Tokyo final a flop

 

WORLD number one Steffi Graf pulled out of the final of the Toray Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament yesterday with a knee injury, forfeiting the title to Martina Hingis.

The 27 year old German merely aggravated a tendon in her left knee during her semi final match against Brenda Schultz McCarthy of the Netherlands on Saturday. She forfeited yesterday's final without hitting a shot.

It was the 16 year old Hingis' third straight title and fifth overall this season, including the Australian Open earlier this month.

"This morning, I saw the doctor and I've done everything I could," said Graf. "I tried to go out onto the practice court. I knew before that I had no chance to play tennis ... I could not play at all."

Graf said she injured the knee for the first time during practice for the Eastbourne tournament shortly before Wimbledon last year.

She also withdrew from a semi final match at Leipzig in September and a final at Philadelphia in October because of the same injury.

"I just hope that it's not very serious. Hopefully, I can recover very soon," she said.

Graf, the winner here in 1986, 1990 and 1994, also failed to become the second female tennis player to cross the $20 million mark in career prize money.