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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

 

Other Sport: Former world number one makes successful comeback


Photo: COMEBACK KID: A triumphant Martina Hingis of Switzerland in Melbourne yesterday after she made a successful comeback to top class tennis after three years. Picture: AP

Source: Daily Dispatch. Sapa-AFP

Tournament favourites Roger Federer and Kim Clijsters powered into the second round of the Australian Open yesterday on a day that saw Martina Hingis make a successful comeback to Grand Slam tennis.

Hingis looked like the Swiss Miss of old on her return to a tournament she won three times between 1997-99 and last played in 2002 before injuries cut her career short.

The 25-year-old demolished Russian 30th seed Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-2 in just over an hour to claim her highest ranking scalp since launching a comeback earlier this month following a three-year injury layoff.

"I still need to do this and that but I've played a couple of tournaments now and I feel I can get better. I love coming back here, this stadium has been so good to me," said a beaming Hingis.

Federer also sent a chilling warning to his rivals by swatting Uzbekistan wildcard Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in ruthless fashion.

The Swiss top seed, who on Monday equalled US great Pete Sampras' mark of 102 weeks as world number one in the ATP rankings, was in devastating form and showed why he is the overwhelming favourite to land his second Australian Open.

Federer, who confessed to knowing nothing about his opponent, broke Istomin's serve six times and was always in command.

"It's never easy in the first round of a Grand Slam," he said.

"But the scores are good and I'm very happy with the result. It's a good start to the tournament." Germany's Florian Mayer is next up to face the Fed Express.

Lleyton Hewitt, the third seed who is scheduled to meet Federer in the semi-finals, was far less convincing against the 58th-ranked Robin Vik of the Czech Republic, struggling to finish him off in a five-set thriller.

The Australian finally hammered the last nail into Vik's coffin after three hours 45 minutes, winning 6-4, 2-6, 5-7, 7-6 (7/4),6-3.

"I had to wait, I had to bide my time and wait for my opportunities, but it was awfully close," said Hewitt.

Hewitt's former girlfriend Clijsters, like Federer a favourite to win the championship, showed no outward signs of the hip injury that threatened her appearance here as she brushed aside South Korea's Cho Yoon-jeong 6-3, 6-0. But she said she was hurting and her movements and strokeplay were hampered.

"There are moments where it hurts, there are moments where it doesn't. So I just have to protect it," she said.

Mary Pierce, the fifth seed, was equally commanding in her opening match, taking less than an hour to dismantle Australian Nicole Pratt 6-1, 6-1 and will next play Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic.

Others safely into the second round include Amelie Mauresmo, the third seed who beat Pierce in the final of the WTA Championship.

But she was taken to three sets by China's Sun Tiantian.

"The rhythm wasn't really here today," said the 1999 finalist, who committed 35 unforced errors.

"Still, it's the first match, sometimes it goes very well, sometimes you struggle a little bit - that was the case today."

Patty Schnyder, the Swiss seventh seed who reached the quarter-finals here last year, is also through after overcoming Eleni Daniilidou of Greece 6-4, 6-3.

Number 12 seed Anastasia Myskina also comfortably made the second round, making her the seventh Russian women to pass the first hurdle.

Among the men, sixth seed Guillermo Coria of Argentina booked his berth with victory over Romanian Victor Hanescu and Tommy Haas, considered a dark horse, continued his impressive form.

The German, who beat Federer at the Kooyong Classic last week, ousted 14th seed Richard Gasquet of France in straight sets.

French 25th seed Sebastien Grosjean was to play Australian wild card Mark Philippoussis in the night match.
Comments:
Mention a schoolgirl dress and this is what he comes up with.

Eish!!!
 
You must see the other photos I've got!!!

Wait for the articles on Miss Sharapova. Oh my Lord.
 
What happenned to Miss Kournikova?

Is she still playing tennis?
 
nah, fitness videos with balls which you can catch on most episodes of super saturday.  
PA,

I thought you didn't have a TV.
 
and dont bloody remind me thanks!!!!!

it was the days when i was still in the republic
 
Okes


I have a friend who is a doctor. Okay she's my best friend.

Currently working for Doctors without Borders with the Tsunami Disaster Relief in Sri Lanka.

She's a pretty version of Martina Hingis.


Damn I miss her.....


She was best "man" at my wedding.
 
Go Swiss Miss, but please no more taers. Strange how many ladies are making a comeback and doing well - makes one wonder how good the present young crop of ladies really are.
Mary Pierce and Monica Seles come to mind.
 
I saw a documentary on Maria Sharapova. When she was 8 playing tennis at an academy, Hingis came to hit some balls with the young girls. After each girl hit with her, they asked what she thought. Most were in awe with Hingis, saying how great it was to get a chance just to be on the same court as her. Sharapova only had one thing to say, "I hope she (Hingis) is still playing when I turn 16." Talk about a confident 8 year old.  
dancing bear

With those legs confidence should not be a problem. :)
 
Kandas

And what about Gwen's legs??
 
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