Hingis scores easy victory in Melbourne - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hingis scores easy victory in Melbourne

19/01/2006 09:29:29 PM Comments (0)

Former world No.1 Martina Hingis' comeback is the real deal.

The proof was there for all to see in the 52 minutes it took her to swat aside Finn Emma Laine in a stunning second round Australian Open victory.

It was vintage Hingis - the three-time Australian Open champion combining deft touch with winner after winner for a 6-1 6-1 victory which should send shivers down the spines of her rivals both at Melbourne Park and on the women's tour this year.

After coming out of a three-year retirement, Hingis showed no sign of the foot injury that had forced her to prematurely call it quits.

The Swiss player sent her opponent, ranked 100 in the world, scurrying fruitlessly around the court in a demolition reminiscent of those she could conjure in her prime.Hingis broke Laine's serve in five of her seven service games.

The game which sealed the 25-year-old's victory was a potted version of the match - exquisite Hingis drop shot, followed by blinding passing shot, forcing a double fault to break serve on match point.

Hingis now plays fifth seed Mary Pierce's conqueror Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic in the third round, with a fourth round match looming against Aussie hope Samantha Stosur ahead of a possible quarter-final showdown with No.2 seed Kim Clijsters.

Hingis said she was pleased with how she finished her match, showing her intensive training and preparation leading up to her comeback was paying off.

"Especially at the end of the match, I started to loosen up, I went for my shots, took some risks and it paid off," Hingis said.

"I trained hard coming into this tournament. Gold Coast was a great preparation for me.

"Now slowly but surely I'm getting into it and finding my form."

Hingis, who beat 30th seed Vera Zvonareva in the first round, now finds her quarter of the draw opening up with Pierce's shock exit to Benesova, ranked outside the top 50.

But Hingis said she would be treating Benesova with plenty of respect.

"I haven't really looked past Mary Pierce right now, but I guess Benesova was the better player today.

"I can't take things easy - have to go out and do my best."

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