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German Open: Hingis storms into quarterfinals

Hingis continued her comeback with a 6-3, 6-2 rout of the 5th-seed Dementieva.

india Updated: May 12, 2006 10:18 IST

Martina Hingis beat fifth-seeded Elena Dementieva 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday to reach the German Open quarterfinals.

Defending champion Justine-Henin Hardenne joined Hingis in the next round with a 6-1, 6-0 rout of 15th-seeded Maria Kirilenko. Li Na of China won 6-1, 6-0 against Colombia's Catalina Castano.

Hingis mixed precise shots and constantly switched the pace to set up a surprisingly easy win on the clay court. Dementieva beat Hingis 6-2, 6-0 at Tokyo in February in the Swiss' only final since she ended her retirement of three years ago.

"This is becoming the week of revenge," Hingis said. "Last time, I didn't have a chance. This is one of best matches I have played."'

In the first round, she ousted Italy's Flavia Pennetta, the first player to beat her on her comeback.

Hingis needed just 72 minutes to oust the eighth-ranked Dementieva from the French Open warmup. Her only real trouble against the two-time grand slam finalist came when she fought off three break chances while leading 2-1 in the second set. Hingis had trouble with Dementieva before injuries forced her temporary retirement. In 2001 and 2002, the Russian beat her in two one-sided matches.

Hingis said last week's loss to Venus Williams in Warsaw-- after winning the first set and leading 3-0 in the second -- played on her mind against Dementieva.

"Can I go all the way?" Hingis said. "When I went up 6-1, 4-2, that's when I thought: 'I can bring this thing home.' This only gives me confidence against players like that."

Hingis slipped in high balls to keep Dementieva from slamming power shots, but also attacked far more often than when she was owned the top ranking for 209 weeks.

"I have to do that to survive," Hingis. "Today it is boom-boom-boom. Today when you have a chance you have to attack." She has two wins over top five players and reached the quarterfinals at seven of nine events on her comeback, including the Australian Open. Although up to the 23 in the rankings, Hingis is looking for her first title and a seeding at bigger events like the US$1.34 million (euro1.06 million) German Open.

"It hasn't really happened for me yet," Hingis said. "But I need a higher ranking to stop meeting such tough players in the early rounds."

Hingis next faces the winner of top-ranked Amelie Mauresmo and Russia's Anna Chakvetadze, who played later Thursday. Other players include Nadia Petrova, riding an 11-match unbeaten streak on clay.

First Published: May 12, 2006 10:18 IST