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Team WTAworld, Administrator, aka Nibbler
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AP Sports Writer

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Defending champion Martina Hingis overcame heat illness and tingling in her legs Friday to advance to the Adidas International final, but Serena Williams couldn't recover from a twisted ankle and retired from her semifinal match.

Hingis won an error-ridden semifinal 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 against third-seeded Kim Clijsters and then withdrew from the evening's doubles final, where she was scheduled to be partnered with Anna Kournikova against Lisa Raymond and Rennae Stubbs.

Williams was trailing 4-5 in the first set when she gave in to her injured right ankle and surrendered the match to fellow American Meghann Shaughnessy.

The No. 4 seed was leading 2-1 when she rolled the ankle while charging in for a drop volley. Williams got the ankle wrapped by a trainer and continued, but she dropped a service game to trail 3-4 and appeared to be favoring her right foot before deciding to retire.

Tournament doctors treated Williams and described the injury as minor, but she was advised to keep weight off the leg and walk with the aid of a crutch.

``The pain was pretty bad,'' Williams said. ``I'm not the type of person who would risk their whole career for one match. It's not feeling good right now, but it's an injury you can tape and it'll get better.

``It's looking really positive for me right now -- I definitely think this isn't going to stop me.''

Hingis expects to be ready for Saturday's final against Shaughnessy.

Earlier Friday, the 21-year-old Hingis was drawn in the upcoming Australian Open to meet Serena and Venus Williams and Jennifer Capriati to reach the final.

But Serena Williams' injury could deprive the season-opening Grand Slam event of another top seed, with top-ranked Lindsay Davenport already having withdrawn.

Hingis was not concerned about forfeiting the doubles title in Sydney.

``I've played a lot of matches so shortly after coming back from injury -- maybe too much too soon,'' said Hingis, who is coming back from a three-month injury layoff. ``I don't want to force myself over the limit.''

Hingis, who had treatment for what appeared to be a leg injury when leading 5-0 in the third set, said she couldn't risk being injured in doubles on the eve of a final and with a Grand Slam tournament starting Monday. The leg injury was a slight ``pinch'' which was being treated with massage, she said.

In men's semifinals, Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina became the first qualifier to make a Sydney final when he beat Max Mirnyi of Belarus 6-4, 6-4. The 22-year-old Chela will face No. 2 seed Roger Federer of Switzerland, who beat No. 3 seed Andy Roddick 7-6 (3), 6-4.

Federer sealed his place in Saturday's final with an ace after an unlikely comeback in the first set. Roddick was serving for the first set at 5-4 until Federer broke his serve and upset the 19-year-old American's rhythm.

``I got a little worried there because he was returning really well and my serve was not working, so I'm really happy with the outcome,'' said Federer, who is 1-3 in ATP Tour finals. ``I played a good tiebreak and really started to serve well in the second set, so I'm really confident.''

Roddick said he didn't feel confident on his serve, due to the wind, but wasn't expecting the trouble to last.

Service problems are``pretty rare,'' he said. ``I felt like I was forcing it a bit and it wasn't clicking, but I have confidence that it will come right -- I'm not too worried about it.''

Chela served a three-month ban and lost his ranking last year after testing positive to a banned steroid, but then climbed 700 places in the rankings and back into the top 100.

Hingis dropped her opening service game and then traded breaks with Clijsters in a match that was marred by errors. In the 30 games, Hingis made 40 unforced errors and Clijsters made 66. Hingis clinched on her fourth match points.

Clijsters, seeded fourth for the Australian Open, said she was feeling discomfort from a nerve problem in her right arm, but planned to continue massage and treatment and expected to be ready for Melbourne.
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