Tennis Forum banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

Team WTAworld, Administrator, aka Nibbler
5,919 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Associated Press Writer

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- The last time Martina Hingis won the Australian Open doubles, she went on to get the singles championship the next day.

That was in 1999, and Hingis teamed with the same partner, Anna Kournikova, on Friday to beat Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-1.

In the singles final Saturday, Hingis faces top-seeded Jennifer Capriati, who beat her in the 2001 final.

``It's positive energy,'' Hingis said after the doubles win.

The doubles final this year was also a comeback of sorts for the eighth-seeded partnership of Hingis and Kournikova, who split in 2000 and were both hindered by injuries last year.

The two chatted animatedly on changeovers and discussed strategy between points. Last year, the pair practiced doubles for a week with the help of Hingis' mother, Melanie Molitor, in Switzerland.

However, the gulf between their games is evident. Hingis, a five-time Grand Slam singles winner, used quick hands to intercept and put away balls at the net.

Kournikova, the endorsement queen who has not won a singles title, made frequent errors on her volleys and was reluctant to come to net on her serve. But she hit some big forehands from the baseline.

``Throughout the whole match, we were always up and up and winning, and we just couldn't close it out,'' said Hingis, who received a code violation for racket abuse when her serve was broken in the second set.

Sanchez-Vicario, a 30-year-old veteran of the tour and winner of three Australian Open doubles titles, was playing for the first time with Hantuchova. They were seeded 13th.

Hantuchova, 18, hit winners all around the court, but her game was erratic. Hingis said the Slovakian needed to learn more about ``positioning and the doubles thinking.''

Seeded 32nd in the singles, Hantuchova lost to Venus Williams in three sets in the third round. At 5-foot-11 1/4 , Hantuchova is one of the tallest players on the tour.

``She needs a little experience,'' Hingis said. ``She is definitely a prodigy. She has a great future ahead of her, if she takes advantage of it.''

Hantuchova said she was honored to play with Sanchez-Vicario, a Spaniard who has won 14 Grand Slam titles: four singles, six doubles and four mixed doubles.

``There are so many things I can learn from her,'' said Hantuchova, who is scheduled to play a mixed doubles semifinal Saturday with partner Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe.
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.