Martina Hingis beat defending champion Elena Dementieva yesterday for a place in the final of Japan's Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament against Ana Ivanovic.
The Swiss second seed, seeking a record fifth Tokyo indoor title this week, avenged her loss in last year's final with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over the Russian third seed.
Ivanovic, the fifth seed from Serbia, received a free pass to the final after current world No. 1 Maria Sharapova of Russia pulled out of her semi-final match with a left hamstring injury at 6-1, 0-1.
Hingis attacked Dementieva's backhand and chalked up a 5-1 lead in first set. She was never in danger afterwards, forcing a break in the eighth game of the second set and wrapping up the win in 70 minutes.
"That's my strategy for most of the time because I feel like my backhand is a stronger part," Hingis said of her attack on Dementieva's backhand.
"She also hit a lot of backhand cross-court rallies. I also tried to change up to go down the line. It's definitely my big weapon, my backhand cross court," Hingis said.
Ivanovic said her victory over the injured Sharapova was not a good way to win a match.
"From the beginning of the match, I didn't notice anything, because she was moving pretty well and also serving OK," the Serb said.
"I was really surprised that at the end of the set she called a physician and straight away retired, Ivanovic said. "It was surprising that she had a problem."
"It's never nice to win the match that way," she said. "I felt pretty confident and I was happy that each match I played better and my serve was working really well -- that's very important to play against top players."
Sharapova said: "It's always disappointing to end a tournament that way. I definitely tried to find the way, hoping the pain was settled and would get better. That's why I tried to play the first set."
A businessman who received millions of dollars for his work on Tokyo’s successful campaign to host the 2020 Olympic Games has said that he played a key role in securing the support of a former Olympics powerbroker suspected by French prosecutors of taking bribes to help Japan’s bid. Haruyuki Takahashi, a former executive at the advertising agency Dentsu, was paid US$8.2 million by the committee that spearheaded Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Games, financial records showed. Takahashi said the work included lobbying International Olympic Committee (IOC) members such as Lamine Diack, the ex-Olympics powerbroker, and that he gave Diack gifts, including digital
BITING THE BULLET: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi said that top players would make contributions so that the club’s employees can collect 100 percent of their salary Three-quarters of Rugby Australia’s staff were temporarily laid off yesterday amid huge financial losses from the sport’s coronavirus-enforced shutdown, while Lionel Messi confirmed on Monday that Barcelona’s players would take a 70 percent pay cut to ensure that the club’s other employees are paid. The cuts to rugby staff were “the toughest decision in the game’s history,” governing body CEO Raelene Castle said. “Although extremely painful, they are necessary to ensure ... we are able to come out the other side of this global crisis, fully operational and ready to throw everything into the rebuild.” The sport has been hit hard by
If British industry succeeds in saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, it would in part be thanks to the pioneering role played by Formula One (F1) racing teams in the country. Seven of F1’s 10 teams have joined forces with leading aerospace and engineering firms to ramp up production of ventilators, while Mercedes has also worked with medics and academics to produce an alternative breathing aid. Normally obsessed with improving the performance of cars that race at more than 320kph, the teams are stripping back lifesaving devices and using computer simulation to test whether more simplified models can be mass produced. The seven
After the University of Michigan lost to Ohio State University in the semi-finals of the women’s NCAA Big Ten Tournament, Michigan Wolverines coach Kim Barnes Arico and her staff hit the road, where they intended to take advantage of a full week off before the NCAA Tournament by visiting as many potential recruits as possible. “That was our window. You get to go to someone’s home. That helps you build relationships. Helps build so many things,” Barnes Arico said. “We had all these things scheduled until we went to see high-school championships.” Of course, the championships were canceled, as was the NCAA