Don't know if u guys have seen this article or not. U probably have. I can't be bothered to scan the rest of this forum to see if it has been posted or not, so i'll just put it hear anyway...
Hingis arrives repaired and ready for the long climb back to the summit.
By Ben Wyld
Martina Hingis arrived in Sydney early yesterday confident of a full <br />recovery from an ankle injury that cost her top spot in the women's <br />rankings.For the first time in five years, Hingis heads into next week's <br />$1.7 million adidas International at Homebush Bay not as the planet's No <br />1-ranked female tennis player - only its No 4.
The defending women's singles champion said her right ankle, damaged during <br />a semi-final match against Lindsay Davenport at Filderstadt in Germany last <br />October, had stood up well during practice sessions. "We will see how I go <br />when I hit the first ball in my first match. I will do my best," Hingis <br />said.
Not since the summer of 1996-97, when Hingis came to Australia as the tour's <br />hottest 16-year-old, has she been ranked as low and while she said yesterday <br />she hopes to do well this year, indications from the previous 12 months are <br />that her best may not be good enough to add to her five grand slam singles <br />titles.Troubled routinely by the sport's heavy hitters throughout 2001, <br />Hingis won just three singles titles - the most recent in February - and her <br />results indicate she can no longer out-think and out-manoeuvre stronger <br />opponents in successive matches.
Last year Hingis finished 0-3 against rejuvenated American Jennifer Capriati <br />and, although she enjoyed a 3-2 record against the Williams sisters, Venus <br />and Serena routed Hingis in straight sets in Miami and New York following <br />Hingis's early-season wins in Australia.
More concerning for the Hingis camp were decisive losses to tour veterans <br />Monica Seles and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and rising stars Kim Clijsters, <br />Amelie Mauresmo and Elena Dementieva. The vulnerable Hingis second serve is <br />easy pickings for the game's heavyweight hitters, while her accurate, <br />probing groundstroke game has crumbled in major tournaments under the strain <br />of playing consecutive matches against power players the likes of Capriati, <br />Davenport and the Williams sisters. Hingis's season reached its low point at <br />Wimbledon where she carried a back injury to a humiliating first-round <br />straight-sets defeat to Spain's Virginia Ruano Pascual, then ranked 83rd in <br />the world.
It was at Wimbledon that Davenport implored Hingis to adopt a more <br />aggressive style, lest the game would pass her by: "At some point Martina's <br />going to have to incorporate that in her game to win slams or tournaments on <br />a more regular basis." Injury played its role in re-shuffling the rankings <br />at the end of the season as Hingis, out with torn ligaments in her right <br />ankle, lost her mantle as the world's No1 to Capriati - briefly - until <br />Davenport claimed that honour at the last tournament of the year, the WTA <br />Tour Championships.
The early signs for 2002 are more ominous still. Venus Williams has <br />signalled her intentions on making a serious attempt for the Australian Open <br />by playing in this week's Australian women's hardcourt event at the Gold <br />Coast. The elder Williams sister last year achieved a ranking of No 3 based <br />on 12 events - five events fewer than Capriati and Davenport, and six fewer <br />than Hingis. Davenport has, in fact, conceded that Williams's relative <br />inactivity is the only reason she isn't sitting atop the rankings list: "If <br />Venus played even close to a full schedule, I don't see right now how <br />anybody else could be No 1."
Hingis will be aiming for her third adidas International title, having won <br />last year and in 1997. The tournament, which starts on Sunday, is headed by <br />Davenport and Capriati and boasts 16 of the top 20 women in the world.