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Davenport No. 1 in Women’s Tennis

October 9, 1998

FILDERSTADT, Germany (AP) _ Lindsay Davenport claimed the No. 1 ranking today, ending Martina Hingis’ 80-week reign at the top of women’s tennis.

Hingis needed to win at the Porsche Grand Prix to hold off Davenport in the rankings, but lost 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 in the quarterfinals to Belgium’s Dominique Van Roost.

Davenport, the U.S. Open champion, will officially end the Swiss teenager’s stay at No. 1 when the new computer rankings are released Monday.

Hingis, slowed by a taped ankle from a jogging injury earlier in the week, battled back several times before Van Roost blasted a forehand down the line to end the match.

``I had a lot of confidence out there,″ Van Roost said. ``When you have nothing to lose and the other player has a lot to lose it’s easier for you.″

Hingis’ top ranking had been in danger for months. Last year, at this time, the Swiss player had a 3,095 point lead over then No. 2 Jana Novotna in the rankings.

But after winning three of the four Grand Slam tournaments last year and reaching the final of the fourth, the French Open, Hingis captured just one Grand Slam event _ the Australian Open to open this season.

Since then, she has won only three more titles while compiling a 54-10 record. She has been beaten three times this season by Davenport and once each by Venus Williams and Monica Seles.

Van Roost, ranked 12th, disguised her strokes and caught the 18-year-old Hingis flatfooted.

Davenport played France’s Nathalie Tauziat in the quarterfinals later in the day. If she wins, she would have captured the No. 1 ranking, regardless of the outcome of Hingis’ match.

Hingis fought from behind the whole match against Van Roost, who beat Venus Williams in straight sets in her previous match.

She trailed 4-1 in the final set, pulling even at 4-4 and then fought off two match points with hard serves before losing.

``I think I played the best match of my life,″ said Van Roost, who will break into the top 10 in next week’s ranking.

Spain’s Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, the fourth seed, became the first player to reach the semifinals after she rallied from 4-1 down in the second set to beat Lisa Raymond 1-6, 7-5, 6-2. Sanchez-Vicario closed the match when Raymond double faulted.

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