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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Hingis makes bright start in Kolkata Open

Hingis makes bright start in Kolkata Open

September 18, 2006 23:34 IST
Former world number one Martina Hingis romped to a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Hungary's Melinda Czink in the first round of the Kolkata Open on Monday.

The Swiss world number nine, aiming for her second singles title since her return to the game in January, faced a brief fightback early in the second set before prevailing over her 71st-ranked opponent on the slow indoor surface.

Hingis retired in 2002 with foot and ankle injuries and re-established herself among the elite with victory in the Italian Open in May. She is the top seed here and faces Israel's Tzipora Obziler next.

"I'm happy with the way I played today," said Hingis. "I love playing indoors. I'm working on coming in a little bit more and volleying."

The five-times grand slam singles champion was delighted to have made her return to top flight tennis.

"It is because I missed it so much," Hingis said. "It is great to be back in the circuit, to know people missed you. I have friends all over who welcome me."

Hingis, who reached the quarter-finals of the Australian and French Opens this year, said she would love to add another grand slam title to her impressive haul.

"I would definitely want to win another grand slam," she said. "It would be one of my biggest moments to be able to do so, but it is going to be very tough.

"I have to work very hard. The girls are much fitter now. The trend was started by Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graff and now all of them are so fit.

"In fact, the Williams sisters re-wrote the script with their fitness."

Thailand's Tamarine Tanasugarn, once a top-20 player but now ranked 125th in the world, caused the first upset by scoring a 6-7, 7-5, 6-0 victory over sixth seed Kaia Kanepi of Estonia.

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