2006 Martina Hingis News Archive (Sports - Tennis)

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  Martina Hingis News Archive, 2006 (Sports - Tennis)

Current Hingis News, Photos, & Links

    (Dec 27, 2005) Martina Hingis has arrived at Gold Coast, Australia, where she will return to regular WTA Tour play in the Australian Women's Open, which begins January 2nd. The top seed at Gold Coast will likely be Martina's compatriot, # 7 Patty Schnyder. Martina will also play the following week in the Medibank International (formerly adidas International) in Sydney, a tourney which she has won three times (this year will be tough, however, as # 2 Kim Clijsters, # 3 Amelie Mauresmo, and # 6 Justine Henin-Hardenne are among the other entries for Sydney).
    After the Australian Open (Jan 16-29), where she is also entered as a wild card, Martina is scheduled to play in the Tokyo Pan Pacific Open, another tough tourney.

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Martina while practicing at Gold Coast on Wed, Dec. 28

    (Dec 28, 2005) Martina Hingis practiced at the Royal Pines Resort, in Gold Coast, Australia, on Wednesday, preparing for the Australian Women's Hardcourts, which begin on January 2 at the Royal Pines. Martina was reportedly looking very fit, and hitting the ball very well.

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Martina Hingis looking out over the Royal Pines Resort golf course on Friday, Dec 30

    (Dec 30, 2005) 25-year-old former WTA # 1 Martina Hingis will play # 70 Maria Vento-Kabchi in the 1st round of the Australian Women's Hardcourts in Gold Coast, Australia, on Monday or Tuesday. It will be Martina's 2nd WTA match since retiring due to ankle & foot injuries in late 2002. On Friday, Martina told reporters that she has been working to improve her serve, possibly the weakest part of her game.
    Martina said: "I've been trying to work on my whole game, baseline and serve. You have to have a serve to be able to survive today...
    "I've had a very nice quiet life back home without the stress and travel but I miss playing. I miss the game. I'd wake up in the morning and sometimes I'd have no reason to wake up and that's what I was missing...
    "I'm taking a risk but I'm willing to take it. I love the challenge and if I can survive, great, but if not it's not a drama. There's worse things that can happen to me." Reuters story

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Martina walloping a forehand, and after match point

    (Jan 2, 2006) On Monday in the Australian Women's Hardcourts at Gold Coast, 25-year-old former WTA # 1 Martina Hingis from Trubbach, Switzerland (with a branch office at Saddlebrook, Florida), playing in only her 2nd WTA match since retiring due to ankle & foot injuries in late 2002, easily defeated 31-year-old # 70 Maria Vento-Kabchi from Caracas, Venezuela (& Miami, Florida, USA), 6-2, 6-1 (photos shown).
    Understandably nervous at the opening, Martina lost the first 6 points of the match before settling down and breaking Maria's serve twice to take a 4-1 lead. Martina said: "It's normal. "Even when I played the exhibitions or when I played World Team Tennis, I was always nervous the first two, three games, and thankfully I know [Maria] from the past and also from Saddlebrook, where we've trained together. I kind of had a strategy going into the match and was able to hold to it. It was just a matter of time, getting the first point and the first game. After that, I started breathing." WTA story
    Asked to rate her performance on a scale of 1-10, Martina said: "In the circumstances, with the heat and not having played for three years, I'd say an eight. And at times even better." Tennis Australia story

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Martina drew a full house for the 1st round match

    About playing # 29 Klara Koukalova in the 2nd round, Martina said: "She's a smart player, she plays powerfully but she's not as tall as some of the Russians. She's from the Czech Republic so that's a similar mentality [to Martina, who was born there, so], it feels like I have to play myself."

    Martina is also playing doubles at Gold Coast, partnered with Tatiana Golovin of France (yes, the "French Kournikova"). They will play 4th-seeded Tiantian Sun & Ting Li of China in the 1st round on Tuesday; if they win, they will play Emmanuelle Gagliardi & Roberta Vinci in the 2nd round.

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Tatiana & Martina won their first time out

    (Jan 3, 2006) On Tuesday in the Australian Women's Hardcourts at Gold Coast, Martina Hingis and her partner Tatiana Golovin of France, playing together for the first time, defeated 4th seeded Tiantian Sun & Ting Li of China in the 1st round of doubles 6-1, 6-4. Tiantian & Ting were the 2004 Olympic Gold Medalists in doubles.
    Martina & Tatiana will play Martina's compatriot Emmanuelle Gagliardi and her Italian partner Roberta Vinci in the 2nd round on Thursday. On Wednesday at 1:30pm or later (Gold Coast time=GMT+10 hours), in the 2nd round of singles, Martina is playing # 35 Klara Koukalova from the Czech Republic.

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Martina sending Klara a forehand, and after match point

    (Jan 4, 2006) On Wednesday in the Australian Women's Hardcourts at Gold Coast, 25-year-old former WTA # 1 Martina Hingis from Trubbach, Switzerland (with a branch office at Saddlebrook, Florida), won her 2nd WTA match since retiring due to ankle & foot injuries in late 2002, handily defeating 23-year-old 7th-seeded # 29 Klara Koukalova from Prague, Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-2.
    Martina said: "Every set I feel like I'm shaking off a little bit of the rustiness of the last three years. I was fine in the beginning, and then closing out the first set, I started thinking about it too much. That's one thing I probably have to get under control, just keep going, keep serving, keep playing the way I did before, but it's kind of hard against a girl who's down 4-1 5-2 and she has nothing to lose in that set any more. She just starts hitting, and there you have to hold against it, and that's something I really have to work on. But that only comes with matches." WTA story
    Martina will play # 52 Nuria Llagostera Vives from Barcelona, Spain, in a quarterfinal on Thursday, not before noon local time (Gold Coast time=GMT+10 hours).

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Martina delivering forehand & backhand to Nuria

    (Jan 5, 2006) On Thursday in the Australian Women's Hardcourts at Gold Coast, 25-year-old former WTA # 1 Martina Hingis from Trubbach, Switzerland (with a branch office at Saddlebrook, Florida), won her 3rd WTA match since retiring due to ankle & foot injuries in late 2002, although she dropped her first set of the tourney while defeating 25-year-old 5' 1˝" # 53 Nuria Llagostera Vives from Barcelona, Spain, 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 (Martina is shown after match point).

    Martina said: "Instead of really taking charge and playing my game as I did in the third, I started backing up again and I'm like 'oh, come on do it.' And then I got tired and [Nuria] started hitting the balls better and controlling, and I had to turn things around in the third...

    "I know I can last three sets now, especially mentally, maybe not physically, but mentally. That's probably the biggest weapon which I had today." WTA story

    Martina will play 23-year-old 4th-seeded # 22 Flavia Pennetta from Milan, Italy, in a semifinal on Friday. They have never before met on the field of combat. Flavia said: "I'm excited to be playing against Martina. I looked up to her when I was growing up, and I think it will hit me tomorrow that I'm not playing just anyone; I'm playing Martina Hingis."

    In the 2nd round of doubles on Thursday, Martina & her partner Tatiana Golovin of France defeated Martina's compatriot Emmanuelle Gagliardi and her Italian partner Roberta Vinci 6-3, 6-4. On Friday Martina & Tatiana will play a doubles semifinal against one of the toughest teams in tennis, current doubles # 1 Cara Black of Zimbabwe, and her partner, doubles # 5 Rennae Stubbs of Australia.

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Martina's forehand, and both ladies after match point

    (Jan 6, 2006) On Friday in the semifinals of the Australian Women's Hardcourts at Gold Coast, 23-year-old 4th-seeded # 22 Flavia Pennetta from Milan, Italy, defeated 25-year-old former WTA # 1 Martina Hingis from Trubbach, Switzerland (with a branch office at Saddlebrook, Florida), 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-2.
    Martina reached the semis in her 1st official "comeback" tourney since retiring due to ankle & foot injuries in late 2002. She has been troubled this week by a left hip flexor strain, and she did not move well after aggravating the injury at 4-4 in the 2nd set. Martina later withdrew from her doubles SF to give the injury time to heal before next week's tourney in Sydney. But she did not blame the loss on the injury.
    Martina said: "As a player and a competitor you try to overcome things like that and still play until the end of the match. I don't want to take anything away from Pennetta, she played a great match. I was able to compete with her. It was great tennis and everyone enjoyed it.
    "You can't always expect everything to be perfect with your body when you haven't done that much in three years. If I was to evaluate this tournament right away, I'm very happy and very positive about what I've achieved this week. I don't think anybody expected me to come out like this so it's pretty good." Reuters story

    Flavia said: ""I wasn't so nervous before the match, but when I went on court it hit me who I was playing. I didn't play so well in the first set, but then I managed to calm down and play my game.
    "I started well in the second set, with a 3-1 lead, but she came back again. When she served for the match at 6-5, I still believed I could win. I just told myself to fight.
    "It's a wonderful feeling to beat such a great champion, but this is Martina's comeback tournament, so I'm sure she will only get better." WTA story

    Martina will travel from Gold Coast to Sydney on Saturday to play in next week's Medibank International (formerly the adidas International, aka the Sydney International), a tournament she has won three times.
tennis.quickfound.net Gold Coast tourney page

    (Jan 7, 2006) Martina Hingis traveled today to Sydney, Australia, where she will play another former WTA # 1, current # 8 Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium (who recently moved her residence to Monte Carlo, Monaco) next week in the Medibank International, a tourney which Martina has won three times.
    Martina, who has been troubled by a left hip flexor strain, is not playing doubles in Sydney this year.

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Justine Henin-Hardenne and Martina Hingis practicing in Sydney on Sunday

    (Jan 8, 2006) Former WTA # 1 Martina Hingis will play former WTA # 1 (and current # 8) Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium on Monday, Jan 9 in the 1st round of the Medibank International in Sydney, Australia. The match will be the 2nd match on Centre Court on Monday, with the first match beginning at 11am (5pm PT, 8pm ET in the US). Live scoring can be linked to from the home page of the tourney website (direct linking is impossible because of the way the pages are coded).
    Martina has played Justine twice before, but both matches were in 2000, before Justine reached her prime. Martina defeated Justine 6-3, 6-3 in the 2nd round of the 2000 Australian Open. Later that year in Filderstadt, Martina was leading 6-3, 3-0 when Justine retired from the match. Justine was hampered by a hamstring injury throughout most of 2005, but four weeks ago was declared fully healed and ready to play.

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Martina congratulating Justine after the match

    (Jan 9, 2006) On Monday in the 1st round of the Medibank International in Sydney, Australia, 23-year-old 5th-seeded # 8 Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium (who, like Russian Dinara Safina, has recently moved to Monte Carlo, Monaco-- those Belgian taxes are merde), defeated 25-year unranked former # 1 Martina Hingis from Trubbach, Switzerland (with a spare home featuring Rebound Ace court at Wesley Chapel, Florida) 6-3, 6-3 (photo shown).
    Although Justine won in straight sets, and was, Martina said, at a "different level," Martina was not blown out of the match. Martina, broken in her 1st service game, also broke Justine's serve in the 1st set. And when Justine served for the match, up one break at 5-3 in the 2nd, Martina held two break points against her-- but could not convert.

    Justine said: "The first match is never easy, the first match of the season. But against Martina, it's much more difficult that that. I think the key point was to deal with the special situation today, the comeback for Martina, my first round here. But as soon as I said to myself, 'it's gonna be like normal first round and you need to deal with that; you need to use your experience,' that's what I did." WTA story

    Martina said: "I have to be patient. It just takes a lot of tournaments, a lot of matches...
    "I see that (my level is) enough for maybe Top 20, but if you want to play someone like Justine, a Top 10 player, it's a different ballgame.
    "I wish I had more to give. I'm a competitor. You just want to give it a bigger fight."

    Martina will now head to Melbourne, to prepare for next week's Australian Open.
tennis.quickfound.net Sydney tourney page - stories: AP - The Australian - Reuters

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Martina practicing at Melbourne Park on Friday

    (Jan 13, 2006) Former WTA # 1 Martina Hingis will play # 31 Vera Zvonareva from Moscow, Russia, in the 1st round of the Australian Open, probably on Tuesday, January 17.
    Martina & Vera have never before met on the field of combat. Vera is a fine player, who reached the final in Auckland, New Zealand, last week, and has been ranked as high as # 9 in the WTA. It will be a very tough test for Martina.
    If Martina wins, in the 2nd round she will face either # 49 Nuria Llagostera Vives of Spain (whom Martina defeated at Gold Coast last week), or # 87 Emma Laine of Finland.

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Martina firing a forehand at Vera, and after match point

    (Jan 17, 2006) In Melbourne on Tuesday, in the 1st round of the 2006 Australian Open, 25-year-old 3-time Aussie Open champ Martina Hingis from Trubbach, Switzerland (who still keeps an extra shack at Wesley Chapel, Florida, with a Rebound Ace court, though she is unranked after 3 years away from the tour due to chronic ankle injuries), demolished 21-year-old # 31 Vera Zvonareva from Moscow, Russia, 6-1, 6-2 (photos shown).
    Martina played very cleanly, hitting 17 winners with only 11 unforced errors (Vera: 10 winners, 21 errors). Martina's serve was never broken during the match, while she broke Vera's serve four times. match stats
    Martina said: "It just feels great to be back here. I love coming back here. This surface, this stadium has been so good to me... I just had to keep calm out there and focus on my game and my strategy... I'm probably more eager to win now than when I was a 17-year-old." stories: Reuters - AP - Courier Mail
    Martina will play # 87 Emma Laine of Finland in the 2nd round.

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Martina tossing to serve, a forehand, and after match point

    (Jan 19, 2006) In Melbourne on Thursday, in the 2nd round of the 2006 Australian Open, the 1997, 1998, & 1999 Australian Open champion, 25-year-old former # 1 Martina Hingis from Trubbach, Switzerland (who has a 2nd residence with an Aussie Open-type court at Wesley Chapel, Florida-- home of the Saddlebrook Resort, where Jennifer Capriati also resides), demolished 19-year-old # 87 Emma Laine from Helsinki, Finland, 6-1, 6-1 (Martina is shown after winning a point).
    Martina is showing no signs of rust after returning from a 3-year retirement from the WTA Tour due to ankle and foot injuries. Her serve, considered a weak link in her game, has not been broken in her first two matches, and she has not yet suffered a double fault. Martina put 85% of her 1st serves in the box against Emma (who only got 50% in), and hit 14 winners with only 9 unforced errors (Emma: 8 and 21). match stats

    Martina will play 22-year-old unseeded # 47 Iveta Benesova from Most, Czech Republic, in the 3rd round on Saturday. They have never played before. Iveta is a lefty, which sometimes causes problems for opponents, but Emma Laine is also left-handed, so Martina got a nice warmup. The elimination of Mary Pierce has left this eighth of the draw up for grabs; Martina or Iveta will play either Samantha Stosur or Sybille Bammer in the 4th round. The winner of that match would likely face # 2 Kim Clijsters in a quarterfinal-- but Kim is hurting from a hip injury she incurred last week, and might be upset at any point along the way.

    Martina is not playing doubles in Melbourne this year, but she is playing mixed doubles, partnered with doubles specialist Mahesh Bhupathi of India. Their 1st round match will be on Friday (the 3rd match at Margaret Court Arena), against Na Li of China, and her partner Yeu-Tzuoo Wang of Taiwan.

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Martina launching a forehand, and after match point

    (Jan 21, 2006) In Melbourne on Saturday in the 3rd round of the 2006 Australian Open, 3-time champion and former # 1 Martina Hingis from Trubbach, Switzerland, dispatched her 2nd lefty in a row, 22-year-old # 47 Iveta Benesova from Most, Czech Republic, 6-4, 6-1.
    Martina continued to play very cleanly. She has yet to hit a double fault in this tournament-- and she has served 134 times (those are Helen Wills-like numbers). Avoiding double faults has helped Martina win more of her 2nd serve points than any other player in the tourney: 64% (# 2 is Maria Sharapova: 57%). Her fastest serve has been 112 mph, very good for Martina.
    On Saturday Martina hit 14 winners with only 12 unforced errors (Iveta: 16 & 27). For the 3 matches she has played, Martina has hit 45 winners with only 32 unforced errors. match stats

    Martina said: "I was down 3-1 today, down a break. Thankfully, I broke right back, kind of wore [Iveta] out. That felt really good.
    "I don't think I played my best tennis today. But as long as you win, it's always good. Always room to improve for the next match." interview

    Iveta said: "I was pretty happy with the beginning of the match. I was 4-3 up. That game cost me a lot of energy, a lot of power. Was too hot today, and I felt so weak afterwards. I missed four returns in that next game and made three double faults on my serve. So it was a pity that I lost the first set like this.
    "Then the second set, [Martina] made me feel so uncomfortable, because she's very clever, very smart player. She knows exactly where to put the ball." WTA story

    In the 4th round on Monday Martina will find the crowd against her for the first time in this tourney, as she plays the local hero, 21-year-old # 61 Samantha Stosur from Gold Coast, Australia. If she gets past Samantha (no sure thing) Martina will face either # 2 Kim Clijsters or # 15 Francesca Schiavone in a quarterfinal on Wednesday.

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Martina running down a backhand, and after match point

    (Jan 23, 2006) In Melbourne on Monday, in the 4th round of the 2006 Australian Open, 3-time champion and former # 1 Martina Hingis defeated the local favorite, 32-year-old # 104 Samantha Stosur from Gold Coast, Australia, 6-1, 7-6(8).

    Both players hit 22 winners in the match, but while Martina had 24 unforced errors (including her first, and only, double fault thus far in the tournament), Samantha had 43. While both players scored on 53% of their 1st serve points, Martina (who put 76% of her 1st serves in the box) also won 55% of her 2nd serve points. Samantha, who made only 58% of her 1st serves good, won only 20% of her 2nd serve points. And Samantha scored on only 17 of 35 net approaches (Martina: 13 0f 18), and converted only 4 of 11 break points (Martina: 6 of 8). match stats

    Martina said: "I knew that I had to be right there from the start. I knew I couldn't give [Samantha] any momentum... Toward the end I just don't want to remember the finals I played here and lost in the second set...
    "I played really well (in) I would say one and a half sets. At 5-3, 30-0, I'm like, 'please, two more points' and it took me a while till we finished that match.
    "[Samantha is] a great fighter. She started attacking more. Also partly because I was getting tired or just loosened up a little. But I think it was toward the end, it was all nerves. Being down 5-2 in the tie-breaker, I was just happy to finish it off in straight sets." interview - Reuters story - AP story

    Samantha said: "As the match went on, I kind of found what I needed to be doing a bit better. I think [Martina] started getting a little bit tired. I just started grinding it out and just fighting for every point and came within two points of getting the [2nd] set. I think I was on the right track to doing that...
    "[Martina is] an awesome player. Now playing her, I know why she's won all these grand slams and why she's probably going to go down as one of the greatest ever."

    Martina will play 22-year-old 2nd-seeded # 2 Kim Clijsters from Bree, Belgium, in a quarterfinal on Wednesday.. Martina leads Kim 4-1 in career matches. The last time they played was in the semifinals of the Sydney International in 2002, where Martina won, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2. That was the next to the last tournament that Martina won before she retired for three years due to ankle injuries.

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Martina's forehand, and congratulating Kim after match point

    (Jan 25, 2006) In Melbourne on Wednesday, in the quarterfinals of the 2006 Australian Open, the 2005 US Open champ, 22-year-old 2nd-seeded # 2 (and former # 1) Kim Clijsters from Bree, Belgium, narrowly defeated the 3-time Aussie Open champ, 25-year-old unranked (after a 3-year retirement due to ankle injuries) Martina Hingis from Trubbach, Switzerland, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 (Kim is shown after match point). The victory, combined with Lindsay Davenport's loss on Tuesday, meant that Kim will regain the # 1 place in the WTA rankings next Monday, regardless of the outcome of the rest of the tournament.

    Martina's game was not what it was in the first 4 rounds, possibly because she was trying to hit so hard against Kim. Martina had only one double fault in her first 4 matches combined; today she had 6 DFs. And in the first 4 matches combined, Martina hit 67 winners with only 56 unforced errors. Against Kim, Martina hit 19 winners-- with 31 unforced errors (Kim: 35 winners, 49 errors). match stats

    Kim said: "I had myself concerned... I was feeling very weird out there today. In general, not injury-wise, I felt very empty out there today...
    "I think [Martina] definitely hits the ball a lot harder than she used to when I played her in the previous times...
    "When you play all the girls, you can sort of read their game, you know when a girl's going to hit crosscourt. You can sort of read a little bit better. But with her, you can go down the line. Normally another girl would go crosscourt. She will go down the line again. She tries to just keep you off your foot all the time. That's why she's so strong in her game, because physically she's not the most powerful player out there, but she just reads it so well and plays it tactically so well...
    "I still think by getting more matches and more rhythm and everything, she's going to improve even more." interview

    Martina said: "I lost only 6-4 in the third against the No. 1 player starting from Monday, so I don't think it's that bad after all. Just one step further. I have to start believing against players like that, to be able to make another step.
    "It was a tight match at the end after all. I mean, the beginning stages, I was like, 'Okay, hopefully I gain one point after another, game after another,' and I started, you know, taking charge in the second set. Some unfortunate things early in the third. But I still stick in there and fight through it.
    "[Kim] has still the edge over me, and she had it today. Three years pass by, you can't just think you're going to step out there and win everything. Considering I [originally] only wanted to play doubles at all these [Australian] events, it didn't turn out that badly." interview

    Kim will play Amelie Mauresmo of France in a semifinal on Thursday. Martina is not finished in Melbourne, she and her partner Mahesh Bhupathi of India will play a mixed doubles quarterfinal against 8th-seeded Australians Rennae Stubbs & Todd Perry on Thursday; this will be the last match of the day on the Laver court.

    (Jan 26, 2006) On Thursday at the Australian Open, Martina Hingis and her partner Mahesh Bhupathi of India defeated 8th-seeded Australians Rennae Stubbs & Todd Perry 7-5, 7-6(5) in a mixed doubles quarterfinal. In the XD semifinals on Friday, Martina & Mahesh will play two more Aussies, 6th-seeded Samantha Stosur & Paul Hanley.

    (Jan 27, 2006) Martina Hingis has reached the final of the 2006 Australian Open-- the mixed doubles final. In the XD semifinals on Friday in Melbourne, Martina and her partner Mahesh Bhupathi of India defeated 5th-seeded Australians Samantha Stosur & Paul Hanley, 6-3, 6-3. Martina & Mahesh will play the 6th-seeded team, Russian Elena Likhovtseva and Canadian Daniel Nestor, in the mixed doubles final on Sunday.

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Martina punching a volley; Martina & Mahesh with the hardware

    (Jan 29, 2006) On Sunday in Melbourne, wild cards Martina Hingis and her partner Mahesh Bhupathi of India defeated the 6th-seeded team, Russian Elena Likhovtseva and Canadian Daniel Nestor, 6-3, 6-3 to win the 2006 Australian Open mixed doubles title.
    Martina's serve was broken after she and Mahesh had taken a 4-2 lead in the 1st set, but they immediately broke Elena's serve to regain the advantage and then took the set. Breaks of serve were exchanged early in the 2nd set. Then Elena's serve was broken again, giving Martina & Mahesh a 4-3 lead, up a break, and they then won the last two games and the match. AP story

    Martina said: "I think with each match I got a little better and more confidence. The last two matches I think we just really got the teamwork together, and I learned a lot of things from him..." interview

    Martina will now travel to Tokyo, where she will play in the 1st round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open on Tuesday or Wednesday.

    Martina said: "It's a great event, Tokyo. I've always played that. Going back to Japan, I like playing in Tokyo. It's a fast surface. My mom's already waiting there, so I'm going to be happy to see her again...
    "I enjoy being back. Just every tournament is a new one, and right now I just really am happy to be playing and at that level again."
    Martina has won 36 WTA doubles titles, (11 of them with Anna Kournikova), but was the first time she had reached a mixed doubles final. Elena has won 25 WTA doubles titles, and 1 mixed doubles title, at Wimbledon in 2002, teamed with Martina's partner in Melbourne, Mahesh Bhupathi.
    In singles, Martina has now played in 3 tourneys, the minimum required to get a ranking. She has earned 218 points, which will put her at about # 119 in the rankings that come out on Monday, Jan 30.
tennis.quickfound.net Australian Open tourney page

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Martina & Maria on Monday
        (Jan 30, 2006) On Monday in Tokyo, players, including former # 1's Martina Hingis and Maria Sharapova (photo shown) faced the press prior to the WTA Pan Pacific Open (play begins on Tuesday).
    About Martina's comeback after a three-year retirement due to ankle injuries, Maria said: "I'm sure [Martina] will quickly get into the top 10."
    In the 1st round on Wednesday, Martina will play # 61 Yoon Jeong Cho from Seoul, Korea. Martina had been drawn to play # 45 Akiko Morigami, but Akiko withdrew due to a sprained ankle she suffered at the Australian Open.
    Martina and Maria could meet in a semifinal in Tokyo, but for them to do so Martina must get past several very good players, including Nathalie Dechy in the 2nd round, and Ana Ivanovic, Maria Kirilenko, or Ai Sugiyama in the QFs.
    For Maria to reach the semis, she will likely have to again defeat Daniela Hantuchova, whom she edged out in the 4th round at the Australian Open last week, 6-4, 6-4.
    In the new WTA rankings this week, Martina is ranked # 117. This is based on points from the 3 tourneys she has played in this year; ranking points are totaled from a player's best 17 tourneys in the past 52 weeks, with a minimum of 3 tourneys required to get a ranking.

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Martina v Yoon Jeong
on Wednesday
        (Feb 1, 2006) In Tokyo on Wednesday, in the 1st round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open, 25-year-old unseeded & unranked (# 117 this week on points from her first three tourneys back, but last week's rankings were used for the draw) Martina Hingis continued to show that she didn't lose a step during three years of retirement due to ankle injuries. Martina delivered a double bagel to 26-year-old # 61 Yoon Jeong Cho from Seoul, Korea, winning 6-0, 6-0 (photo shown).
    Martina lost only 5 points in the 14-minute 1st set, and one of those was by double fault. Martina said: "It was a good start. I probably exceeded my expectations in Australia and that confidence showed today. It shows the potential is there and I'm improving every week." Reuters story - Reuters feature story
    Martina will likely have a tougher match against 4th-seeded # 13 Nathalie Dechy of France in the 2nd round on Thursday. However, Martina is 4-0 against Nathalie in career matches, and all four matches were in straight sets.

click for Hingis news photo search         (Feb 2, 2006) On Thursday in Tokyo, in the 2nd round of the Pan Pacific Open, unseeded & unranked Martina Hingis, after a slow start, defeated 26-year-old 4th-seeded # 13 Nathalie Dechy of France (residence: Tournai, Belgium) 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 (Martina is shown after match point).
    Martina fell behind 1-3 in the 1st set. Martina said: "I was a little nervous and [Nathalie] pushed me, but once I felt safe from the baseline I started dictating. In the last set and a half I started reading her returns and reacting better." Reuters story

Martina after defeating Nathalie on Thursday

    Nathalie said: "[Martina] just hung in there and got better as the match went on. Her steadiness and depth made it difficult for me during the whole match. She kept improving during the match. Martina is playing really well. Her game hasn’t changed too much from before. She still takes the ball really early and still has unbelievably good hand-and-eye coordination. When she stopped playing before, she was good. And now, she has a lot of confidence from the Australian Open." WTA story
    Martina will likely have another tough match in Friday's quarterfinals, this time against 19-year-old unseeded # 25 Maria Kirilenko from Moscow, Russia. Young Maria was 16 when Martina left the Tour due to ankle injuries, and has never played the 5-time Grand Slam champ before.

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Martina threw soya beans at reporters portraying demons
in the Japanese lunar spring Setsubun ceremony on Friday

    (Feb 3, 2006) On Friday in Tokyo, in the quarterfinals of the Pan Pacific Open, 25-year-old unseeded & unranked (# 117 this week, but last week's rankings were used for the draw) Martina Hingis handily defeated 19-year-old unseeded # 25 Maria Kirilenko from Moscow, Russia, 6-2, 6-1 (photo shown).

    Martina will play 18-year-old top-seeded # 4 Maria Sharapova of Russia in a semifinal on Friday at 1pm. They have never before met on the field of combat.
    Martina said: "When Maria was about 12-years-old, I was visiting Bolletieri's Academy in Florida and met five young girls; Maria was one of them. I hit a little bit with her and she was already outstanding amongst the girls.
    "I've always said Maria was the one player I wanted to play on my return to tennis, so the day is here and I'm very happy to have the opportunity. If I play as well as I did against Kirilenko, I will definitely have a chance."

    Maria said: "I'm looking forward to playing Martina. She's a great champion and it should be a great match. On this surface, I have to come out strong and hold my serve and try to return well.
    "The best part of her game is she reads the ball so well and takes it early, so I have to try and not give her time, especially because the court is faster, and I will also try to attack. She moves around the court very well."

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Maria congratulating Martina after match point

    (Feb 4, 2006) On Saturday in Tokyo, in the semifinals of the Pan Pacific Open, former WTA # 1 Martina Hingis from Trubbach, Switzerland, in her 4th tourney back after a 3-year retirement due to ankle injuries, defeated 18-year-old top-seeded # 4 Maria Sharapova of Russia 6-3, 6-1.
    The 1st set was close, the 2nd set wasn't. In the 1st set, Maria was serving, with Martina leading 4-3 (on serve), when a return by Martina hit the net cord and fell on Maria's side for the break, putting Martina up 5-3. In the 2nd set, Maria won the first game-- then Martina won the next six straight.

    Martina said: "It was very competitive in the first set. I think we were both feeling each other out, seeing how each other played, and what shots we chose to make. I was lucky to break her in the eighth game, and I hit an ace to take the set. I was very happy about that, and I think that gave me a lot of confidence to go on to win the match.
    "I played well. I didn't miss much on key points and I put a lot of pressure on [Maria]. I couldn't ask for much more, she's the No. 4 player in the world... Playing the top players you have to play them over and over. You have to start believing and step by step I'm getting my confidence back." WTA story - AP story

    Maria said: "[Martina] used my pace and the quickness of the court to her advantage, and came up with some very good shots... She still has a lot of experience and feel for the game...
    "There were chances I could have taken and didn't. In the second set especially, I didn't have my usual 'fight to the end'. It wasn't any particular point, but a little here and there made a big difference." Reuters story - Xinhua story

    In the Tokyo final on Sunday, 2nd-seeded # 9 Elena Dementieva from Moscow, Russia, will play her favorite other WTA player, Martina Hingis (whom Elena has said plays tennis like a game of chess). Martina and Elena are tied 2-2 in career matches; Martina won the first two times they played, and Elena the last two. The last time they played, in Moscow in October, 2002, was Martina's last match before her three-year retirement from the WTA Tour due to ankle injuries. Elena won 6-3, 6-1, and Martina then withdrew from her remaining 2002 tournaments rather than play with the substantial pain she was enduring.
    Elena said: "I'm really looking forward to playing Martina tomorrow. This is my first final in Japan, and to play Hingis is an unbelievable opportunity for me. For me, she is the No.1 player in the world. She's playing better now than when she retired three years ago."

click for Tokyo tourney photo gallery
Martina congratulating Elena after match point

    (Feb 5, 2006) In the final of the Pan Pacific Open on Sunday in Tokyo, 24-year-old 2nd-seeded # 9 Elena Dementieva from Moscow, Russia, a finalist at Roland Garros and the US Open in 2004, won her first Tier I WTA title by soundly defeating unseeded & unranked former WTA # 1 Martina Hingis from Trubbach, Switzerland, 6-2, 6-0.
    Elena's usual weakness, her serve, did not trouble her today. Martina appeared "sluggish" at the start of the match, and when she tried to combat Elena's solid groundstrokes by taking the net, Elena effectively lobbed the ball over Martina for winners.

    Elena said: "I love to do passing shots. When [Martina] started to come to the net, I could see she didn't like my groundstrokes, and was trying to change the pace. I was able to use those lobs effectively...
    "I felt like I played up to my potential today. I just went for all of my shots and I was serving pretty well also. [Martina is] a great champion, and I was happy for the opportunity to play her here for my first Tier I title. It means a lot to me that the fans here in Japan have been great in supporting the tournament all week." AP story - WTA story

    Martina said: "I'm not looking for any excuses. [Elena] was just too good today. I've had a very good start to my comeback and I will go home with my head up...
    "It used to be I had to play both Williams sisters and Lindsay Davenport, now it's the Russians. I am proud of my week, I have surpassed all my expectations of my comeback and feel very good knowing I can go out there and play with the best players in the world."

    Martina will now take a couple of weeks off; her next tourney will be the Dubai Women's Open, which begins February 20th.
tennis.quickfound.net Tokyo Pan Pacific tourney page

    (Feb 18, 2006) Former WTA # 1 Martina Hingis will play # 38 Sania Mirza of India in the 1st round of next week's Dubai Duty Free Open in the United Arab Emirates. They will play on Tuesday, Feb 21st, at 7pm or later; it will be Martina's first match against the top player from India.
    Martina, back on the WTA Tour following a 3-year retirement due to ankle injuries, is now ranked # 48 in the WTA after only 4 tournaments (the best points from up to 17 tourneys count in a player's rankings).
    If Martina can get past Sania, she will play either # 11 Anastasia Myskina (the 2004 French Open champ) or # 53 Jie Zheng in the 2nd round.

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Martina sending a backhand to Sania

    (Feb 21, 2006) On Tuesday in the 1st round of the Dubai Tennis Championships, 25-year-old unseeded former # 1 Martina Hingis, currently # 48 just 4 tourneys after returning from 3 years' retirement due to ankle injuries (up to 17 tourneys count in ranking points) defeated 19-year-old # 38 Sania Mirza from Hyderabad, India, 6-3, 7-5.
    Both ladies played unevenly, and the audience was described as "rowdy." Martina said: "I'm happy to be through, to be honest. It wasn't the greatest match I've played, but I'm through. It felt like a soccer game out there but it didn't really bother me. Maybe in the past I would get annoyed by the crowd but today I just tried to go through it. But I just couldn't find my rhythm, coming from playing indoors. I came here Friday, but it always takes you a couple of matches."
    Martina broke Sania's serve four times in the 2nd set, but Sania broke back immediately the first three times. "I felt I had the game under control and whenever I needed it I was able to step it up. I wasn't thinking that I was going to lose the [2nd] set, because I felt [Sania] always had ups and downs. So did I, but every time I needed it I knew I could pressure her."
    Martina was a bit slow on the court, and attributed it to overtraining. Martina said: "I came back home after Tokyo and was doing a lot of physical work and conditioning, and I think I overdid it a little bit, and I'm still recovering." Reuters story

    Martina will have a tough 2nd round match against # 11 Anastasia Myskina of Russia. Martina and Anastasia are tied 1-1 in career matches, Martina winning in Zurich in 2000, and Anastasia in New Haven in 2002.

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Martina firing a forehand at Anastasia

    (Feb 22, 2006) On Wednesday in the 2nd round of the Dubai Tennis Championships, Martina Hingis defeated 24-year-old 6th-seeded # 11 Anastasia Myskina from Moscow, Russia, 6-4, 6-3.

    Martina played far better than she had in the 1st round on Tuesday. Martina said: "The key really was the first game. I was down 40-15 and came back winning. I think because I won the first game it showed [Anastasia] I'm here, I'm ready, I'm prepared and you have to earn your points...
    "I'm into my fifth tournament... I've shown that I can still play and I don't look at it as a comeback now. It's the second period of my career, and now I just look at myself as a player the same as anybody else. I still haven't played most of the other players and it's still like being a rookie. But everyone's seen me, everyone knows I can play. They know they have to play well against [me], and if they don't, I win." Reuters story

    Martina will play 18-year-old 3rd-seeded # 4 Maria Sharapova in a quarterfinal on Thursday. They have played only once before, a few weeks ago indoors in Tokyo, where Martina won, 6-3, 6-1. Maria has had some time to think that over, and may fare better in their 2nd meeting. Maria also played well on Wednesday, winning her 2nd round match over # 46 Vera Dushevina, 6-1, 6-0.

    (Feb 24, 2006) On Friday in the rain-delayed quarterfinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships, 18-year-old 3rd-seeded # 4 Maria Sharapova of Russia (residence: Bradenton, Florida) defeated 25-year-old unseeded former # 1 Martina Hingis 6-3, 6-4.

    Martina said: "I probably wasn't as concentrated as last time, but [Maria] played well. Today I think was just lack of patience pretty much, and that's why I came up short at the end. There were so many opportunities and you can't allow someone like her to come back into the game. I had so many game points, break points, and couldn't finish them."
    Martina will now move on to Doha, Qatar, where she will play next week's Qatar Total Open.
tennis.quickfound.net Dubai tourney page

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Martina on Monday
        (Feb 27, 2006) On Monday in the 1st round of the Qatar Total Open in Doha, # 50 Martina Hingis had her serve broken in the 1st game, then promptly went on to crush, kill and destroy 29-year-old # 97 Mashona Washington from Houston, Texas, 6-1, 6-2.

    Martina said: "I think I played quite well, except in the first game of the match... I didn't miss much after being broken in the first game.

    "In the first set, I knew I could do anything I wanted, my passing shots were coming off well and my serves were good too. I played my shots with a lot of confidence." Reuters story

    Martina will play 25-year-old 3rd-seeded # 11 Francesca Schiavone of Italy in the 2nd round, probably on Wednesday. They have played only once before, in the quarterfinals of the 2001 French Open; Martina won then, 6-1, 6-4, but Francesca has been playing very well for the past several months.

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Martina hanging out with friends on Tuesday

    (Mar 1, 2006) On Wednesday in the 2nd round of the Qatar Total Open in Doha, # 50 Martina Hingis handily demolished 25-year-old 3rd-seeded # 11 Francesca Schiavone of Italy, 6-1, 6-2.
    Martina said: "It was definetly a good performance today. I played smart and concentrated throughout the whole match. It was key in the first games to hold serve." WTA story
    In the quarterfinals on Thursday, Martina will play 20-year-old 6th-seeded # 15 Svetlana Kuznetsova from St. Petersburg, Russia. They have never before met on the field of combat. Martina is clearly playing very well this week; 2004 US Open champ Svetlana, who had a slump in 2005, has been playing better recently, too.

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Martina on Thursday
        (Mar 2, 2006) On Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Qatar Total Open in Doha, Martina Hingis, currently # 50, defeated 20-year-old 6th-seeded # 15 Svetlana Kuznetsova from St. Petersburg, Russia, 7-6(7), 6-2 (photo shown).

    Martina put 77% of her 1st serves in the box, and converted 5 of 9 break point opportunities (Svetlana: 64%, and 3 of 8-- match stats can be accessed via the results link in the live scoring box).

    Martina said: "I served very well in the first set, I held my serve, and that was key, just like yesterday. I won with my heart today. Wining the tie-break gave me confidence." WTA story

    Martina will play top-seeded # 2 Amelie Mauresmo of France in the semis on Friday.

    Martina leads Amelie 7-4 in career matches, and although Amelie won the last two times they played, those matches were on clay (and in 2001). Martina is 3-1 against Amelie on hard courts. On the other hand, Amelie has recently been playing the best tennis of her career.

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Martina on Friday
        (Mar 3, 2006) On Friday in the semifinals of the Qatar Total Open in Doha, 26-year-old top-seeded # 2 Amelie Mauresmo of France (residence: Geneva, Switzerland) defeated former # 1 (currently # 50 in the sixth tourney of her comeback from a 3-year retirement due to ankle injuries) Martina Hingis 6-2, 6-2.

    Although Martina put 74% of her 1st serves in the box, she only won 40% of her 1st serve points-- and only 25% of her 2nd serve points.

    Meanwhile, Amelie nearly matched Martina, getting 73% of her 1st serves in-- and Amelie won 66% of those points, as well as 67% of her 2nd serve points (match stats can be accessed via the results link in the live scoring box).

    Martina said: "I'm a bit disappointed. But I lost to the best player... I am not unhappy with my game because I know I'm progressing. But having said that I know there are certain areas of my game where I need to concentrate more." Reuters story
    Amelie said: "I served well and returned well. I was seeing the ball well and I was able to play my shots... Hingis is a great player. I don't think she has to prove anything. Perhaps, coming back after a long gap and hitting top form would take some time..."
tennis.quickfound.net Doha tourney page

    Martina's next action will be next week at the Pacific Life Open, in Indian Wells, California. With two big Tier I tourneys, Indian Wells and Miami, occupying March, by April Martina will be back in the top 20 in the rankings-- and quite possibly the top 10.

    (Mar 10, 2006) Today (Friday), 19th-seeded # 32 Martina Hingis (who had a 1st round bye) will play a qualifier, 24-year-old # 118 Camille Pin from Nice, France, in the 2nd round of the Pacific Life Open, in Indian Wells, California.
    The match is scheduled for 7pm (or later) PST, on Stadium Court 1, the "center court" at Indian Wells. Martina and Camille have never played each other before. If Martina wins, she will face either # 26 Jelena Jankovic or # 62 Sybille Bammer in the 3rd round on Sunday.

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Martina on Friday
        (Mar 11, 2006) On Friday at Indian Wells, in the 2nd round of the Pacific Life Open, former # 1 Martina Hingis, now in her 7th tourney back after a 3-year retirement due to ankle injuries, defeated 24-year-old qualifier # 118 Camille Pin from Nice, France, 6-1, 6-3.

    1998 Indian Wells champ Martina was pleased with the support she is receiving from the fans. Martina said: "It's great. Wherever I go, people are very welcoming and friendly... Maybe I have this little underdog thing now, not being out there for three years and coming back." LA Times story

    In the 3rd round on Sunday, Martina will play left-handed 25-year-old # 62 Sybille Bammer from Linz, Austria.

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Martina on Sunday
        (Mar 13, 2006) On Sunday at Indian Wells, in the 3rd round of the Pacific Life Open, # 32 (and rising rapidly) Martina Hingis defeated 25-year-old # 62 Sybille Bammer from Linz, Austria, 6-0, 6-3. soundbyte

    In the 4th round on Tuesday, Martina will face her old nemesis, 29-year-old current # 4 and former # 1 Lindsay Davenport from Laguna Beach, California.
    Martina said: "I'm very excited-- we've had great battles over the years, and now that I haven't played her since my comeback. It's definitely a great challenge. We always played one of the best matches, because we knew every time we played, either we win the tournament or we were close to doing so. So we always brought the best tennis out of each other." interview

    Lindsay said: "With Martina, I have to play my game - that's going for shots, trying to keep her behind the baseline, not letting her dictate points and putting me on the run. And I've got to play well to do it. And if I don't, it's going to be a long day. I'm the one doing the running. She's very good at that. I always have to play at a high level to beat her...

    "I think Martina is more aggressive than you guys [reporters] give her credit for. She steps into some balls. Whether they're not coming as hard as some of the biggest hitters, she still takes the ball early. She still has the best hands out there. She gets incredible depth and obviously moves so well... you have probably a little bit more time than you would against one [Venus or Serena] Williams or Maria [Sharapova], but she does a pretty good job of kind of using the power that comes at her and hitting the ball back pretty hard...

    "The best opportunity you can get with her is her second serve. Now, saying that, I'm sure against me she'll try and make a high percentage of first serves, or go for a bigger second serve, and maybe, you know, give in to some double faults. I don't see her just kind of spinning them in, but that's your best shot against her, to create the point and to get her kind of reaching in on the run...
    "[Martina's] backhand was one of the best shots in women's tennis, but I felt like her forehand didn't come at the same trajectory as her backhand. It bounds up a little bit more. The theory is it might give you a little more time. She changes directions still pretty well with it." interview

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Lindsay congratulating Martina
      (Mar 14, 2006) On Tuesday at Indian Wells, in the 4th round of the Pacific Life Open, # 32 (former # 1) Martina Hingis won her biggest victory since returning to the WTA Tour after a 3-year retirement due to ankle injuries. Martina defeated 29-year-old # 4 (former # 1) Lindsay Davenport of Laguna Beach, Calif., 6-3, 1-6, 6-2.

    Martina's previous biggest win of 2006 was against # 5 Maria Sharapova, whom she was playing for the first time, in the Tokyo Indoor semifinals.
    Against Lindsay, it is different. Lindsay still leads Martina 14-11 in career matches. 15 of the previous 16 times they played were tourney finals. Of those finals, Martina won 6, and Lindsay won 9.

    Martina said: "I was probably a little more fresh... I ran down a lot of balls, which probably other girls try to overhit her or risk too early. Even I had a letdown a little bit in the second set, I just tried to focus in the third early on, just to put her under pressure, and it worked...

    "[Lindsay] was hitting the balls like this close to the lines. It's very hard to mentally stay focused all this time because you're under so much pressure. I mean, like no one else probably. She served very well. Her first and second shot are the best out there.     "She pushes you away from the [base]line. Everyone says you have to try to make her run, but it's very difficult. Once you get over a rally which is three, four points, then you have definitely a better chance. But usually you don't even get there."

    Told that Lindsay had said her balls were clearing the net by a wider margin, Martina said: "I'm trying to have more spin. It's a harder ball to take. I mean, sometimes it's slower, but it's more like probably the men would play, like heavier topspin. Don't get it there all the time, like behind the service line. Still a very tough one to control and do something out of it." interview - soundbytes: mp3-1 - mp3-2 - mp3-3

    Lindsay said: "[Martina] really makes you go for a lot and think about shots. Great mover. Places the ball extremely well... she was trying to be very, very consistent and get a lot of balls back, and it was working well.     "I think I had some opportunities early in the third set, especially that first game. Missed just a few balls going for a lot, was trying to keep the points shorter. That's what her game does. You know you have to hit really good shots. Just was off on a few balls that I needed to make today...
    "I felt like I didn't play great, but I thought she played very smart, which is very typical of her. That's what she does best. She's always going to be a good player and be dangerous to anybody."
    Lindsay reluctantly admitted that she is suffering from back pain due to a bulging disc ("I think L4. Does that sound right?"), which will likely cause her to skip the clay court season. Lindsay said: "[I've] been struggling with a couple problems with my back. For the most part it's okay... It's been a month... I have this tournament and then Miami, and then I think it's about probably four to six weeks off. I have a bulging disc... I can get it feeling okay for a little bit, then it will kind of stiffen up a little bit... Pretty much just pain... They said it was pretty far away from the nerve...
    "I still feel like I would have beaten a lot of players today. [Martina] is a very good player. She's going to be at the top as soon as she plays more and more. It's just a matter of her getting more tournaments under her belt." interview - soundbytes: mp3-1 - mp3-2

    In the quarterfinals at 11am on Wednesday, Martina will play 10th-seeded # 21 Dinara Safina of Russia (residence: Monte Carlo, Monaco). They have never before met on the field of combat.
    If Martina & Maria win their quarterfinals on Wednesday, they will play each other for the second time in Friday's semifinals.

    (Mar 15, 2006) On Wednesday at Indian Wells, in the quarterfinals of the Pacific Life Open, # 32 (and former # 1) Martina Hingis from Trubbach, Switzerland, defeated 19-year-old 10th-seeded # 21 Dinara Safina of Russia (residence: Monte Carlo, Monaco), 6-3, 6-4. The win was Martina's 20th victory since her return to WTA play in January.

    Martina said: "Definitely I'm very happy with the progress I'm making. Today probably wasn't all the prettiest game, but it was effective at the end of the day. I'm happy to be through, in the semis again."

interview - soundbytes: mp3-1 - mp3-2 - mp3-3

    In the semifinals on Friday, Martina will play 18-year-old 3rd-seeded # 5 Maria Sharapova of Russia. They have played only twice before, first indoors in early February in the semifinals of the Tokyo Pan Pacific Open, where Martina won, 6-3, 6-1. But Maria learns quickly, and in the quarterfinals in Dubai later in February, Maria defeated Martina, 6-3, 6-4.
  click for Hingis news photo search
Martina on Wednesday

    Maria said: "In Dubai, I basically took my opportunities, the ones that I had. In Tokyo, even when I felt like I could get back in the match, I didn't take my opportunities, made a few errors. I think I was more focused on the match in Dubai. I really tried not to worry about what my opponent was doing.
    "You can never underestimate an opponent that you're going to be playing in a semifinal or a final match. Therefore, you have to be ready no matter who it is. But you cannot take your game away from that. It's very important that you maintain your form, and just try to do your best at whatever you're good at."

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Martina after the match
      (Mar 17, 2006) On Friday at Indian Wells, in the semifinals of the Pacific Life Open, 18-year-old 3rd-seeded # 5 Maria Sharapova of Russia defeated # 32 Martina Hingis 6-3, 6-3. Maria now leads Martina 2-1 in career matches, all three played in the past few weeks.

    Martina, with a 20-7 record for the season so far, picked up 146 ranking points by reaching the Indian Wells semis, and will probably be ranked about # 26 in Monday's WTA Rankings.

    Martina will now travel to Miami, Florida, for next week's NASDAQ-100 Open in Key Biscayne.
tennis.quickfound.net Indian Wells tourney page

    (Mar 21, 2006) Martina Hingis, whose WTA ranking has now risen to # 26 only 7 tourneys after her return to the WTA Tour from a 3-year retirement due to ankle injuries, will play 24-year-old qualifier (and 2004 Olympics doubles champ) # 124 Tiantian Sun of China in the 2nd round of the NASDAQ-100 Open in Key Biscayne, Florida.

    Because 24th-seeded Martina (who, with the rest of the 32 seeded players, has a 1st round bye) is in the top half of the draw, her first match will be on Friday, March 24.

    Although # 124, Tiantian has a win over Serena Williams to her credit. If Martina reaches the 3rd round, things immediately get tough: she will probably play the 2004 US Open champ, # 14 Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia.

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Martina on Friday
      (Mar 24, 2006) On Friday night, in the 2nd round of the NASDAQ-100 Open on Key Biscayne (just off the Miami coast), # 26 Martina Hingis defeated 24-year-old qualifier # 124 Tiantian Sun from Beijing, China, 6-3, 6-2.

    Martina said: "[Tiantian] has a great serve. She served well in the beginning especially. [The Chinese players] all have physical abilities, and they still have a lot of discipline, you know. They're very driven, very hungry."
interview

    In the 3rd round on Sunday, Martina will play the 2004 US Open champ, 20-year-old 12th-seeded # 14 Svetlana Kuznetsova from St. Petersburg, Russia. Martina has played Svetlana only once before, a few weeks ago in the quarterfinals in Doha, Qatar, where Martina won, 7-6(7), 6-2. If Martina wins again, in the 4th round she will face either her compatriot # 9 Patty Schnyder, or # 30 Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia.

    # 87 Meghann Shaughnessy opened things up in Martina's quarter of the draw by removing the top seed in that group, # 3 Justine Henin-Hardenne. This makes Martina's potential quarterfinal opponents # 15 Elena Likhovtseva, # 21 Ai Sugiyama, # 32 Sofia Arvidsson, or Shaughnessy. If Martina reaches the semis, she would likely face either # 1 Amelie Mauresmo, # 7 Nadia Petrova, # 15 Daniela Hantuchova, or # 16 Ana Ivanovic.
tennis.quickfound.net Miami tourney page

    (Mar 26, 2006) On Sunday, in the 3rd round of the NASDAQ-100 Open on Key Biscayne, Florida, 20-year-old 12th-seeded # 14 Svetlana Kuznetsova from St. Petersburg, Russia, defeated former # 1 Martina Hingis 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(9).

    Martina said: "I played well. She just won one point more at the end. It's, definitely, the first set I did well, then she came in the second. I kind of would say I didn't make the, you know, 2‑All game in the second, then kind of she breezed away. In these kind of conditions, you can't ever let down." interview

    At the end of the third set tiebreak, Martina sensibly called for a instant replay (with the new Hawkeye challenge system) of the last point, on which she had hit the ball out, because it was close.
    Martina said: "It's like, you can always have hopes, right?... I thought it might be out, but it was very close call... [Svetlana] was laughing, I was laughing at the end. She deserved it, she earned it, I made a mistake and that's it."
  click for Hingis news photo search
Martina on Sunday
    Martina will now take four weeks off. She is not playing next week at Amelia Island, nor the following week in the Family Circle Cup. After that comes Fed Cup week, and Fed Cup week this year is strangely followed by an empty week with no tourneys.
    Martina's next action will be on red clay in the J&S Cup in Warsaw, Poland, which begins May 1st. Martina is listed as a direct entry, the first tourney of her comeback in which she has not been a wild card.

click for J&S tourney gallery
Martina arriving
      (May 1, 2006) On Monday in Warsaw, in the 1st round of the J&S Cup, Martina Hingis ended a 4-week layoff she had taken to rest up and practice for the clay court season.
    25-year-old unseeded Martina, ranked # 25 as she begins her 9th tourney since ending her 3-year retirement caused by ankle injuries, narrowly defeated 19-year-old # 22 Maria Kirilenko from Moscow, Russia, 7-5, 7-6(1).
    The match was delayed for an hour by rain during the 2nd set, and both players had trouble holding serve in the lousy weather. Maria led in both sets-- but could not hold her lead.

   Martina said: "Especially at times when I would have a set point or a break point or something, [Maria] played quite cheeky and mixed it up. She's a very, very talented player and I always knew that.
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Martina swinging

    "Either way [if I won or lost] it would have been a great match. The first set was very close. So was the second. It was just very difficult conditions and today it was whoever had the stronger head and stayed in the match. One shot here and there and it could have been different." AFP story

    Martina had not played a WTA match on clay in four years. Martina said: "It's been a long time. Hopefully I'll get into it. I'm very happy to be through this first round. When you come from the hardcourt onto clay I think it's all up in the head. You have to be willing to be patient, a lot of rallies and a lot of hard work. But you also have time to try different variations. It takes time to find the strategy, and the movement is sometimes quite difficult."

    Martina will play # 13 Venus Williams in the 2nd round on Thursday (2nd match of the day). Venus defeated 15-year-old Polish wild card # 504 Urszula Radwanska 6-3, 6-3 in the 1st round on Wednesday. 2005 Wimbledon champ Venus has a 1-1 record thus far in 2006, her only previous match being a 6-2, 0-6, 7-9 loss to then # 95 Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria in the 1st round of the Australian Open. Martina leads Venus 10-9 in career matches; they have not played in almost 4 years.

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Martina on Thursday
      (May 1, 2006) On Thursday in Warsaw, in the 2nd round of the J&S Cup, 25-year-old # 13 (and former # 1) Venus Williams from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, narrowly defeated 25-year-old # 25 (and former # 1) Martina Hingis, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.

    Martina and Venus are now tied 10-10 in career matches.

    Martina came within two points of victory in the 2nd set. Martina said: "Being up a set, 5-4, 30-0 she's almost like giving it to me. But then [Venus] came out fighting, and that's what brought her the victory." Reuters story

    Martina will now travel to Berlin for the German Open, which begins on Monday.

tennis.quickfound.net Warsaw tourney page

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Martina tossing on Tuesday
      (May 9, 2006) On Tuesday in Berlin, in the 1st round of the German Open, # 25 Martina Hingis defeated # 19 Flavia Pennetta from Milan, Italy, 7-5, 6-3.
    Flavia, who thrives on red clay courts, is also the player who handed Martina her first defeat of 2006. Flavia ousted Martina 6-1, 6(2)-7, 2-6 in the semifinals of the Australian Hardcourts at Gold Coast, the tourney where Martina ended her 3-year retirement due to ankle injuries.
    Martina said: "I quickly got to 4-1 but [Flavia] is very good when she is behind and her game starts to come through... I was pretty nervous at the beginning of the year. This time I changed my tactics a little and it worked well." Reuters story

    Martina will play # 54 Julia Schruff from Augsburg, Germany, in the 2nd round on Wednesday. They have never before met on the field of combat, but this might be a tough match: last year in Berlin, Julia defeated then # 6 Anastasia Myskina in the 2nd round, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4.

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Martina on Wednesday
      (May 10, 2006) On Wednesday in Berlin, in the 2nd round of the German Open, # 25 Martina Hingis defeated # 54 Julia Schruff from Augsburg, Germany, 6-4, 6-3.
    Martina will face 5th-seeded # 9 Elena Dementieva from Moscow, Russia, in the 3rd round on Thursday.
    Elena, who considers Martina her favorite player because of her tactical intelligence, leads Martina 3-2 in career matches. In Filderstadt in October, 2002, Elena won the last match that Martina played before her 3-year retirement due to ankle injuries. Elena also defeated Martina earlier this year, in the final in Tokyo, 6-2, 6-0.
    About playing Elena again, Martina said: "Things can only get better. I know I have to bring out my best game if I'm going to beat her." Reuters story

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Martina on Thursday
      (May 11, 2006) On Thursday in Berlin, in the 3rd round of the German Open, unseeded 25-year-old # 25 Martina Hingis won one of her biggest matches of the year, handily defeating 24-year-old 5th seeded # 9 Elena Dementieva from Moscow, Russia, 6-3, 6-2.
    Martina said: "Today I played one of my best matches, I had to. It was a very high level match and I definitely picked the right moments to come in and finish off the points.
    "I'm proud of the fact I was able to step it up today when I played a better player, I was able to improve my level. That's what I was able to do when I was younger, to keep a high level up throughout the match... The last three times we played I wasn't even in the match. I knew I had nothing to lose. I knew I had to attack [Elena], stay close to my baseline and hit very deep, because otherwise you're history with her ground strokes being so good." WTA story

    Elena said: "[Martina] played very well today, taking charge and dictating the points, which was my game plan against her. My balls were quite short, which allowed her to take control, and she's too good to do this against her."

    Martina will play 26-year-old top-seeded # 1 Amelie Mauresmo of France, in the quarterfinals on Friday. Martina leads Amelie 7-5 in career matches, but Amelie has defeated Martina the last three times they have played, most recently earlier this year in Doha, where Amelie won 6-2, 6-2.

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Martina on Friday
      (May 13, 2006) On Saturday in Berlin, in the German Open quarterfinals, the top-seed, # 1 Amelie Mauresmo of France, defeated unseeded 25-year-old # 25 Martina Hingis 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
    Amelie and Martina were tied 4-6, 6-4 on Friday when the match was suspended for darkness; the final set began at noon Saturday.
    Martina said: "It was perhaps the best I played over a week since my comeback. I had the match in my control when I was leading 3-0 and 4-2 in the third set, but I guess I was not that aggressive. You need to finish off things and I failed to do that.
    "It's great to be able to play matches like that, especially against a player like Amelie... I was really reading her well and I was very happy to be giving her a challenge. It's something I really liked about my game and something that could take me far." Gulf Times story
    Later on Saturday, better-rested 3rd-seeded 23-year-old # 5 Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium crushed Amelie in their semifinal, 6-1, 6-2.
    Martina will now travel to Rome, Italy, for next week's Internazionali d' Italia Alice Cup, which most folks just call the Italian Open.
tennis.quickfound.net Berlin tourney page

    It's the bat: Martina, who started the year swinging a Yonex (of course) RQ 7, switched during her break between Miami and Warsaw to the Yonex RQS 11. These racquets are only slightly different, both are 27.5 inches in length and balanced head light with a 100 sq. in. head and a swing weight of 318, the RQ 7 has a stiffness of 63, and the RQS 11 has a stiffness of 65.

    (May 15, 2006) On Monday in Rome, in the 1st round of the Italian Open, # 23 Martina Hingis demolished 19-year-old Italian qualifier # 219 Sara Errani 6-0, 6-1.

    Martina said: "I was just happy I didn't give [Sara] so many chances so the crowd would start getting behind her. It's my first time back in Rome after five years and it's not so easy to play here on the clay again." Reuters story

    Martina will play 17-year-old 12th-seeded # 15 Nicole Vaidisova from Prague, Czech Republic, in the 2nd round, on Tuesday at 8:30pm on Court Centrale. They have never before met on the field of combat.
    Nicole is a fine player, but has been having a tough year; she has been troubled by a right shoulder injury and is 12-6 for the season (Martina is now 26-10). This tourney is Nicole's first WTA action since Charleston in early April, where she lost to then # 48 Catalina Castano in the 2nd round.
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Martina on Monday
    Martina said: "I've never played [Nicole] before but I know she's very talented. I really have to focus on myself and just take it round by round. So far I've been playing very good tennis and I'm getting better every match. My game is almost up there with when I was number one in the world but there are still some improvements to make."     If Martina wins, she will face an Italian, # 11 Francesca Schiavone, in the 3rd round on Thursday.

    (May 16, 2006) On Tuesday in Rome, in the 2nd round of the Italian Open, # 23 Martina Hingis defeated 17-year-old 12th-seeded # 15 Nicole Vaidisova from Prague, Czech Republic 7-5, 6-3.

    In the 3rd round on Thursday, Martina will face 25-year-old # 11 Francesca Schiavone from Milan, Italy, the 8th seed.

    They have played twice before, in the 2001 French Open QFs, and this year in the 2nd round in Doha.

    Martina won both times: 6-1, 6-4, and 6-1, 6-2. But this time, on flamboyant Francesca's home clay, if Martina doesn't control the points from the start, the crowd will soon become very distracting.
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Martina on Tuesday

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Martina on Thursday
      (May 18, 2006) On Thursday in Rome, in the 3rd round of the Italian Open, # 23 Martina Hingis defeated 25-year-old # 11 Francesca Schiavone from Milan, Italy, the 8th seed, 6-0, 7-5.

    Martina said: "In the first set I played well, I made almost no mistakes. In the second set, [Francesca] definitely stepped it up and made it quite tough.
    "She had the crowd supporting her. I was happy not to go to a third set because it's quite hot here." AP story

    In the quarterfinals on Friday, Martina will play 24-year-old 15th-seeded # 18 Flavia Pennetta from Milan, Italy, the third Italian she has faced in four matches. They have played twice before, both matches were earlier this year. In January, at Gold Coast, Australia, in the semifinals of former # 1 Martina's first tourney back after three years retirement due to ankle injuries, Flavia won, 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-2.
     But last week in Berlin, in the first round of the German Open, Martina turned the tables on Flavia, defeating her 7-5, 6-3.
    On Flavia's home dirt, Martina will likely try once again to supress the crowd's effect on the match by starting out strong. If the match goes three sets, she will find it hot in more ways than one.

    (May 19, 2006) On Friday in Rome, in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open, # 23 Martina Hingis handily defeated 15th-seeded # 18 Flavia Pennetta from Milan, Italy, 6-3, 6-1.

    It was the 500th match victory of Martina's career (against 111 losses). Martina said: "In the beginning stages it wasn't so easy, but [Flavia] had a lot of tough matches in the previous rounds, so maybe she was a little tired."

    In the semifinals on Saturday, Martina will play 25-year-old 9th-seeded # 12 Venus Williams from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Former # 1s Venus and Martina are tied at 10-10 in career matches, but they have played only once since 2002. That was two weeks ago in Warsaw, in the 2nd round, where Venus edged out Martina, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.
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Martina turning 500 on Friday

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Martina on Saturday
      (May 20, 2006) On Saturday in Rome, in the semifinals of the Italian Open, # 23 Martina Hingis dropped the 1st set at love, then defeated 25-year-old 9th-seeded # 12 Venus Williams from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, 0-6, 6-3, 6-3.
    Martina did not hold serve until the 2nd game of the 2nd set. She then proceeded to break Venus in the next game, and twice more in winning the set. In the 3rd set, both players held serve until Martina broke Venus to take a 5-3 lead, then served for the match.
    1998 Italian Open champ Martina said: "In the first set I felt like I could cry - I was missing my shots by a little bit and my timing was out.
    "Rome has always been a special place for me... I'm happy to have made another final." AFP story
    In the final on Sunday, Martina will play 20-year-old 16th-seeded # 19 Dinara Safina of Russia (residence: Monte Carlo, Monaco). They have played only once before, on a hardcourt in the quarterfinals at Indian Wells in March, where Martina won, 6-3, 6-4. It might be tougher tomorrow; Dinara is having the best week of her career, defeating # 2 Kim Clijsters, # 8 Elena Dementieva, and # 10 Svetlana Kuznetsova in her last three matches.

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After match point
      (May 21, 2006) On Sunday at the Foro Italico in Rome, in the final of the Internazionali d' Italia Alice Cup (aka the Italian Open), 25-year-old unseeded # 23 Martina Hingis from Trubbach, SUI (winterhaus: Wesley Chapel, Florida near Saddlebrook Resort), defeated 20-year-old 16th-seeded # 19 Dinara Safina of Russia (residence: Monte Carlo, Monaco) 6-2, 7-5.

    It was Martina's first singles title since returning to the WTA Tour last January after three years retirement due to ankle injuries.
    Martina, who has won 5 Grand Slam tourney singles titles and was ranked # 1 in the world for 209 weeks, won her last singles title at the Tokyo indoor tourney in February, 2002.
    Martina also won the Australian Open mixed doubles title early this year.
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41st WTA singles title

    Martina led 4-1 in the 2nd set before Dinara really got into the match. Martina said: "[Dinara] loosened up there, that's where she started playing and hitting freely. But I never really felt like the game came out of my hands. I felt like I was always the one dictating play and putting her under pressure. Even if I had lost the second set, I wasn't nervous about the third or whatever would have happened, win or lose. I played a very solid match." WTA story
    Dinara said: "In the second set at 4-1 [Martina] maybe was a little bit tight, but I started to hit wider, looking more for the lines, and it worked. Unfortunately, I couldn't break her at 6-5. I had 0-40. But she played great that point."

    About her 41st WTA singles title, Martina said: "I never thought I'd be here again. But they say never give up hope and keep fighting, and here I am. It's just great to be back on top of the game." Reuters story
tennis.quickfound.net Rome tourney page

    Martina will now take a week "off" to prepare for the French Open. Main draw play at Roland Garros begins on Sunday this year (May 28) instead of the ususal Monday, the change intended to increase TV revenue. The 300 ranking points Martina won in Rome will move her up to about # 14 in next week's rankings, which will be used to determine the French Open seeds; Lindsay Davenport will not be playing (back injury), so Martina should be seeded 13th, possibly higher.
    Asked about her chances of winning the French Open, Martina said: "Well, I had my chances in the past. This year there are many good players who can do well in the tournament. I've always said I'm a good horse but still an underdog. Though definitely this win in Rome will give my confidence a big boost."

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Martina practicing on Saturday, May 27
      (May 26, 2006) Martina Hingis, ranked # 14 after her win at the Italian Open, is seeded 12th at next week's French Open at Roland Garros. Martina will play 32-year-old # 80 Lisa Raymond from Wayne, Pennsylvania, in the 1st round on Tuesday.
    The French Open is playing the 1st round over 3 days this year for the first time, but only six matches of the 32 in the top half of draw are being played on Sunday. Martina is in the bottom half of the draw.

    Martina leads Lisa 6-1 in career matches, although they have not played since 2002. If Martina wins, she will play either # 60 Julia Schruff OR # 114 Zuzana Ondraskova in the 2nd round, probably on Thursday.
    If Martina keeps winning, in the 3rd round she is likely to face # 25 Tatiana Golovin or # 40 Jie Zheng, and in the 4th round: # 8 Elena Dementieva.

    If Martina gets past all that, she would likely face # 2 Kim Clijsters in the quarterfinals. Once she brushes Kim aside without too much trouble, she should then have the confidence to trounce either # 3 Nadia Petrova or # 5 Justine Henin-Hardenne in the semis. The top half of the draw is not quite as tough, so whoever comes out of the bottom half will be in good shape to win the title.

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Martina on Tuesday
      (May 30, 2006) On Tuesday at Roland Garros, in the 1st round of the French Open, 12th-seeded # 14 Martina Hingis easily defeated 32-year-old # 80 Lisa Raymond from Wayne, Pennsylvania, 6-2, 6-2.
    Temperatures were in the mid-50s (Fahrenheit), and light rains fell, but did not stop play, as the clay can soak up water without becoming slippery. Martina said: "I saw it's like 11 degrees [Celsius]. I watched the weather forecast, like 13 yesterday. I'm like, 'Oh. Prepare the best you can early in the morning. Stay warm, keep warm.'

    "It doesn't affect you that much once you're running and everything. It's more the warm-up that is really important before going on court, that you're warm so you can start running. But other than that, where I come from, I'm from a cold country, so it shouldn't be such a big factor...
    "I'm just happy that the first round's over, you can just keep practicing, keep playing on these courts. Definitely coming from a victory like in Rome, my confidence is higher..." interview - match stats

    Martina will play # 114 Zuzana Ondraskova from Opava, Czech Republic in the 2nd round on Thursday; they have never before met on the field of combat.

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Martina serving on Friday
      (Jun 2, 2006) On Friday at Roland Garros, in the 2nd round of the French Open, 12th-seeded # 14 Martina Hingis handily defeated 26-year-old # 114 Zuzana Ondraskova from Opava, Czech Republic, 6-1, 6-3.
    Rain on Thursday had postponed the match to Friday. Zuzana did not play poorly, serving faster than Martina and hitting 15 winners with 19 unforced errors. But Martina had a great match, striking 20 winners with only 12 unforced errors, putting 80% of her 1st serves in the box with no double faults, and scoring on 15 of 20 trips to the net. match stats

    Martina said: "I think it was a very solid performance. I played pretty well until a set and 4-0. I couldn't even mis-hit a shot or anything without touching a line at the end. I almost felt sorry. But I'm very happy with the performance. It all is coming together again. I hope it's going to continue like that. I want to save the best for last." WTA story

    Martina will play 19-year-old # 111 Ivana Lisjak from Cakovec, Croatia, in the 3rd round on Saturday (Ivana upset # 40 Jie Zheng in the 2nd round). This will be the 3rd match of the day on Court Suzanne Lenglen. It will be their first meeting.

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Martina after Saturday's win
      (Jun 3, 2006) On Saturday at Roland Garros, in the 3rd round of the French Open, 12th-seeded # 14 Martina Hingis demolished 19-year-old # 111 Ivana Lisjak from Cakovec, Croatia, 6-1, 6-1.
    About the 45-minute match, Martina said: "There is really no need to stay out there longer than you have to. I really did well. I did my job. Very focused from the bottom of the game, beginning to the end.
    "I have expectations and hopes but I have nothing to lose. I can only gain from this week, this tournament. I really have nothing to lose." Reuters story

    In the 4th round on Sunday, Martina will face 19-year-old # 33 Shahar Peer from Maccabim, Israel. Shahar upset 6th-seeded # 8 Elena Dementieva on Saturday, and won the Istanbul tourney last week by defeating # 12 Anastasia Myskina. Upwardly-mobile Shahar will be Martina's first real challenge in this tourney; they have never played each other before. Their match will be the 5th of the day on Sunday on Court # 1; it may be moved if one of the other show courts opens up first.
    Martina said: "I know [Shahar is] a young, upcoming player. She's very talented. Has high potential. I know she has had great results lately and I just have to take her seriously."

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Martina after Monday's win
      (Jun 5, 2006) On Sunday at Roland Garros, in the 4th round of the French Open, 12th-seeded # 14 Martina Hingis and 19-year-old 31st-seeded # 33 Shahar Peer from Maccabim, Israel, were tied at a set apiece, 6-3, 2-6, when it was becoming too dark to continue play (there are no lights at Roland Garros).
    On Monday at Roland Garros, the ladies returned to Court # 1 for the 3rd set, and Martina defeated Shahar, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. match stats
    Martina said: "[Sunday] was under difficult conditions. We waited for a long time [to start] and split sets.
    "But I think for me it was better because [Shahar] had the momentum and I could go out there fresh today. So that probably helped me at the end of the day.
    "I've never played her before, and she's definitely a young, upcoming player. Since last time I saw her, she's improved a lot. I'm happy to be in the quarterfinals again." interview

    Martina will play 2nd-seeded # 2 Kim Clijsters from Bree, Belgium, in a quarterfinal on Tuesday. Martina leads Kim 4-2 in career matches, but Kim won 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 the last time they met, also in a Grand Slam quarterfinal, at this year's Australian Open.
    In January Martina was playing in her 3rd tourney after a 3-year retirement due to ankle injuries. Martina has improved since then, and Kim's well-known dislike of playing on dirt surfaces will give Martina a good chance of reaching the semis--where she or Kim will probably face the other Great Wall of Belgium, Justine Henin-Hardenne.

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Martina congratulating Kim
      (Jun 6, 2006) On Tuesday at Roland Garros, in the quarterfinals of the French Open, 2nd-seeded # 2 Kim Clijsters from Bree, Belgium, defeated 12th-seeded # 14 Martina Hingis 7-6(5), 6-1. match stats

    Martina said: "It was just the whole game. I was a little flat. I was a little tired. I was just a little late.
    "I didn't have the energy going I had in the first three matches. Even like the last couple days, it was tough coming from a night over, finishing yesterday. You're always intense...
    "[Kim is] not an opponent you can just walk on court and think she's going to give it to you. You just have to be full on. If you're not, you're going to lose. That's what happened today. She was just better...
    "Although I felt like I wasn't playing the greatest tennis, which I had in the first few days and last week, that I was still kind of staying with her in the game... Her game is on a very high level. You have to be ready to be pushing her. Otherwise, if you let her dictate, she's too good." interview

    Martina's next action will be at Wimbledon, beginning June 26, unless she decides to take a late wild card entry into Birmingham, Eastbourne, or s'Hertogenbosch, the grass court warmup tourneys in the two weeks prior to Wimbledon. Asked if she would play at Eastbourne, Martina said: "I really can't answer this question at this point."
tennis.quickfound.net French Open tourney page

    (Jun 27, 2006) In the rain-delayed 1st round of The Championships at Wimbledon on Tuesday, 12th-seeded # 15 Martina Hingis defeated # 103 Olga Savchuk of the Ukraine, 6-2, 6-2. It was their first meeting.
    Martina won the 1st set, 6-2, on Monday, after which the match was stopped by rain. On Tuesday, Martina repeated her performance.

    Martina hit some excellent drop shots on Tuesday. Martina said: "I had to do something, especially on grass. You have to try to have a lot of variety in your shots because somehow you always look for the ball.

    "If you don't give the opponent the same shot twice, it definitely helps because the bounces and everything is just already so hard to get ready for, to control the ball. That's just to mix it up and so the opponent doesn't know what you're doing."

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Martina all tense and
nervous before the match
    The match was played on Court # 2, known as "The Graveyard of Champions," because many upsets have occured their (e.g., Jill Craybas d Serena Williams in 2005). Martina said: "I love that court... I have no bad experiences on that. I don't like Court 1, but I do like No. 2. They can have me play there all the time. I don't care... It's small, intimate. Great atmosphere. Like yesterday, when I walked on the court, you really feel the fans. They're very close to you. I like that court. I never lost on that court." interview

    Martina will face 29-years-old-on-Friday # 63 Tathiana Garbin from Mestre, Italy in the 2nd round on Wednesday (Martina is in the bottom half of the draw, top half 1st round matches will also be played on Wednesday). This will be the 4th match of the day on Court 1.
    Tathiana is not to be taken lightly: she is the player who defeated then # 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne, 7-5, 6-4, in the 2nd round at Roland Garros in 2004.
    Martina has played Tathiana 3 times, and won all 3 matches in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0 twice, then 6-2, 6-3-- but they have not played since 2001.

    (Jun 28, 2006) In the 2nd round of The Championships at Wimbledon on Wednesday, 12th-seeded # 15 Martina Hingis defeated 29-years-old-on-Friday # 63 Tathiana Garbin from Mestre, Italy, 6-1, 6-2.

    Martina hit 16 winners with only 6 unforced errors (Tathiana 15 winners, 16 errors), and scored on 16 of 23 trips to the net, while pleasing the crowd with crafty drop shots. match stats

    In the 3rd round on Friday, Martina will play 30-year-old 18th-seeded # 21 Ai Sugiyama from Kanagawa, Japan.

    Martina leads Ai 6-1 in career matches, but they have not played in almost five years.
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After match point

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Martina complimenting
the chair umpire
      (Jun 30, 2006) On Friday, in the 3rd round of The Championships at Wimbledon, 30-year-old 18th-seeded # 21 Ai Sugiyama from Kanagawa, Japan, blasting backhands down the line, narrowly defeated 12th-seeded # 15 Martina Hingis, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4.
    The statistics show little fault in Martina's game. She hit 33 winners with 22 unforced errors, (Ai: 28 and 22). Martina also scored on 20 of 24 trips to the net, and converted 4 of 7 break point opportunities, while totaling 90 points in the match to Ai's 87. But Ai converted every break point she had against Martina: 5 of 5. match stats
    Martina was up a break at 3-0 in the 3rd set--then Ai won the next three games.
    Ai said: "I didn't serve well at the beginning of the third set, so I lost my rhythm at the beginning, and [Martina] was always attacking my second serve, of course. But it seems like she was also tired. Then it was pretty humid, yeah, hot and humid...
    "We had long rallies, and she was shaking her legs. And so maybe I got a chance if I can still hang in there. Tried to get back the ball back into the court as much as I can, and then it turned around. So it was good... My backhand was going really well, especially up the line." interview

    Martina said: "[In the 3rd set] I think it was a really long game to go up 2-love. Then 3-love, it was still very draining, those games. At 3-love, I kind of made this weird step, so I started feeling my thigh. But there's no excuse.
    "[Ai] didn't miss. She played a great match. She's probably harder to play on this surface than anything else because she's very fast. She likes those flat balls. [I] tried to be even faster, but not today...
    "She doesn't really have a weakness. She has a very solid game from the baseline, then her backhand down the line was deadly today..." interview
tennis.quickfound.net Wimbledon tourney page

    (Aug 1, 2006) On Tuesday, in the 2nd round of the Acura Classic, at the La Costa Resort near San Diego, California, 8th-seeded # 13 Martina Hingis, playing in her first match since Wimbledon, handily defeated qualifier # 90 Meilen Tu, 6-2, 6-3.

    In the 3rd round on Thursday, Martina will next play either 12th-seeded # 18 Flavia Pennetta, or # 65 Jamea Jackson.

    Martina leads Flavia 2-1 in career matches; Martina and Jamea have never met on the field of combat.
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Martina on Tuesday

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Martina following
through on Thursday
    (Aug 3, 2006) On Thursday, in the 3rd round of the Acura Classic, at the La Costa Resort near San Diego, California, 8th-seeded # 13 Martina Hingis defeated 24-year-old 12th-seeded # 18 Flavia Pennetta from Milan, Italy, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

    Martina and Flavia had never played before this year; in 2006 they have met four times. In January, in the semis at Gold Coast, Australia (the first tourney of Martina's comeback from a 3-year layoff due to ankle injuries), Flavia defeated Martina 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-2.

    But in May, in the 1st round of the German Open in Berlin, Martina won 7-5, 6-3, and the following week in the quarterfinals in Rome Martina defeated Flavia again, 6-3, 6-1, on her way to winning the tournament.



    Martina will play 23-year-old top-seeded # 2 Kim Clijsters from Bree, Belgium, in a quarterfinal at 7pm EDT on Friday. Martina leads Kim 4-3 in career matches, but Kim has won both times they have played this year: in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, and in the QFs of the French Open, 7-6(5), 6-1.

    Martina said: "You have to commit to a long match and grind it out. You have to go in knowing in your head you have to rally with [Kim]. You cannot overpower her. You have to be able to run down a lot of shots and take every opportunity you can get."

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Martina on Friday
    (Aug 5, 2006) On Friday night, in the quarterfinals of the Acura Classic, at the La Costa Resort near San Diego, California, 23-year-old top-seeded # 2 Kim Clijsters from Bree, Belgium, defeated 8th-seeded # 13 Martina Hingis, 7-5, 6-2.

    The match was fairly even for a set and a half--but in the last three games of the 2nd set Martina won only four points.

    Martina said: "[Kim] doesn't really give you a free point. She doesn't really have a weakness...

    "I'm lacking stamina. It's the focus, I wish I could play her every day so I could get used to her intensity... I'm pushing the top players, but you have to play matches like today a lot. I'm not happy with just reaching the quarter-finals." Reuters story

    Kim said: "When you play Martina, you have to win the points against her; she won't hit you off the court. It's up to me to be aggressive, to go for the winners. It's why you take the risk and make a few more errors." WTA story

    Martina's next tourney will be the Roger's Cup (Canadian Open), which begins on August 14 in Montreal.
tennis.quickfound.net San Diego tourney page

click for tourney gallery  
    (Aug 13, 2006 updated) 12th-ranked Martina Hingis is seeded 7th for this week's Tier I Rogers Cup in Montreal, Canada.

    Martina has a 1st round bye, and will play 25-year-old # 40 Mara Santangelo from Cavalese, Italy, in the 2nd round on Tuesday or Wednesday. Martina and Mara have never before met on the field of combat.


Martina in Montreal on Sunday

    (Aug 16, 2006) On Tuesday night in Montreal, in the 2nd round of the Rogers Cup (the Canadian Open), the 1999 and 2000 tourney champ, 7th-seeded # 12 Martina Hingis defeated 25-year-old # 40 Mara Santangelo from Cavalese, Italy, 7-5, 7-6(5).

    Martina said: "I don't think it was an easy match from the beginning. I've never played [Mara] before. I knew what she was going to be like, but it's not so easy to always try to control those wide shots. And she served very well, a very high percentage and it was hard to break her. I think overall it was a good match to win in straight sets." WTA story

    Martina trailed 1-4 in the 2nd set--then Mara took a medical timeout. During the break Martina asked her mother and coach Melanie Molitor to come on court, which is being permitted during breaks in this tourney for the first time as part of a WTA trial of on-court coaching, which is normally prohibited by the rules.

    Martina said: "It was just to loosen up. [My mother] knows my game inside and out and sometimes when you have an overview from the outside, it helps. She told me just try to play your game." post-match interview

    Martina will play # 17 Daniela Hantuchova in the 3rd round on Thursday, at 7:45pm on Court Central. Martina is 1-1 against Daniela, but they have not played since 2002.

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Martina on Thursday
      (Aug 18, 2006) On Thursday night in Montreal, in the 3rd round of the Rogers Cup (the Canadian Open), 7th-seeded # 12 Martina Hingis defeated 23-year-old 11th-seeded # 17 Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 7-5, 6-4.

    Martina trailed Daniela 4-5, 0-40 in the 1st set--then Daniela lost all three set points and the game on forehand errors.
    In the 2nd set Daniela was so upset with her errors that Martina took a 5-1 lead before Daniela could get back into the match.

    About her errors at the end of the 1st set, Daniela said: "Basically after that I just stopped playing. It was not only that game but the next game, I again had two game points. So instead of being up 6-4, 1-0, I was down 5-6. So, it was pretty frustrating. And it just took me way too long to be able to forget it and move on. And in the second set it was too late when I started to come back again." WTA story

    Martina said: "I was happy with the way I played today and it was good to have the crowd support. I practise with Daniela a lot and I told her it was like a practice match out there." Montreal Gazette story

    Martina will play 4th-seeded # 7 Svetlana Kuznetsova in a quarterfinal on Friday. This will be the night match, at 7:30pm on Court Central. Svetlana and Martina are the two highest ranked players left in the tourney, and the winner of this match will have an excellent chance to win the title.
    Martina and Svetlana are tied at 1-1 in career matches. Martina defeated Svetlana 7-6(7), 6-2 in their first meeting, in the quarters at Doha last March. But three weeks later, in the 3rd round at Miami, Svetlana defeated Martina 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(9)

    Martina said: "We've already had two great matches this year. I know I have to come out with the best in me."

    (Aug 19, 2006) On Friday night in Montreal, in the quarterfinals of the Rogers Cup (the Canadian Open), 7th-seeded # 12 Martina Hingis defeated 21-year-old 4th-seeded # 7 Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 7-6(4), 6-3.

    Martina said: "[Svetlana] played some unbelievable points, then she had a few lacking shots; that gave me hope over and over again to come back into the match. I knew I had to come up with the best in me so I did. Sometimes, she was looking for too much of a risk because she knew she had to go for the winner otherwise I would keep hitting it back." WTA story

    It was Svetlana's first tourney since Wimbledon. Svetlana said: "It's very disappointing for me; but still, I was dictating and it's good match preparation for the US Open. I will take my notes and am not going to repeat these mistakes. If I would do a little bit less unforced errors I think the match was in my hands."
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Martina after match point

    In the semifinals on Saturday at 1pm, Martina will play 19-year-old unseeded # 29 Anna Chakvetadze from Moscow, Russia. They have never before met on the field of combat.

    Anna Chakvetadze has not yet won a WTA singles final, and this is only her 3rd semi, but she has been playing very well lately, and defeated Vera Dushevina, Nadia Petrova, Nathalie Dechy, and Shahar Peer to reach this match with Martina.

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Martina on Saturday
      (Aug 19, 2006) On Saturday in Montreal, in the semifinals of the Rogers Cup (the Canadian Open), 7th-seeded # 12 Martina Hingis defeated 19-year-old unseeded # 29 Anna Chakvetadze from Moscow, Russia 6-3, 3-1 retired.

    Anna suffered from a right arm strain late in the 1st set, and was in a lot of pain, but kept playing until Martina broke her serve in the 2nd set.

    The other semifinal was pushed into late Sunday by rain delays. So in the Canadian Open final on Monday at 2pm or later, Martina will play 18-year-old 13th-seeded # 19 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia.

    Martina and Ana have never met on the field of combat. Whether or not she wins the final, Martina will re-enter the WTA top 10 in next week's rankings, and hold her highest rank since her 3-year layoff due to ankle injuries.

    (Aug 21, 2006) On Monday in Montreal, in the rain-postponed final of the Rogers Cup (the Canadian Open), 18-year-old 13th-seeded # 19 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia (residence: Basel, Switzerland) defeated 25-year-old 7th-seeded # 12 Martina Hingis from Trubbach, Switzerland, 6-2, 6-3.

    Martina will now have a week to rest and prepare for the 2006 US Open. Martina's WTA ranking will be back in the top 10 this week for the first time since her 3-year retirement due to ankle injuries, so she should have a pretty good seed at Flushing Meadows.
tennis.quickfound.net Montreal tourney page

    (Aug 23, 2006 revised) WTA # 9 Martina Hingis has been seeded 8th for the 2006 US Open (due to the absence of injured 2005 champ # 2 Kim Clijsters) and will play # 57 Shuai Peng of China in the 1st round on Tuesday; it will be their first meeting.

    If Martina wins, she will face either # 88 Maret Ani of Estonia or # 112 Virginie Razzano of France in the 2nd round on Wednesday or Thursday. Martina is in the top half of the draw, but the bottom half is playing first, so her matches will be on Tuesday and Thursday and (3rd round) Saturday next week.

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Martina on Wednesday

    (Aug 30, 2006) On Wednesday at Flushing Meadows, in the 1st round of the 2006 US Open, 8th-seeded # 9 Martina Hingis defeated unseeded # 57 Shuai Peng of China 4-6, 6-1, 6-3. The match had been postponed from Tuesday due to rain.
    Martina will play # 112 Virginie Razzano of France in the 2nd round, probably on Thursday, if the US Open officials want to get the tourney back on schedule.
    Martina has played Virginie twice before, and won both times; both matches were before Martina's 3-year retirement due to ankle injuries. In the 3rd round of the 2001 Australian Open, Martina won 7-5, 6-1, and in the 1st round of the 2002 Aussie Open, Martina defeated Virginie 6-2, 6-2.

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Tired on Thursday
      (Aug 31, 2006) On Thursday at Flushing Meadows, in the 2nd round of the 2006 US Open, 23-year-old # 112 Virginie Razzano from Nimes, France, defeated 8th-seeded # 9 Martina Hingis 6-2, 6-4.
    Martina said: "I think after yesterday I didn't have much more to give; I was a little flat, tired mentally. I still had some opportunities but I should have done that a lot sooner than 5-1 down in the second set.
    "It's not only that [Virginie] played well, but I didn't... We know she can beat some good players every now and then...
    "You can't be down on yourself all the way because you lose a match here."
    Virginie said: "I was very lucid in this match. I knew what I had to do against Martina to win; I know her game because I played her maybe three or four years ago and she beat me twice in two sets, but it was very difficult games. I couldn't wait for her to make mistakes because she doesn't make them."
    Martina will now have a 2˝ week break before her next tourney, the Sunfeast Open, in Kolkata, India, which begins Sep 18th.
tennis.quickfound.net US Open tourney page - 9 min. postmatch interview video - WTA story

click for Hingis news photo search       (Sep 18, 2006) On Monday, in the 1st round of the Sunfeast Open in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, 25-year-old top-seeded # 9 Martina Hingis crushed, killed and destroyed 23-year-old # 84 Melinda Czink of Hungary, 6-1, 6-2 (we all know that "0 and 0" is a double-bagel; of course "a 1 and a 2" is a Lawrence Welkover).

    Martina said: "I love playing indoors, and it was nice to get off to a good start. Hopefully I can preserve myself for the rest of the week."

    Martina will face # 130 Tzipora Obziler of Israel in the 2nd round, probably on Wednesday. They have never before met on the field of combat.

Martina on Monday

    (Sep 20, 2006) On Wednesday, in the 2nd round of the Sunfeast Open in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, 25-year-old top-seeded # 9 Martina Hingis defeated 33-year-old # 130 Tzipora Obziler from Givataym, Israel, 6-2, 7-5.
    In the 2nd set, breaks of serve were exchanged early, then Martina broke Tzipora to take a 5-6 lead, and served out the match at love, hitting three winners in the final game, finishing with a backhand winner down the line.

    Martina said: "There were ups and downs but I finally broke [Tzipora] and managed to keep it in straight sets. The intensity was there. She was also picking her game. She does not let go any easy point." Reuters story

    Martina will face 29-year-old # 124 Tamarine Tanasugarn from Bangkok, Thailand, in the quarterfinals on Friday. Martina has played Tammy three times before, but not since 2002. Martina won all three meetings in straight sets--however, Tammy did take her to a tiebreaker once.
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Martina on Wednesday

click for tourney gallery       (Sep 22, 2006) On Friday, in the quarterfinals of the Sunfeast Open in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, top-seeded # 9 Martina Hingis defeated 29-year-old # 124 Tamarine Tanasugarn from Bangkok, Thailand, 7-5, 6-2.

    The match appeared close at the beginning, but from the point where she was serving at 4-5 in the 1st set, Martina won 9 of the last 11 games.

    Martina will face the local hero (to a billion Indians), 19-year-old # 70 Sania Mirza from Hyderabad, India, in the semifinals on Saturday. They have played only once before, this year in the 1st round in Dubai, where Martina won, 6-3, 7-5.

Handprints on Kolkata

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Martina on Saturday

    (Sep 23, 2006) On Saturday, in the semifinals of the Sunfeast Open in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, 25-year-old top-seeded # 9 Martina Hingis from Trubbach, Switzerland, eliminated 19-year-old 5th-seeded # 70 Sania Mirza from Hyderabad, India, 6-1, 6-0 (photo shown).

    Sania held 5 break points against Martina in the fourth game of the 2nd set, but could never convert. After the match, Martina apologized to the crowd for crushing their # 1 player so completely, but, Martina said: "The match wasn't that easy as the scores suggest. I scored some important points at vital moments by raising the level of my game. I tried to keep moving, as Sania has a great forehand, but she missed some shots in the second set." AP story

    In the Kolkata final on Sunday, 5-time Grand Slam tourney champion Martina will play upwardly-mobile 18-year-old # 97 Olga Poutchkova of Russia. They have never before met on the field of combat. Martina has won 41 WTA singles titles; this is the first time Olga, who has 5 ITF singles titles, has been past the quarterfinals of a WTA event.

    Olga was 10 in 1997, when 17-year-old Martina won the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open (Martina fell off her horse and was injured on April 21st that year, and lost to Iva Majoli in the French Open final 5 weeks later). Olga said: "I remember when was 10-years-old watching Martina play on TV. For me, it will be a big honour to play against her tomorrow." Reuters story

    (Sep 24, 2006) On Sunday, in the final of the Sunfeast Open in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, 25-year-old top-seeded # 9 Martina Hingis defeated 19-year-old # 97 Olga Poutchkova of Russia, 6-0, 6-4 (photo shown). It was their first meeting.

    After Martina handed Olga the 1st set bagel, the Russian's play improved, and she broke Martina to take a 3-1 lead in the second set. But Martina quickly recovered, breaking Olga twice to take a 5-3 lead.
    Martina said: "I had to re-focus then. She was playing to my forehand which took me by surprise a bit. At one point I even believed she had a chance. She is very talented and I wish her a great career." Reuters story - AP story

    Olga said: "It was my first final and I was very nervous. I was very excited to play Martina. She is a great player and I look up to her. I had taken a picture with her when I was 10."
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Martina on Sunday

    Martina has now won 42 WTA singles titles, she also won the title at the Tier I Italian Open earlier this year in Rome. This was the first time Olga, who has 5 ITF singles titles, had been past the quarterfinals of a WTA event.
tennis.quickfound.net Kolkata tourney page

    (Sep 27, 2006) On Wednesday, in the 1st round of the Hansol Korea Open in Seoul, Martina Hingis defeated 16-year-old qualifier # 293 Caroline Wozniacki from Copenhagen, Denmark, 6-3, 6-2. They had never met before.

    Martina only arrived in Seoul on Tuesday, following a 14-hour flight from Kolkata to Incheon. Martina said: "It was stressful to get here from India. I was able to step up my game even though I was tired." AP story

    Martina also said: "The slower the court is, the more it favors me. This is the same surface as the Australian Open [Rebound Ace] and I made quarterfinals there, and I also had good results on clay. So I think it's good, for me, that the surface this year is slow." tourney story
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Martina on Wednesday

    (Sep 28, 2006) On Thursday, in the 2nd round of the Hansol Korea Open in Seoul, unseeded # 70 Sania Mirza of India, defeated top-seeded # 9 Martina Hingis, 4-6, 6-0, 6-4.
    Martina had defeated Sania twice this year: last week in the Kolkata semifinals, 6-1, 6-0, and last March in Dubai, in their only other previous meeting, 6-3, 7-5.

    Martina said: "[Sania] played very well today, much better than last week. I gave her too many chances. Her forehand is really amazing." AP story

    Sania said: "My forehand is my favorite shot; I love hitting it. Since I was a little kid it has always been my best shot. My timing is better on my forehand than my backhand...
    "We've played two other times. Third time lucky. This is the fittest I've ever been, best I've felt...
    "The last time I played Hingis, I was surprised by her angled serve on the deuce court. She was pulling me wide and opening up the court. I was not really prepared for that, especially on the big points. This time, I was ready. Also, I decided to attack her forehand and it paid off." Times of India story
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Aw, shucks on Thursday

    Martina's next scheduled action will be at the Zurich Open, which begins Oct 16, near her home at Trubbach, Switzerland.
tennis.quickfound.net Seoul tourney page

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Martina at Saturday's draw
      (Oct 15, 2006) WTA # 8 Martina Hingis is in Zurich, Switzerland, this week (about 50 miles from her Trubbach residence, which is near the Liechtenstein border), for the Tier I Zurich Open.

Martina is seeded 5th in the very tough field for the tourney that was labeled the Indoor Championships before the Kremlin Cup was elevated to equal Tier I status.

    In the 1st round on Monday, at 5:45pm local time, Martina will play 21-year-old # 18 Anna-Lena Groenefeld from Nordhorn, Germany. They have never before met on the field of combat.

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Martina on Monday
      (Oct 16, 2006) On Monday, in the 1st round of the Zurich Open, # 8 Martina Hingis defeated 21-year-old # 18 Anna-Lena Groenefeld from Nordhorn, Germany, 6-0, 7-5. It was Martina's first match in Zurich since 2000, when she won the tourney; she was injured in 2001 and 2002, and retired in 2003 just before Zurich, and did return to play until this year.

    Martina won the first 9 games of the match, taking a 6-0, 3-0 lead. Martina said: "I don't think [Anna-Lena] gave it away. I made her give it to me... I was the conductor, I directed what went on." tourney story - AP story

    Anna-Lena won 3 straight games to even the 2nd set. Martina was unable to convert 2 match points when she led 5-4 on Anna-Lena's serve, but broke Anna-Lena the next time around for the victory.

click for tourney gallery
Martina posed between her photos on Whirlpool Europe ad posters on Tuesday

    (Oct 18, 2006) On Wednesday, in the 2nd round of the Zurich Open, # 8 Martina Hingis defeated 27-year-old # 42 Nathalie Dechy of France, 6-3, 6-3.

    Although Martina leads Nathalie 6-0 in career matches, Nathalie is a competent former top 20 player not to be trifled with; she hung with Martina until 3-3 in the 1st set, and, trailing 1-5 in the 2nd, broke Martina's serve to reach 3-5, fending off several match points before Martina was able to secure the victory.

    Martina said: "It also happened in the last match, that I had a few lapses towards the end, but I felt like there was still more in me that I could give. Every time I needed it I could definitely put more force into the shots, and go on the aggressive side and attack more." Reuters story

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Martina on Friday

    (Oct 20, 2006) On Friday in the quarterfinals of the Zurich Open, 3rd-seeded # 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia (residence: Barcelona, Spain) defeated 5th-seeded # 8 Martina Hingis 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.
    Svetlana broke Martina's serve in the 2nd game of the final set, and they held the rest of the way, Martina unable to convert several break point opportunities. Despite the loss, Martina felt it was a good match.

    Martina said: "I haven't played such a good match in a long time. Of course you always want to win, especially at home. I played such a great second set and in the third it's a pity I didn't hold serve in the second game. I had so many opportunities on her serve after that." Reuters story
    Martina and Svetlana are now tied 2-2 in career matches: all four of their meetings were this year, and all the matches were close.

    Martina is not entered in the Linz, Hasselt, or Quebec City tourneys which complete the "regular" schedule. But she is in 8th place in the standings for entry into the WTA Championships, which begin on Nov 7 in Madrid, Spain. Eight players are invited, and Martina has a substantial lead in points over the other players trailing her who are hoping to qualify. So there is a very good chance she will be playing in Madrid.
tennis.quickfound.net Zurich tourney page - Zurich player's blog by Martina Hingis

click for WTA Tour site
Martina with her symbolic WTA Championships "boarding pass"

    (Oct 29, 2006) WTA # 8 Martina Hingis has qualified for the WTA Championships in Madrid, which begin November 7. The loss of her compatriot, # 9 Patty Schnyder, in the semifinals in Linz clinched the spot for Martina. The other seven players in the season-ending Madrid singles competition will be Justine Henin-Hardenne, Maria Sharapova, Amélie Mauresmo, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Nadia Petrova, Elena Dementieva, and Kim Clijsters.

    (Nov 5, 2006) WTA # 7 Martina Hingis will be in the "Yellow Group" for round robin preliminary play at the WTA Championships, which begin on Tuesday, Nov 7 in Madrid, Spain.

    The other players in Martina's group are # 1 Amelie Mauresmo, # 3 Justine Henin-Hardenne, and # 5 Nadia Petrova. Each will play the other once in matches from Tuesday to Friday, and the two with the best round-robin records will be entered into the semifinals on Saturday.

    Their opponents in the semis will be the two top players from the "Red Group," which consists of # 2 Maria Sharapova, # 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova, # 6 Kim Clijsters, and # 7 Elena Dementieva.

    Martina has a 7-6 record against Amelie, 2-1 against Justine, and is tied 1-1 with Nadia Petrova-- but most of Martina's wins against these players came when she was at the top of her game, and ranked # 1 in the world.

    (Nov 5, 2006) WTA # 7 Martina Hingis will play # 3 Justine Henin-Hardenne on Tuesday, the first night of the WTA Championships in Madrid, Spain. Martina and Justine will play the late match on Tuesday, 3rd of the evening, with the first match beginning at 6pm.
    Although Martina leads Justine 2-1 in career matches, Martina's wins over Justine were both over 6 years ago. However, Justine may be a bit rusty: she is playing her first match after recovering from a torn right knee muscle.
    Martina will play two more matches in the round-robin prelims between Wednesday and Friday.

    (Nov 7, 2006) On Tuesday, the first night of round-robin preliminary play at the WTA Championships in Madrid, Spain, 24-year-old # 3 Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium defeated 26-year-old # 7 Martina Hingis 6-2, 6(5)-7, 6-1.

    Martina will play # 5 Nadia Petrova on Wednesday night (the 3rd match of the evening, with play beginning at 6pm in Madrid) and # 1 Amelie Mauresmo on either Thursday or Friday evening. The top 2 players from the round-robin prelims in each of the two groups will advance to Saturday's semifinals.

   Although Martina lost, she did win a set, recovering from a 2-5 deficit in the 2nd to reach the tiebreaker, which she won. If Martina fares better against Nadia and Amelie, the set she took from Justine might be vital to her reaching the semis, because set and game won-lost percentages are used as tiebreakers in the round-robin standings.

    Martina currently stands 3rd in the "Yellow" group, trailing Nadia and Justine, but leading Amelie, who lost to Nadia in straight sets on Tuesday.
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vs Justine on Tuesday

    (Nov 8, 2006) On Wednesday, the second night of round-robin preliminary play at the WTA Championships in Madrid, Spain, 26-year-old # 7 Martina Hingis defeated 24-year-old # 5 Nadia Petrova from Moscow, Russia, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

    On Thursday, Martina will play her last match of the round-robin against # 1 Amelie Mauresmo. This will be the 2nd match on Thursday evening, not earlier than 8pm local time (Martina will be idle on Friday). Martina has a 7-6 record in career matches against Amelie, who looked out of form on Tuesday when she was defeated by Nadia Petrova.

    The top 2 players from the round-robin prelims in each of the two groups will advance to Saturday's semifinals. Won-lost records for sets, and then games, are used as tiebreakers in the standings. Martina is currently in 3rd place in the "Yellow" group, trailing # 3 Justine Henin-Hardenne (who has 2 matches left to play) and Nadia Petrova. Both Nadia and Martina are 1-1 in matches, but Nadia is 3-2 in sets, while Martina is 3-3.
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After match point

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Martina on Thursday

    (Nov 9, 2006) On Thursday, the third night of round-robin preliminary play at the WTA Championships in Madrid, Spain, 27-year-old # 1 Amelie Mauresmo of France defeated 26-year-old # 7 Martina Hingis 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.

    Martina was the victor in a battle of broken serves in the 1st set, but after that Amelie won 10 of the next 11 games to take the 2nd set and a 4-0 lead in the third. Then Martina, though exhausted by her third 3-set match in three days, found her game again, and, trailing 1-5, won the next three games, and actually held a break point to even the match as Amelie served at 5-4. But it was not to be.

    Although she lost the match, Martina is still alive in the tourney. The win for Amelie means that her match on Friday against Justine Henin-Hardenne will determine the second semifinalist from the "Yellow" group. If Amelie defeats Justine, then Justine and Amelie will be in the semis on Saturday. If Justine defeats Amelie, then Justine and Martina will be in the semis.

    Martina said: "I can only be proud of myself and I've done more than I expected in these three days. I don't regret for a second coming back [this year after a 3-year retirement due to ankle injuries]. I've shown that I am capable of playing with the best and my aim is to continue like this at the start of next season. If I play more matches like this I can only get better.
    "I will definitely watch the [Henin-Hardenne - Mauresmo] match on TV, and maybe live. I don't like relying on other people, but there is still a chance to get there." Reuters story

    (Nov 10, 2006) # 1 Amelie Mauresmo defeated # 3 Justine Henin-Hardenne 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-2 in Madrid on Friday, eliminating Martina Hingis from the WTA Championships competition. Had Justine won the round-robin prelim match, then Martina would have joined Justine in the semifinals. Instead, Amelie and Justine are the semifinalists from the "Yellow" group.
    For finishing 3rd in the Red group, Martina will receive $130,000 in prize money, and 130 ranking points.

    Martina now will have about 6 weeks off, and will return to action in the Australian Women's Hardcourts, at Gold Coast, Australia, Dec 31-Jan 6.
tennis.quickfound.net WTA Championships tourney page


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