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TENNIS

Hingis Still a Sweeter 16 Than Venus

March 24, 1997|From Associated Press

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — Martina Hingis rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win a battle of 16-year-olds Sunday, defeating Venus Williams, 6-4, 6-2, in the third round at the Lipton Championships.

The much-anticipated match, the first between the two teen talents, might have been the start of a rivalry. But Williams refused to dwell on her defeat.

"I'm over it right now," she said 15 minutes after the final point. "I have to let go. I have said goodbye to the match."

Williams plans to play at the French Open and Wimbledon this year for the first time.

"For sure she is going to be a good player," Hingis said. "She is going to play more matches and get used to all this."

Hingis, 22-0 this year, will become the youngest No. 1 player when the new rankings are released March 31. Regardless of the outcome at Lipton, the young Swiss star will supplant Steffi Graf, who has been No. 1 a record 374 weeks.

An intriguing final could be looming Saturday between Hingis and Monica Seles, playing her first tournament this year. Seles advanced to the fourth round by defeating Amy Frazier, 6-3, 6-3.

In men's third-round play, Michael Chang's 11-match winning streak came to an end when he lost to Sergi Bruguera of Spain, 6-4, 6-3.

Mark Philippoussis overpowered Wayne Ferreira, 6-3, 6-3, belting serves of 140 and 141 mph.

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