VILLANOVA, Pennsylvania, AP
Top-ranked Martina Hingis beat Anna Kournikova 6-4, 6-0 on Friday to advance to the semifinals of the Advanta Championship. Hingis took 18 minutes to finish off Kournikova in the second set, surrendering just seven points. “She played the same strokes and I reacted on it better,” Hingis said. “She didn’t have weapons anymore because I was always there and had a better answer.” Kournikova, the popular Russian ranked 10th in the world, failed to press Hingis after dropping the well-played first set. “A set like that takes a lot out of you and it’s difficult to get back on track when you lose,” Kournikova said. “And with Martina, you know if you don’t win the first set it’s going to be tough. Then she’s really in control.” Hingis has advanced to the semifinals in seven straight tournaments, winning the last three and four of the last five. Hingis will face Nathalie Tauziat of France in the semifinals. Tauziat, seeded fourth, beat French compatriot Julie Halard-Decugis 6-4, 6-4. In the other quarterfinals, defending champion Lindsay Davenport beat seventh-seeded Amanda Coetzer of South Africa 6-1, 1-6, 6-1, and third-seeded Conchita Martinez of Spain defeated Holly Parkinson of the united States 6-2, 6-0. Davenport, ranked second in the world, double-faulted four times and fell behind 4-0 in the second set. “I haven’t had a lapse like that in a while,” Davenport said. “I was just making too many mental errors. She is a fighter. I thought it would be a tough match.” Davenport dropped serve in the second game of the final set, but regained control. She ran off four aces to take a 4-1 lead, and Coetzer had trouble returning in the final two games. “I got my serve back and things started going well,” Davenport said. “After I started hard, I began to put the pressure on her. She started to break.” The two matches featuring Hingis and Kournikova drew 5,341 fans, just short of the capacity 5,500.
The combined crowd of 9,714 for the two sessions was the highest in the tournament’s five years in Villanova. It is moving to Nice, France, next year.