YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Hingis' Party Games Continue at U.S. Open

Tennis: Swiss teenager to meet Graf in semifinals after defeating Novotna.


NEW YORK — The Martina Hingis U.S. Open campaign/slumber party continues. Wednesday's pranks included a seance in which women's tennis tried to get in contact with the spirit of Jana Novotna. Transmission broke off when Hingis defeated Novotna, 7-6 (7-1), 6-4.

The 15-year-old has laughed and skipped her way to the semifinals of a Grand Slam event. Her next baby-sitter is Steffi Graf, who--as 15-year-old Anna Kournikova found out in the last round--can be cruel to children.

The top-seeded Graf advanced by defeated Judith Wiesner of Austria, 7-5, 6-3.

"I'm in the semis now, I have nothing to lose against her," Hingis said, smiling and baring acres of teeth.

The Swiss teenager's oblivious enthusiasm has never waned here, even when her impetuous shots sometimes flew to remote corners of the Stadium Court. The 16th-seeded Hingis smiled all the while, even as she threw her racket and accidentally smacked a ball into the neck of the net judge.

At this point in the tournament, her performance has finally justified her sunny temperament.

Hingis is one of only three players to have beaten Graf this season, and she's adding scalps galore at the Open. Hingis beat third-seeded Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and now the seventh-seeded Novotna.

Novotna referred to Hingis' style as "light tennis," which she explained as appearing effortless. Hingis is light on her feet and has a nimbleness seldom seen among pros.

Hingis has been a professional for two years and this summer became the youngest Wimbledon champion when she and partner Helena Sukova won the doubles title. Hingis entered singles, doubles and mixed doubles here, but was eliminated from mixed doubles Wednesday.

Los Angeles Times Articles