Pratt not scared of facing Hingis - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pratt not scared of facing Hingis

By Daniel Pace 02/01/2007 05:44:35 AM Comments (0)

Australian veteran Nicole Pratt insists she won't be intimidated on Tuesday when she faces the might of world No.7 Martina Hingis in the second round of the women's hardcourt tennis event on the Gold Coast.

Pratt, 33, booked a date with five-time grand slam winner Hingis after disposing of Russian Elena Bovina 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 6-1 on centre court at Royal Pines on Monday night.

"I have the ability to step it up at different times and I've got a few tricks up my sleeve," Pratt said about her clash with the former world No.1.

"I'm going to take it to her. I'm definitely not intimidated."

Fellow Queenslander Samantha Stosur survived a tough encounter against China's world No.55 Shuai Peng, prevailing 5-7 6-2 6-1 in the final match of a marathon day at Royal Pines.

Australia's highest-ranked female player at No.29, Stosur looked rusty in the first set but then found her groove to dominate the rest of the match.

The Gold Coast girl, playing in front of a vocal home crowd, will next play Sydneysider Sophie Ferguson.

Pratt said Hingis was in good touch after she watched the Swiss cruise to victory against world No.49 Sybille Bammer in a first round match on New Year's Eve.

"I played against her in world team tennis in July last year and we had some very, very long rallies," said world No.78 Pratt.

"A lot of the games went to that final point so I matched it pretty well against her.

"We're both counter-punchers so I expect some long rallies and hopefully I've got the legs tomorrow to go through the match."

Pratt has never performed well on the Gold Coast but is determined to make an impact in what's likely to be her last appearance at this tournament.

She said her major goal this year was to better her highest singles world ranking of 35 reached in June, 2002.

A player who has soared up the rankings is Serbian glamour Ana Ivanovic.

The 19-year-old dusted off some early cobwebs to dispose of Italian qualifier Roberta Vinci 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 in an earlier match.

"The first match of the season is always tough, especially after two months break," said Ivanovic, who is coached by Australian Fed Cup captain David Taylor.

"She was moving the ball really well and it was hard to get in the rhythm.

"But I always believed in my game and I believed on important points I could make some good shots."

Israeli Shahar Peer downed American Meghann Shaughnessy 6-1 5-7 6-0, Italian Tathiana Garbin upset fourth seed Anna Lena-Groenefeld 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 and Russian Maria Kirilenko was ruthless in her 6-1 6-2 thrashing of Italy's Flavia Pennetta.

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