Third seed Martina Hingis overcame a weary Monica Seles to advance to her sixth consecutive Australian Open final on Rod Laver Arena, Thursday 4-6 6-1 6-4. It was the first time the former world No.1 had won a match at Melbourne Park after losing the opening set.
Hingis recovered from a first set trouncing from the fired-up four-time champion, to hand Seles only her third singles loss ever in 45 matches at Melbourne Park.
A focussed Seles dictated play in the first set, overpowering Hingis with some heavy hitting from the baseline and closing it out with an ace. But the Swiss Miss steadied her game in the second set, and began to anticipate where the Seles groundstrokes would drop.
Hingis ran the wilting American ragged, breaking Seles’ serve twice to take the set, and then racing to a 5-1 lead in the third before Seles staged an inspiring but fruitless comeback. A mammoth unforced error tally (40 compared to Hingis’ 12) proved Seles’ undoing.
“I had to lift my game. Monica was playing very well and there wasn’t much I could do at the beginning,” said Hingis, a three-time champion here.