Hingis cruises past Seles into final

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The Independent Online

Martina Hingis has again dumped Monica Seles to book a final showdown with rising teenager Daniela Hantuchova at the Pacific Life Open.

The second–seeded Swiss was a 6–3 6–2 winner against Seles who she has beaten in 15 of their 19 career matchings.

But she must be wary of complacency against the 18–year–old Slovakian.

Hingis, the world number four, is one of the WTA Tour's elder stateswomen now, and, naturally, an overwhelming favourite against Hantuchova.

There is good reason for that, five grand slam titles testify to the 21–year–old's quality.

But Hantuchova demonstrated her grit in preventing an all–Swiss final.

Emmanuelle Gagliardi, a compatriot of Hingis, took the first set against Hantuchova but was soon on the back foot as the Slovakian rallied to level.

Hantuchova kept her nerve in the deciding set to win 4–6 6–0 6–4.

"I can't ask for more," she said later.

"It's so exciting for me, to be the first time in the final and playing one of the best players in the world in a major tournament like this. I'm enjoying every minute of it."

Hantuchova has risen to 26th in the WTA rankings, and should make further progress irrespective of the final's outcome.

"She is a very good groundstroker and has a good serve." Hingis acknowledged.