MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- It was almost an amazing blowout. Then, it was almost a sensational reversal.
Lindsay Davenport never doubted as she blitzed through the last two games and ended Martina Hingis' three-title run in the Australian Open.
Davenport needed just 65 minutes today to win her third Grand Slam championship with a 6-1, 7-5 victory that stopped Hingis' winning streak in Australia at 27 matches.
But it was only easy for the first 45 minutes. Not only was Davenport whipping winners into the corners but, in a role reversal with Hingis, she was the one retrieving her opponent's best shots and turning from defense to offense.
Then, serving for the title at 6-1, 5-1, 30-15, Davenport felt the tension and Hingis stopped missing. After 13 errors by Davenport, the set was tied 5-5 and Hingis was looking confident on the court that she always refers to as her own.
''I was fine,'' she said. ''I knew I could break her. She wasn't serving that well throughout the day. Even though I was missing shots and getting tight and to a certain point letting her back into the match, I knew I could win that second set.''
Davenport held serve at 15, winning three straight points on backhands down the line and one by charging in for a forehand volley.
This time Hingis didn't recover. She started her last service game with a double-fault, set up match point with two more misses, and then hit a backhand long on a deep serve return by Davenport.
Davenport skipped toward the net with her hands in the air. Hingis' mother and coach, Melanie Molitor, sat slumped forward as most of the audience rose for a standing ovation.
''I just hate to play you,'' Hingis told Davenport as the two waited for the trophy presentation.
''That's pretty rare to hear her say that,'' said Davenport, who has beaten Hingis four straight times and in six of their last seven meetings. ''She's so confident and so good, that's the best compliment you could ever get.''
Despite the result, Hingis still is No. 1 and Davenport No. 2 in the WTA rankings. Davenport said Hingis has been more consistent in reaching tournament finals.
''I couldn't care less that I'm not No. 1 right now. I'm just going to go on as the Australian Open champion and that's, to me, far more important,'' said Davenport.
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