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Hingis stuns Sharapova in Tokyo
February 04, 2006 11:54 IST
Martina Hingis stunned top seed Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-1 to reach the first final of her comeback at the Pan Pacific Open on Saturday.
The former world number one, a Tokyo winner in 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2002, outclassed defending champion Sharapova in every department to reach her seventh Pan Pacific final.
Hingis will face another Russian, either second seed Elena Dementieva or number four Anastasia Myskina, in Sunday's final.
Sharapova was just 15 when chronic ankle problems forced Hingis into early retirement in 2002, but the 18-year-old Russian had no answer to Hingis's guile and precision.
Hingis returned to the game last month, reaching the Australian Open quarter-finals and winning the mixed doubles title with India's Mahesh Bhupathi.
The 25-year-old Swiss was unranked three weeks ago but climbed to 117th after her strong run in Melbourne. Her victory over Sharapova will lift Hingis to just outside the top 50.