Hingis and Williams cruise through

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The Independent Online

Switzerland's World No 1 Martina Hingis and her great rival Venus Williams easily advanced to the quarter-finals of the Acura Classic in Carlsbad, California.

Hingis beat Alexandra Stevenson of the United States 6-1, 6-3. Williams, the defending champion coming off a surprising quarter-final loss to her fellow American Meghann Shaughnessy last week in the Bank of the West Classic, defeated Daja Bedanova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-3.

Jennifer Capriati and her fellow American Lindsay Davenport also moved through. Capriati, the 1991 and 1992 winner, overcame a 1-3 deficit in the first set to beat Yugoslavia's Jelena Dokic 6-4, 6-2. Davenport, the 1998 champion, edged Barbara Schett of Austria 6-1, 7-5.

Hingis took the first set in 20 minutes, then traded service breaks with Stevenson before taking the final three games in the second set of the 57-minute match. "Whenever I had a chance, I stepped it up," said Hingis, the 1997 and 1999 winner. "We played at Indian Wells two years ago when she was still a rookie. I know she is moving better now. She hits the ball hard, but sometimes with not enough control."

The loss ended Stevenson's five-match winning streak – her longest since winning eight straight en route to the 1999 Wimbledon semi-finals.

In Montreal, the ninth seed, Patrick Rafter, beat his American friend Todd Martin for the seventh time in 10 career meetings, earning his first straight-sets win in the series with a 6-4, 6-2 victory.

It set up a quarter-final meeting with Juan Carlos Ferrero, of Spain, who was a 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 winner over America's Jan-Michael Gambill. Germany's Tommy Haas battled against the jet-lag still lingering from last week's event in Los Angeles, but reached the last eight with a 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, victory over Jerome Golmard of France.