Hingis comments on Dokic's comeback & her old adversaries' thoughts
Hingis backs use of HawkEye technology
By Daniel Pace
Switzerland's former world No.1 Martina Hingis has called for the use of virtual reality technology to rule on contentious line calls in international tennis.
Hingis questioned several suspect decisions from linesmen during her 6-2 4-6 6-0 quarter-final victory over Spain's Nuria Llagostera Vives in the Australian Women's Hardcourt Championships on the Gold Coast on Thursday.
The "Hawk-Eye" virtual reality system has been deployed for the first time in an international tournament at this week's Hopman Cup in Perth and tournament director Paul McNamee says the feedback has been positive from players.
The technology has improved significantly since US Open officials opted against using "Hawk-Eye" at the grand slam tournament last year because they believed it wasn't 100 per cent reliable.
"It's quite possible it will be part of the game in the future and it's good to see the replay calls," said Hingis, making her fulltime comeback to professional tennis this week after retiring in 2002.
"You have them in other sports in the USA. The question is whether it's going to slow down the game too much."
Hopman Cup players can challenge a ruling as many times as they like but it's up to the discretion of the chair umpire whether "Hawk-Eye" is used.
If a wrong call has been made, the point is replayed.
Officials say they will consider putting a limit on the number of challenges from players if they abuse the system.
Hingis also commented on the comeback of another former top five player, readopted Australian Jelena Dokic, who on Thursday withdrew from next week's Canberra International due to a recurrence of an injury to her left abductor muscle.
Asked about Dokic's comeback, Hingis said: "Does she really want it? That's the question.
"She was number four in the world at her peak. It's pretty much up to her how far she wants to take it."
Hingis has been granted a wildcard into this month's Australian Open while Dokic had to earn hers through a playoff tournament in Melbourne last month.
Hingis will play in the Sydney International starting on Sunday to complete her preparations for the Australian Open, a grand slam she's won three times.
Again.. very true...
Hingis 'can get back to the top'
January 5, 2006 - 7:22PM
Martina Hingis' vanquished opponent in the quarter-finals of the Australian Women's Hardcourts event today said there was no reason why the Swiss could not return to the top of world tennis.
Hingis defeated Spain's world No.50 Nuria Llagostera Vives 6-2 4-6 6-0 in the toughest test of her serious comeback to professional tennis following three years in retirement due to recurring foot injuries.
The 25-year-old former world No.1 will take on Italian and world No.23 Flavia Pennetta in tomorrow's semi-finals of the $239,000 event at Royal Pines.
Fourth-seeded Pennetta defeated Hingis' doubles partner, French teenager Tatiana Golovin, 6-2 5-7 6-3 in another quarter-final today.
Top women's players Lindsay Davenport and Kim Clijsters have both cast doubts this week on whether Hingis can regain the No.1 spot she first earned as a 16-year-old in 1997 and held for 209 non-consecutive weeks.
"I have no reaction to that," replied Hingis when told her old adversaries had hinted it might be difficult for her to reclimb the summit.
"I can only play match by match and get out there and compete."
Hingis pointed out that Clijsters made a remarkable comeback from a nine-month layoff due to wrist surgery to win nine titles last year, including the US Open, and almost claim the No.1 ranking.
"You always have those doubts but I can only show them the results. Either you belong to the top or you don't," Hingis said.
Llagostera Vives offered her own opinion after her loss.
"She's done everything in tennis so I don't see why she can't do it again but it's too early to say because you never know what can happen," she said.
"This is her first tournament (of her comeback) and she could get injured or there could be other problems."
Hingis appeared set to cruise to victory today when she claimed the first set in just over 30 minutes.
But Llagostera Vives - who reached a career-high world ranking of 35 in June last year - adopted an aggressive approach and her high-risk shots came off as she levelled the match at one set apiece.
But the 25-year-old Spaniard admitted she "tired physically" and crumbled in the deciding set against three-time Australian Open champion.
"I know I can last three sets now, especially mentally," Hingis commented.
"That was the biggest weapon I had today. I would've been pretty hard on myself if I had lost this match because I had it totally under control."
Russia's Dinara Safina - the sister of former men's world No.1 Marat Safin - thumped Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-1 6-3 in her quarter-final earlier today.
Consistency is the key...
Last edited by Mark for Martina; Jan 5th, 2006 at 08:18 AM.