Hingis defeats Israel's Peer in hard-fought French Open match
World's ex-No. 1 also ended hopes of Israel's Anna Smashnova in tournament's 4th round in 1998.
Switzerland's Martina Hingis, the former No.1 women's tennis player in the world, defeated Shahar Peer of Israel in a tough battle in the fourth round of the French Open Monday.
Hingis took the final set of the dramatic match 6-3. On Sunday, Hingis took the first set, 6-3, before Peer roared back with an impressive array of groundstrokes, which enabled her to capture the second set, 6-2.
Tournament officials suspended the third set of the match due to darkness. Play resumed on Monday afternoon. The final set began evenly, with the initial games tied at two all. Hingis then pulled ahead, taking the next three games.
It was the second time that Hingis had faced an Israeli opponent in the fourth round of the French Open. In 1998, Hingis defeated Anna Smashnova of Israel in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2.
On Sunday, after faltering in the first set of her round-of-16 match, Peer dominated Hingis in the second set before match play was suspended.
Peer made it to the fourth round of the prestigious tournament after a resounding 6-4, 7-5 defeat of sixth-seeded Russian Elena Dementieva on Saturday.
Peer, ranked 26 in the world, has won three out of three tournaments this year - Pattaya, Prague and Istanbul - but this is her first win against a top ten player who has also competed in two Grand Slam finals.
Hingis looked the better player at the start of the Sunday match, and went into a 2-0 lead in the first set after holding her own serve and then breaking the 19-year-old Israeli's.
At 3-1 down, Peer began to show some fight, and she leveled the scores at 3-3 by breaking Hingis' serve in the fifth game and then holding her own. She had a chance to break Hingis again, but failed, and then went on to lose her next service game to give the Swiss player a 5-3 lead and a chance to serve for the set, which she didn't waste.
Peer held her service in the first game of the second set, and Hingis did the same; but the Israeli then won four in a row to move into a 5-1 lead and earn a chance to serve for the set.
Hingis, however, wasn't ready to give up just yet, and broke Peer's service for first time in the second set to reduce the deficit to 5-2. Peer then broke her opponent's serve again, taking the set 6-2 and tying up the match before officials decided to call the game off for the evening due to bad light.
The winner of Sunday's third and deciding set will take on Belgium's Kim Clijsters, who thumped slender Slovak Daniela Hantuchova 6-1, 6-4 in an earlier encounter yesterday.
Hingis advanced to the fourth round after winning a match against Ivana Lisjak of Croatia.
On Friday, Peer and her doubles partner Marion Bartoli of France advanced to the third round of the French Open doubles tournament, defeating Latvia's Liga Dekmeijere and her Swiss teammate, Patty Schnyder, in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3.