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US OPEN NOTEBOOK

Martina Hingis returns to the Grand Slam semifinals in doubles

Martina Hingis teamed up with Flavia Pennetta for a quarterfinal victory. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Al Bello/Getty Images

Martina Hingis teamed up with Flavia Pennetta for a quarterfinal victory.

Martina Hingis is back in a Grand Slam doubles semifinal for the first time since 2002.

Hingis and Flavia Pennetta beat fifth-seeded Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik, 6-4, 6-3, Tuesday at the US Open.

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The 33-year-old Hingis returned from her latest retirement to play doubles last year, but she lost in the first round of that Open with Daniela Hantuchova and in this summer’s Wimbledon with Vera Zvonareva.

She and Pennetta had played in three tournaments together leading up to the US Open.

Hingis has won nine major doubles championships to go along with her five Grand Slam singles titles. Her protegé didn’t fare as well Tuesday: 17-year-old Belinda Bencic lost to Peng Shuai in straight sets in a singles quarterfinal.

Back to reality

For CiCi Bellis, the media storm is over, and that’s just fine with her.

A week after the 15-year-old Californian became the darling of the US Open for pulling a massive upset, she was in a small room surrounded by a handful of reporters asking about her second-round loss — in the junior draw.

‘‘I didn’t play as well as I wanted to, but that’s tennis,’’ she said. ‘‘I just have to move on.’’

Bellis’s victory over Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova gave her made-in-a-minute stardom, a runaway Twitter feed, and reporters from around the world calling her the future of American tennis. Her loss in the second round to 48th-ranked Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan, along with her latest loss as the top-seeded girl, brought her back to reality.

Was it all too exhausting?

‘‘Yeah, for sure, definitely,’’ she said, still smiling under her sweat-stained visor. ‘‘But it’s kind of the price you pay when you do well.’’

Her biggest lesson from her media crush?

‘‘With all the craziness, my coach and my parents have been telling me, when you finish, just get everything done and just go right away,’’ she said. ‘‘It will just really exhaust you if you stay here too late.’’

Ouch!

At least Gilles Simon sometimes apologizes when he hits a ball kid.

Before his fourth-round match against Marin Cilic, the Frenchman followed through on a practice serve, and then looked on in horror as it hit a ball girl in the face.

When she later sat down in a changeover chair to apply ice to her eye, Simon gave her a supportive kiss on the top of her cap.

Somewhere, Sloane Stephens must have been wondering: Where did this sensitivity come from? See, at Wimbledon two years ago, the American rising star shared a story involving Simon when Stephens was a ball girl herself.

‘‘He hit me with a ball the first time I was a ball kid,’’ Stephens recalled. ‘‘He hit me in the chest, because he lost a point and lost the set. He turned around and slammed the ball with his racket and hit me.’’

She said he didn’t apologize — and she still held a grudge.

Simon was far more contrite this time around. The 26th-seeded Frenchman went on to lose to the 14th-seeded Cilic in five sets.

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