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Hingis Wins Chase Championship


Second seed Martina Hingis fought her way back to the winner's circle on Sunday by beating top seed and world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport in the final of the season-ending Chase Championships.

The 18-year-old Hingis ended a six-month title drought with a convincing 7-5, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 victory to claim one of the very few big titles she hadn't yet won, one which her namesake, Martina Navratilova, won a record eight times.

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  • With the victory, Hingis avenged her U.S. Open final loss to Davenport, the player who last month also took over the top ranking that Hingis had held for 80 consecutive weeks.

    "She kicked me out of the top spot but I'll be definitely fighting for it next year," said the beaming Swiss teen after accepting her trophy and a check for $500,000.

    Hingis, who finished the year with five titles including the Australian Open, walks away from 1998 with $3,175,631 in tournament earnings, the second consecutive year that she has cracked the $3 million barrier.

    It was a breakthrough year for Davenport, who claimed her first career Grand Slam title in September. But she ran out of steam at the end.

    "It's been a great year, especially the last six months," said Davenport, who won a tour-leading six titles in 1998, five of them since July.

    "I'm a little disappointed about how I ended the year but I'll get over it in a few hours," added the 22-year-old American, who picked up $250,000 as runner-up and another $100,000 for winning the doubles on Saturday with Natasha Zvereva to finish the year $2,697,788 richer.

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