Hingis defeats Seles

There was one winner on Sunday, but two champions remained. Monica Seles took Canadian tennis fans on a remarkable five-year ride, but it was inevitable that someday she would surrender the title. Change was in the air early in Sunday’s final between the top two seeds. In her media conferences all week, Monica insisted that she felt no pressure to capture a fifth straight title. Her play has certainly been relaxed all week, but has lacked the precision execution that landed her four du Maurier Open trophies and 9 Grand Slam Titles. Hingis, on the other hand, has been on top of her game all week and did not drop a set.

Hingis won the coin-toss and elected to receive. Seles tried to set the pace early in the match and missed while going for a couple of big winners.

Hingis caught a fortunate net chord, and was suddenly up a break after the first game. Her strategy of receiving early was validated. Seles appeared to be back on track midway through the first set. She hammered a couple of her trademark two-handed backhands for winners to break the Swiss No. 1, only to have Hingis break right back to go back on top 4-3. The pair traded service holds before Hingis served out the 27-minute set at love.

The pair both easily held serve throughout a hard-hitting and entertaining second set, until Hingis missed a simple put-away volley that afforded Seles a break point. The top seed was able to recover with a pair of big serves to hang onto the service hold, and pull even at 4-4.Hingis served out her next game at love and then broke the defending champion and served out the match.

Fans were treated to top-notch tennis as Hingis had 22 winners to just nine unforced errors, while Seles had an impressive 26 winners to go with 16 unforced errors.

On her opponent, Hingis commented, “I think she played one hell of a match. I was able to attck second serves all week, but there was no way I could attack Monica’s second (serve) it was just too good.” Seles was content with her effort and clearly aware that she had been beaten by the best. “Martina just played unbelievably,” she told the media after the match.