Martina Hingis’ record-breaking fifth Toray Pan Pacific Open
title was the sweetest of them all.
The former world No. 1 cruised past Serbian teenager Ana
Ivanovic 6-4, 6-2 in the final Sunday and admitted that winning
tournaments since returning from a three-year injury-enforced absence
means more to her than ever before.
Hingis poses with the winner’s plate after winning the Toray Pan Pacific
Open on Sunday with a 6-4, 6-2 defeat of Ana Ivanovic.
“It’s twice as sweet definitely the second time around,” said
second-seed Hingis, who earned $182,000 for her week’s work at Tokyo
Metropolitan Gym. “I never thought I would have the chance to win a
tournament again after coming back.
“In 1997, it felt normal to win tournaments, but this time
around I feel more proud and it is more special.”
The Swiss 26-year-old adds this year’s crown to the ones won
in 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2002. Hingis also has been runnerup three times
at the event, losing the 2006 final to Elena Dementieva in one of her
first tournaments after returning to the Tour.
It was Hingis’ 43rd career title, including three Australian
Open titles, one Wimbledon and one U.S. Open, and third since her
comeback. She didn’t lose a set in any of her four matches in Tokyo.
Hingis, ranked sixth in the world, had played Ivanovic only
once before, and the 19-year-old won that meeting in Montreal — the
Rogers Cup final — in straight sets. If winning Sunday needed to be any
sweeter for Hingis, then avenging that loss was the icing on the
“It’s one-one now — I got revenge,” Hingis said.
Both players agreed the turning point in the final was when
Ivanovic’s concentration started to drop at 4-4 in the first
“The most important thing was to stay with her at the
beginning,” said Hingis. “The last time I played her, she had a very
fast start and she steamrollered me in the first set.
“I stayed with her for the first couple of games, and after
the first set I gained momentum. I was able to be stronger mentally
Said fifth-seed Ivanovic, “At the beginning we were both
playing well, but my concentration dropped and my legs started feeling
heavy at 4-4. That made the difference, and she hardly made any
Hingis broke Ivanovic in the first game before the teenager
broke back and the set went with serve until Hingis broke again to go
5-4 ahead and then held her serve to clinch the first set.
From leveling the match at 4-4 to going 3-0 up in the second
set, Hingis won an astonishing 19 points in a row.
Hingis could hardly believe her luck at the start of the
second set when Ivanovic — her concentration wavering — hit three
double faults to gift-wrap the first game.
“I thought, ‘Thank you very much — I’ll take that!’ ” said
The Swiss star then raced into a 4-0 lead in the second set
as Ivanovic was given the runaround by Hingis’ laser-like shot
Ivanovic saved one match point with a delightful passing shot
off a Hingis serve, but her attempted lob on the second match point was
too long, handing Hingis the match in 1 hour, 10 minutes.
To soften the blow of being thoroughly outclassed by her
opponent, Ivanovic, ranked 16th in the world, won $97,800. She was
magnanimous in defeat.
“At the end of the second set I started too feel a little
better, but it was too late. In Montreal I was more consistent and
hardly made any mistakes, but today she played much better,” said