Graf Beats Hingis at French Open
PARIS (AP) _ Steffi Graf won her sixth French Open title and the adoration of Roland Garros fans when she fought back to beat top-ranked Martina Hingis 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 in a turbulent final Saturday.
Hingis, who lost her second French Open final in the last three tournaments, received a warning and was penalized a point for several outbursts and was frequently booed by the center court fans.
Graf, who was playing her first Grand Slam final since winning the French Open in 1996, had all the sympathy on her side.
``Steffi, Steffi,″ the crowd chanted as the tenacious German kept coming back throughout the first two sets.
Graf captured the 22nd Grand Slam title of her career less than two weeks before her 30th birthday against the 18-year-old Swiss who dislodged Graf from the No. 1 ranking in March 1997.
Hingis was seeking to capture the only Grand Slam title still missing in her collection, but she ran into a highly motivated Graf, who had been battling long injuries for three years.
``I absolutely cannot believe I won the tournament,″ Graf said.
Hingis, who broke into tears after the match, walked off the court after shaking Graf’s hand, to the jeers and whistles of the French crowd. But she returned, still in tears and sobbing in the arms of her mother, Melanie Molitor.
Hingis was up a break twice in the second set and was serving for the match at 5-4 but could not close the match.