Dubai Duty Free Tennis: When Swiss Miss Martina Hingis ruled the centre court

The Swiss star was heavily favoured to win and she did not disappoint

by

Leslie Wilson Jr

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Martina Hingis with the trophy at the awards ceremony in 2001. — Dubai Duty Free Tennis
Martina Hingis with the trophy at the awards ceremony in 2001. — Dubai Duty Free Tennis

Published: Wed 22 Feb 2023, 8:11 PM

The inaugural edition of the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Tennis Championships in 2001 could not have hoped for a better start with some of the biggest names in the women’s games in contention and a memorable winner to boot.

The 32-player field included ’Swiss Miss’ Martina Hingis, Mary Pierce, Nathalie Tauziat and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, the top four seeds, who received a bye to the second round.

Three of them, except for Sanchez-Vicario, a four-time Grand Slam winner, failed to progress to the quarterfinals after a shock loss to qualifier Lina Krasnoroutskaya, a former Junior world No 1.

The same fate would befall Pierce in the last eight stage when she came up with a sprightly qualifier Rachael McQuillan, who record a comfortable 6-3 6-1 win over the future Hall of Fame inductee, Pierce.

Hingis and Tauziat, a former Wimbledon runner-up, would score contrasting semifinal victories to earn a shot at glory on Super Saturday.

The Swiss star was heavily favoured to win and she did not disappoint, controlling the rallies with her versatility, court craft and opportunism in her 6-4, 6-4 win in the final.

Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum, President of Tennis UAE, presented Hingis with the first crystal glass women’s trophy.


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