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Hingis triumphs in Australia comeback match

January 02, 2006 12:49 IST
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Former world number one Martina Hingis made a successful return to professional tennis with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Venezuela's Maria Vento-Kabchi at the Australian hardcourt championships on the Gold Coast on Monday.

The 25-year-old Swiss, who retired in 2002 with foot and ankle injuries, dropped her serve in the opening game but soon rediscovered the touch that led her to five grand slam titles.

"I was a little nervous," Hingis said. "I'd like to thank my family and friends for supporting me."

Hingis, who is using the Gold Coast and Sydney tournaments as warm-ups for the Australian Open that starts on January 16, will meet world number 35

Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic in the second round.

Third seed Dinara Safina of Russia was taken to a tie break in the first set by compatriot Evgenia Linetskaya, which she won 7-0 before sweeping the second set to give her a 7-6, 6-0 victory.

Italian Francesca Schiavone, the second seed, also moved into the second round with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over China's Meng Yuan.
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