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   Saturday, 26 January, 2002, 12:36 GMT
Hingis dogged by doubts
Martina Hingis cools off during the Australian Open final
Hingis is feeling the pressure after three barren years
By BBC Sport Online's Andrew Fraser

Will she ever win another Grand Slam?

It is a question that will haunt Martina Hingis as she re-lives the moment Jennifer Capriati dashed her Australian Open hopes for the second time in 12 months.

Capriati's stunning victory in Melbourne, battling back from a set and 4-0 down to win 4-6 7-6 6-2, set a new record.

Never in the women's game has a player saved so many match points - four in Capriati's case - and gone on to win a Grand Slam final.

It's not like you snap your fingers and you're going to win a Grand Slam

Martina Hingis

But the statistic that will trouble Hingis most is the yawning three-year gap between her most recent failure and her last Open triumph in Australia 12 slams ago.

Hingis tried to numb the pain of defeat by playing on the positives.

After all, she had only just made a comeback from the ankle surgery which kept her out of the game for three months.

But, as the 21-year-old struggles to live with the power hitting of Capriati, Lindsay Davenport and Venus and Serena Williams, the doubts must be growing.

Sympathy

"You can't expect everything to happen right away, it's not like you snap your fingers and you're going to win a Grand Slam," said Hingis.

"I exceeded my expectations at this tournament, I proved that I can beat anybody.

"I've just got to keep my head up and go for it.

"I played great tennis but now I have to build on it and do better in the future."

Hingis got little sympathy from her opponent.

Jennifer Capriati kisses the Australian Open trophy
Capriati has won three slams in 12 months
"I don't think she would be feeling sorry for me," Capriati said.

"I had a lot to deal with out there, I had a lot on my shoulders.

"Being the defending champion, trying to keep the number one status and dealing with the conditions...it means a lot to me."

Hingis, who has now appeared in six straight Australian Open finals and lost the last three, could find an unlikely source of inspiration in her new nemesis.

Capriati, 25, looked to be finished after burning out in spectacular fashion eight years ago.

But the American bounced back from her arrest for shoplifting and possession of cannabis by winning her first Grand Slam title with victory over Hingis in Australia last year.

She followed that by winning the French Open and capped her comeback last October by claiming the World No 1 spot that Hingis had held for most of the past four years.

Now it is Hingis who desperately needs a reversal of fortune.

"I'm disappointed, that's for sure... I wish things were different," she admitted.

"But there's next week, next tournament, next Grand Slam."

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