Hingis and Davenport impress in estyle.com Classic

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The Independent Online

Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport, ranked 1-2 in the world, looked the part in the estyle.com Classic quarterfinals in Manhattan Beach, California.

Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport, ranked 1-2 in the world, looked the part in the estyle.com Classic quarterfinals in Manhattan Beach, California.

That hasn't always been the case recently.

Hingis breezed past Amy Frazier 6-2, 6-1, and Davenport overpowered No. 8 Sandrine Testud of France 6-4, 6-2 on Friday to reach the semifinals of the women's tournament at the Manhattan Country Club.

The top-seeded Hingis was to face defending champion and fifth-seeded Serena Williams on Saturday, while the second-seeded Davenport was to meet 18-year-old Elena Dementieva of Russia under the lights.

Dementieva rallied for a 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Lisa Raymond in a matchup of unseeded players. Williams won her quarterfinal match on Thursday, eliminating No. 4 Conchita Martinez in three sets.

"Serena will be tough," said Hingis, who hasn't played the younger Williams sister since the U.S. Open semifinals last summer. "I'm going to have to raise my level. She's playing solid tennis and serving good."

Williams went on to win the Open for her first Grand Slam title, defeating Davenport in the finals.

Hingis, who reversed a straight-set loss to Frazier in the quarterfinals of the Acura Classic last week, was coming off a three-set victory over Chanda Rubin.

Davenport, upset in the second round of the Acura Classic by Anna Kournikova, struggled to beat unheralded Anne-Gaelle Sidot of France in three sets a day earlier.

Hingis needed only 53 minutes to beat Frazier, the world's 20th-ranked player. The 19-year-old Hingis has beaten Frazier, 27, five times in six lifetime meetings.

"I was excited to go out there and play her," Hingis said. "I had nothing to lose, and she had to prove something. It worked out the way I wanted. I was more aggressive, and I was reading her game more. I had learned her strengths and weaknesses."

Frazier won this tournament in 1994; Hingis is trying to win it for the first time in four tries.

"I knew today would be a totally different match (than last week)," Frazier said. "She doesn't make too many errors, she didn't miss too many. She just played really well. She's always so tough, she makes you win every shot."

Davenport fell behind Testud 3-2 in the first set before taking command, losing only five points in the four games she served in the second set. The match lasted 1 hour, 7 minutes.

"I felt like I hit the ball a lot better," Davenport said. "Yesterday, I didn't have a lot of energy.

"I've had a lot of tough matches against (Testud) in the past. I'm just happy to beat her and get through. She's always a fighter. I've seen her play better. To win in two relatively comfortable sets is great."

Dementieva, playing in this tournament for the first time, needed 1 hour, 38 minutes to eliminate Raymond, doing so by winning 12 of the match's final 17 games.

Dementieva has lost each of her three matches against Davenport - two this year.

"I've had some pretty good success against her," Davenport said. "I think she was a little intimidated. She's not that old."

The final will be played Sunday, with the singles champion earning $87,000 and the runner-up $43,500.

Results from the $535,000 estyle.com Classic Sanex WTA Tour hard-court tournament:

Singles - Quarterfinals

(1) Martina Hingis (Swit) def. Amy Frazier (US) 6-2, 6-1. Elena Dementieva (Rus) def. Lisa Raymond (US) 2-6, 6 -1, 6-4. (2) Lindsay Davenport (US) def. (8) Sandrine Testud (Fr) 6-4, 6-2.

Doubles - Quarterfinals

Nicole Arendt (US) and Manon Bollegraf (Neth) def. (1) Lisa Raymond (US) and Rennae Stubbs (Aus) 6-4, 6-4. Kimberly Po (US) and Anne-Gaelle Sidot (Fr) def. (4) Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (Sp) and Barbara Schett (Aut) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

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