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S.Williams Beats Hingis at estyle

August 12, 2000

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. (AP) _ Strength and power were the decisive ingredients for Serena Williams against Martina Hingis.

Williams, the defending champion and fifth seed, rallied for a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Hingis, the world’s top-ranked player, in Saturday’s semifinals of the estyle.com Classic.

The 18-year-old Williams, ranked No. 7 in the world, 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 will 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 Sunday will earn $87,000.

Williams, a 5-foot-10, 145-pounder, committed 37 unforced errors, but hit the same number of winners against the 5-7, 130-pound 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.

Williams hadn’t played Hingis since last summer, when she beat her in the semifinals of this tournament and the final of the U.S. Open.

Williams won both of those matches in straight sets. She has beaten the 19-year-old Hingis in four of their seven overall matches.

Williams lost four of the first five games in this match before getting it together.

``I got off to a little slow start,″ she said. ``I was too anxious.″

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 Aug. 28). There are many more to come.″

Hingis was uncertain as to whether Williams wore her down, but did acknowledge her grueling 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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