Third time lucky for Davenport

Lindsay Davenport's strong serve and powerful baseline game frustrated Martina Hingis into critical unforced errors and she won the Advanta Championships in Villanova, Pennsylvania 6-3, 6-4 today.

Lindsay Davenport's strong serve and powerful baseline game frustrated Martina Hingis into critical unforced errors and she won the Advanta Championships in Villanova, Pennsylvania 6-3, 6-4 today.

Coming off a dominating performance in the semi-finals against Venus Williams, the second-seeded Davenport's booming strokes from the baseline boosted her to her first win in the Advanta finals after finishing runner-up the past two years.

Davenport's last four points came on unforced errors by the top-seeded Hingis, including match point, when Hingis returned a serve into the net.

Davenport won $80,000 and heads into this week's season-ending Chase Championships in New York with lots of momentum. It was only the second meeting of the year between Hingis, ranked first in the world, and Davenport, ranked second.

Down 5-4 in the second set, Hingis fended off one match point after serving an ace past a frozen Davenport.

Hingis then threatened to tie the set after ending a long rally with a soft drop shot, but failed to capitalize after another unforced error.

Two match points later, Hingis' failed service return gave Davenport her sixth singles title this season.

At the trophy ceremony afterward, Davenport said she was relieved to finally be a winner. She lost to Hingis in 1997 and Steffi Graf in 1998.

"Losing in the final before, I would sit there shaking my head as the money was handed out," Davenport said. "I'm so excited I've finally won."

Davenport also earned a $3,000 bonus for getting to the Advanta finals three straight years.

Both players exchanged service breaks at 2-2 in the first set before Davenport broke through in the fifth game, looping a backhand past Hingis off a volley at the net to go up 3-2.

Hingis closed to 4-3 after falling behind 0-30, then rallied for four straight points off unforced errors by Davenport to win the game.

But Hingis was plagued by her own mistakes later. She made five straight unforced errors at the end of the set, giving Davenport the set.

Hingis' usual exuberant smile was replaced by expressions of frustration for much of the 1-hour, 4-minute match.

"Next week at Chase, maybe we'll be in the finals again," Hingis said.

Davenport also defeated Hingis the only other time they met this year, 6-4, 6-3, at the Adidas International finals in Sydney in January.

Finals (seeding in brackets)

SinglesLindsay Davenport (2), United States, def. Martina Hingis (1), Switzerland, 6-3, 6-4.

DoublesLisa Raymond, United States and Rennae Stubbs (2), Australia, def. Chanda Rubin, United States and Sandrine Testud, France, 6-1, 7-6 (7-2).

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