Hingis’ fifth title sets record for Tokyo event

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Martina Hingis won her record fifth Pan Pacific Open title Sunday, beating Ana Ivanovic, 6-4, 6-2, in Tokyo.

Hingis, who lost to Elena Dementieva in the final last year, relied on solid ground strokes to beat the fifth-seeded Ivanovic in just over an hour.

“It’s twice as sweet to win the second time around,” Hingis said of her return to competitive tennis in 2006. “It used to be so normal back in ’97 and ’98. This time around I feel like I really deserve it, I feel more proud to win now and it’s more special.”

Hingis, who won in 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2002, broke a tie with Lindsay Davenport for the most titles in the event.


Ivanovic, who beat Hingis last year in Montreal, advanced to the final when top-ranked Maria Sharapova was forced to retire during their semifinal match because of a hamstring injury.

Tied 4-4 in the first set, Hingis made 14 straight points to take control of the set and the match.

The victory was Hingis’ first Tier I singles title since winning in Rome last year and 43rd singles title of her career.

Marcos Baghdatis won the second title of his career by beating defending champion Ivan Ljubicic, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-4, at the Zagreb Open in Croatia.


The second-seeded Baghdatis saved four break points in the opening set.

Justine Henin will not play for Belgium in the April 21-22 Fed Cup against the U.S. in Delray Beach, Fla., joining Kim Clijsters on the sideline.

“With my advisors, we decided not to play in 2007,” Henin said on her website. “We took the decision because of the very heavy calendar.”

Top-seeded James Blake led third-seeded Xavier Malisse, 7-5, 3-3, when rain forced officials to suspend the Delray Beach International final until today in Florida.


For Blake, looking to win the 10th title of his career, the delay conflicts with his plans to leave this morning for a Davis Cup match in the Czech Republic.

A day after ending Stanford’s Division I record 89-match winning streak, Georgia Tech beat Notre Dame, 4-2, to win the U.S. Tennis Assn./Intercollegiate Tennis Assn. women’s team indoor championships for the first time at Madison, Wis.

Both schools were first-time finalists. On Saturday, the Yellow Jackets handed the Cardinal its first loss since May 18, 2003, with a 4-3 victory.



World championships are postponed again

Stormy weather prevented the start of the Alpine Skiing World Championships in Are, Sweden, for the second day.

Like the men’s race a day before, the women’s super-G was postponed because of heavy snowfall and strong winds that made the lower part of the course dangerously soft.

The men’s super-G, scheduled to open the championships Saturday, was rescheduled for today, and the women’s race will be staged Tuesday.


If the men’s race today is wiped out again, both super-Gs will be staged Tuesday.

Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch won the men’s doubles race to earn Germany’s third gold medal at the luge world championships in a combined time of 1 minute 19.285 seconds at Igls, Austria. The U.S. team of Mark Grimmette and Brian Martin finished third.

Tobias and Markus Schiegl of Austria were second, 0.116 of a second back. Grimmette and Martin were 0.215 off the pace.



2012 London Olympics said to be far over budget

The cost of the 2012 London Olympics has doubled and could reach as high as $17.6 billion, the Sunday Times reported.

The newspaper, citing figures obtained ahead of the budget announcement by the British government, said the cost of building the Olympic Park had risen to $10 billion. The figure given in the bid book was $4.6 billion.

Former welterweight champion Ricardo Mayorga was released from prison in Managua, Nicaragua, pending a trial on fraud charges after his attorney filed an injunction.


Mayorga, 33, was first arrested for allegedly not paying a car dealer $56,000 for four cars.

Local prosecutors dismissed the case as a civil matter, but he was arrested and remained in jail after he was accused of writing bad checks worth $87,000.

Mayorga was convicted last year of raping a woman at a Managua hotel, but the boxer appealed the conviction. Nicaraguan laws allow Mayorga to remain free.

Mayorga, a former WBC and WBA welterweight champion, lost his last fight and the WBC light-middleweight crown in May to Oscar De La Hoya.


Soccer stadiums with inadequate security should be banned from playing host to games next season, the Italian Olympic Committee said after the death of a policeman during a riot at a Serie A match.

Authorities said 29 people were arrested, while preliminary autopsy results showed the officer might not have been killed by an explosive device as believed.

The 38-year-old officer, Filippo Raciti, died late Friday in the violence that followed a match at Catania against Palermo in Sicily.

Miguel Tejada had two runs batted in and Anderson Hernandez scored three runs to lead the unbeaten Dominican Republic to a 12-0 rout of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Series at Carolina, Puerto Rico.


In an earlier game, Oscar Salazar homered and had five RBIs to lead Venezuela to a 13-3 victory over Mexico.