Hingis Advances to Quarterfinals
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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ Martina Hingis outlasted hard-hitting Alexandra Stevenson 7-5, 6-4 Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals of the Pilot Pen.
The fifth-seeded Hingis, playing in her second tournament since ankle surgery in May, will face unseeded Anastasia Myskina in the quarterfinals. Myskina advanced with a 7-6 (2), 6-2 second-round upset over fourth-seeded Justine Henin.
Amelie Mauresmo, the sixth-seeded player, also advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (1) victory over Elena Bovina. Mauresmo picked up her eighth singles title last week with win over Jennifer Capriati in Montreal.
Jelena Dokic, the third-seeded player, pulled out because of a sore hamstring. She said she would not be ``100 percent″ for next week’s U.S. Open, where she is seeded fifth. She was scheduled to play Patty Schnyder in a quarterfinal Wednesday night. Martina Sucha, a lucky loser, was rescheduled in her place.
Hingis got as far as the quarterfinals in Montreal. The former No. 1 player said she’s gaining confidence with each match.
``I feel more comfortable out there now,″ Hingis said. ``I’m not afraid. I know what I can play. Right now, I’ll just take any match, any challenge. I probably didn’t play my best, but I won.″
The taller, stronger Stevenson backed Hingis off the net for much of the match with 100 mph-plus serves and powerful ground strokes. Stevenson had seven aces to just one for Hingis.
But Hingis waited out Stevenson, pouncing on the few off-speed returns and scoring with well-placed drops and passing shots. Hingis converted five of six break points.
``When I needed to step it up I was able to do so,″ Hingis said.
Despite controlling the match tempo, Stevenson came undone with 45 unforced errors compared to Hingis’ 15.
``I just got sloppy,″ said Stevenson, still looking for her first singles title. ``I can play with these girls and there’s no reason she should walk off the court the winner. But she did because of my errors.″
Stevenson is 0-4 against Hingis, failing to win a set. She came close Wednesday while serving at 5-4 in the first set. She blew a 109-mph first serve past Hingis and was stunned when it was called out.
``That was on the line and it was a pretty bad call,″ Stevenson said. ``The next time I need to brush it off and say `It happens in tennis,′ and move on. It’s the whole match, not just a set.″
Hingis returned the second serve and Stevenson volleyed back into the net. She made two more unforced errors to lose the set and dropped the next five games.
Stevenson’s booming serve, which kept her in the match, eventually took her out as she double-faulted for match point.
``I just need to get my serves tougher at the right time,″ she said. ``It was in my hands to make or break it, and I broke it.″
Mauresmo, who didn’t lose a set in Montreal, will play No. 2-seeded Lindsay Davenport on Thursday. Mauresmo couldn’t capitalize on a 3-0 lead in the second set, losing all but one of the next seven games. She had her left thigh taped up just before the third set due to soreness.
She said it was just one of those days she was happy to get off the court with a win.
``I was tired and I was feeling nerves,″ Mauresmo said.