Serena Williams rallies to beat Hingis

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The Independent Online

Serena Williams rallied for a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory over top-ranked Martina Hingis today, sending the American to the final of the estyle.com Classic in Manhattan Beach, California.

Serena Williams rallied for a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory over top-ranked Martina Hingis today, sending the American to the final of the estyle.com Classic in Manhattan Beach, California.

The 18-year-old Williams, ranked No. 7 and seeded fifth this week, lost only eight points in her five service games in the third set - four in the final game - but expressed disappointment in her serve.

"I did not serve well, but I was able to come out on top, I like that," Williams said. "She's No. 1, so I beat the top player in the world."

Williams was to face the winner of Saturday night's semifinal match between second-seeded Lindsay Davenport and 18-year-old Elena Dementieva of Russia in Sunday's final at the Manhattan Country Club.

Williams has beaten Davenport four straight times after losing the first match between the two, and has never played Dementieva.

The winner on Sunday will earn $87,000.

Williams committed 37 unforced errors, but hit the same number of winners against Hingis, who made 21 of her 23 unforced errors in the final two sets and hit only 12 winners.

"I guess so," Williams said when asked if she wore the Hingis down. "I think maybe she did, that's part of the game. You have to break down your opponent one way or another."

Williams won nine of the final 12 games in the match, which lasted 1 hour, 55 minutes.

She had seven aces to only one for Hingis, but six double-faults to two for her top-seeded opponent.

About her high number of unforced errors, Williams said: "I know I hit a lot today. Playing against Martina, you have to go for your shots."

There were nine service breaks in the first two sets, but just one in the third set - when Hingis committed two unforced errors to end the eighth game. Williams then held service to end the match.

Hingis said she had several opportunities to take over the match, but was unable to do so.

"I let down a little bit in the second set," she said. "I can only learn from this match and try to do better next week (in Montreal) and in the U.S. Open (which begins August 28). There are many more to come."

Hingis was uncertain as to whether Williams wore her down, but did acknowledge her gruelling three-set victory over Chanda Rubin on Wednesday night was a factor in this match, saying she was still sore.

"I'm all right," Hingis added with a smile. "I've had better days, though."

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