Hingis lifts first title at home

Martina Hingis collected her first title on home soil here yesterday when she beat the world No 2 Lindsay Davenport 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 in a high-quality final of the Swisscom Challenge.

Martina Hingis collected her first title on home soil here yesterday when she beat the world No 2 Lindsay Davenport 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 in a high-quality final of the Swisscom Challenge.

Hingis, who lives a few kilometres from the Schluefweg Arena where the tournament was staged, needed two tense hours to claim her 33rd career title and end the American's 20-match unbeaten run in Switzerland, which extends over nine years. "It means a lot, twice as much, to finally win here," said Hingis who ran to embrace her mother and coach, Melanie Molitor, after the win. "It's different, it's overwhelming. It's my third final and I had never won here. I'm sorry I had to beat Lindsay and end her winning streak but I really wanted to win." Hingis lost finals here in 1996 and 1999.

Davenport was playing in her first tournament since being forced out of the Sydney Olympics with tendinitis in her left ankle. The final here was the fourth time this year that Hingis and Davenport have met to decide a title, the American winning at the Australian Open and Indian Wells and the Swiss at the Lipton and Zurich tournaments.

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