Hingis (Swit) and Anna Kournikova (Rus) def. (3) Lisa Raymond (US) and Rennae Stubbs (Aus) 6-2, 7-5.

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