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Sanchez-Vicario, Martinez clinch Spain's 5th Fed Cup
Posted: Sunday September 20, 1998 04:28 PM
GENEVA, Switzerland (AP) -- Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Conchita Martinez won their doubles match in straight sets Sunday to lift Spain to a 3-2 victory over Switzerland and collect Spain's fifth Fed Cup crown.
Sanchez-Vicario and Martinez defeated world No. 1 Martina Hingis and Patty Schnyder 6-0, 6-2, in the tie-breaking doubles match that took under an hour.
The two veterans figured in all four of Spain's previous titles in 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1995. The pair has led Spain to the finals seven times in the last eight years.
"This was probably one of the best wins of all," said Sanchez-Vicario, still breathing hard from the effort. "We played one of the best teams and worked so hard to get the victory.
"Viva Espagna! I'm so happy!"
The two steamrolled over Hingis and an exhausted Schnyder in the first set in just 24 minutes.
The second didn't take much longer.
The Swiss held serve until the fifth game when they failed to save two break points, allowing the Spanish duo to leap ahead 4-2. Leading 5-2, Spain failed to convert on their first match point, but made he most of their second, breaking the Swiss for the title.
The last Fed Cup title decided by the doubles was in 1991, when Spain defeated the United States 2-1.
Earlier in the day, Hingis handed fourth-ranked Sanchez-Vicario a drubbing in the opening match, defeating the Spanish player 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to give Switzerland a 2-1 lead.
Conchita Martinez saved her team, posting a 6-3, 2-6, 9-7 victory over Schnyder, evening the score at 2-2 in the best-of-five final.
Martinez took the first set in convincing fashion, before losing her opening serve in the second.
The Swiss player broke again to jump ahead 4-1, then held her serves to even the sets.
Martinez jumped to a 3-0 lead in the final set, but lifted by the frenzied home crowd, Schnyder broke back to narrow the gap to 3-2, then saved three break points to hold serve and even the score 3-3.
The two traded breaks to remain on serve at 4-4, then each held serve -- often with great difficulty -- to 7-7.
Martinez held to lead 8-7, then overcame Schnyder's serve with a break point to spare.
Hingis extended her winning streak over Sanchez-Vicario to seven, with the Spaniard's last victory over the Swiss teenager dating back 2 1/2 years ago, when Hingis was only 15.
Hingis opened by scoring seven consecutive points. While the Spaniard managed to hold her first serve, Hingis monopolized the next nine points to break Sanchez-Vicario's second and jump to a 3-1 lead.
Sanchez-Vicario broke back but the remainder of the set was a struggle, and a gutsy effort in the tie-break proved insufficient.
Hingis then broke Sanchez-Vicario's opening serve in the second set.
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