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Alicia Rocks
Dec 16th, 2005, 12:50 PM
Hingis confirms Melbourne return
By Patrick Miles
December 17, 2005

THE Australian Open has scored an early advantage with assurances from Switzerland that Martina Hingis will take a wild-card into the first Grand Slam of the season.

Even tournament officials were conceding that it would be almost impossible to surpass last January's event, when record crowds lapped up Lleyton Hewitt's progress to the final and Alicia Molik's appearance in the last eight.

But the presence this January of Hingis, three-time champion at Melbourne Park, guarantees enormous interest again as the 25-year-old Swiss attempts a return to the top level after a break of more than three years.

When Hingis announced her comeback this month, without specifics, she said: "It's going to be great - four more weeks to go, probably, till I play my first tournament."

In Zurich yesterday, one of Switzerland's most respected tennis journalists quoted Hingis's manager, Mario Widmer, as saying she would definitely play at the Australian Open, which starts on January 16.

Tennis Australia, which has agreed to give Hingis a wild-card if she asks for one, was unable to confirm yesterday that the star attraction was on her way.

A spokesman said TA was awaiting confirmation, with "fingers crossed".

According to Widmer, the player's schedule for the Australian summer will be announced "at Christmas".

Tournament director of the Sydney International, Craig Watson, said he would offer Hingis a wild-card into the tournament she has won three times already.

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Last weekend, Hingis played against her former doubles partner and fellow early retiree, Anna Kournikova, at an exhibition in Rio de Janeiro.



Hingis led 6-1 1-0 when the Russian was forced to quit with a bad case of blisters on her right hand.

Hingis, who has won five Grand Slam singles titles, made a tentative return to the WTA Tour last February but lost in the first round of the Thailand Open to Germany's Marlene Weingartner.

Her last match before a series of injuries to her feet brought her stellar career to a premature end was at Filderstadt in 2002, when she lost in the second round to Russia's Elena Dementieva.

Earlier this month, Hingis committed to a full 2006 season.

She said she was willing to "take the risk" of sustaining further injuries. "With every job, you have to be willing to pay some kind of price," Hingis said. "You have to be willing to play with pain to a certain level. The question is how much you can take."

Hingis made her first visit to the Australian Open in 1995, then reached the final six years running from 1997, a sequence beginning with a hat-trick of titles.

Her win-loss record at Melbourne Park stands at 44-5.

Another player making a fresh start here, Jelena Dokic, yesterday won her first match in Australia in four years with a straight sets win in the Australian Open wild-card play-off at Melbourne Park.

The former world No.4 overpowered Victorian Beti Sekulovski 6-2 7-6 to move through to the second round.

Dokic, more relaxed and slowly regaining fitness, showed glimpses of her skills. Occasionally let down by double faults and loose shots, the 22-year-old nevertheless held firm in the second set tiebreaker after the pair had traded service breaks.

Reunited with former Fed Cup captain Lesley Bowrey, who was courtside yesterday, Dokic said she needed to work hard to regain her form but she was feeling much more comfortable after 10 days back in Australia.

"I was a little bit nervous. I haven't played matches in a really long time (her last tournament was in Italy in August)," Dokic said.

"There are some things I need to improve on but I expected not to play so well in the first match.

"I think match play will help." Additional reporting: AAP

The Australian

alfonsojose
Dec 16th, 2005, 12:52 PM
Hingis and Jelena :yeah: save me from the boredom of JesusFed ruling ATP :yawn:

selesfan1
Dec 16th, 2005, 01:55 PM
I hope she wil play. I also hopes she plays a lot of smaller events just so she can have different measuring sticks. I think if she is going to play AO she should play Canberra or Hobart before and not Sydney.

Andre@
Dec 16th, 2005, 02:04 PM
So, Let us wait for the Christmas present !!!!!

But I guess what will happen to Martina on her return:

PUBLIC OVATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She will receive a public ovation in all tournaments she will play.
Like it was in RIO.

YOU WILL SEE.

She almost cry when She looked to the public around the Arena calling:

MARTINA !!!!! MARTINA!!!! MARTINA!!!! MARTINA!!!!


IT was really amazing!!!!

Martian KC
Dec 16th, 2005, 02:21 PM
So, Let us wait for the Christmas present !!!!!

But I guess what will happen to Martina on her return:

PUBLIC OVATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She will receive a public ovation in all tournaments she will play.
Like it was in RIO.

YOU WILL SEE.

She almost cry when She looked to the public around the Arena calling:

MARTINA !!!!! MARTINA!!!! MARTINA!!!! MARTINA!!!!


IT was really amazing!!!!


:bow:

Volcana
Dec 16th, 2005, 02:23 PM
"Hingis led 6-1 1-0 when the Russian was forced to quit with a bad case of blisters on her ego."

!<blocparty>!
Dec 16th, 2005, 02:38 PM
Martina & Jelena! :yeah::bounce:

Can't wait to see them back playing well again.

Ryan
Dec 16th, 2005, 03:19 PM
"Hingis led 6-1 1-0 when the Russian was forced to quit with a bad case of blisters on her ego."


Rotf, I'm surprised noone else saw that! I had to re-read it twice just to be sure. Sly journalists. :lol:

Kenny
Dec 16th, 2005, 03:53 PM
Rotf, I'm surprised noone else saw that! I had to re-read it twice just to be sure. Sly journalists. :lol:
:confused: The article that was posted said.. " Hingis led 6-1 1-0 when the Russian was forced to quit with a bad case of blisters on her right hand."... I thought Volcana made it up?

Ryan
Dec 16th, 2005, 04:01 PM
:confused: The article that was posted said.. " Hingis led 6-1 1-0 when the Russian was forced to quit with a bad case of blisters on her right hand."... I thought Volcana made it up?


I know, I just thought Volcana's post was funny. The last part was sarcasm. ;)

alwayshingis
Dec 16th, 2005, 06:11 PM
:banana: This will be the first time I'll get to see Martina play in her return! That is, if ESPN2 shows her first match. You never know with them. But if they don't....yeah I can't do anything about it. But I'll certainly complain on this board.

31 or 32 days until Martina plays (hopefully on TV) in a major again!

^bibi^
Dec 16th, 2005, 06:31 PM
:banana: This will be the first time I'll get to see Martina play in her return! That is, if ESPN2 shows her first match. You never know with them. But if they don't....yeah I can't do anything about it. But I'll certainly complain on this board.

31 or 32 days until Martina plays (hopefully on TV) in a major again!

I guess we'll have it on TV,except if Justine or Kim are playing on another court at the same time (as if we cared about justine and kim's first round, they'll probably win it easily anyway lol)


I wanna see Martina on TV. I'll stay in front of my TV all night if I have to, but I wanna see it :p

Andy.
Dec 16th, 2005, 07:55 PM
This is great news now that she has officially conformed participation.

waratahsrock
Dec 16th, 2005, 08:32 PM
Thats brilliant news, it's gonna be one strong field at the AO, glad i've got my tickets already!

Hopefully Martina starts at the Gold Coast.

Xanadu11
Dec 17th, 2005, 01:09 AM
Wow, I don't know if I could have asked for anymore from my first AO trip. The return of Martina Hingis!! OMG!!

new-york
Dec 17th, 2005, 01:15 AM
"Hingis led 6-1 1-0 when the Russian was forced to quit with a bad case of blisters on her ego."

:lol:

Rotf, I'm surprised noone else saw that! I had to re-read it twice just to be sure. Sly journalists. :lol:

:haha:

Zauber
Dec 17th, 2005, 05:41 AM
that is why sports stars play sports.
accomplishment, winning and applause.
money is nice but then its only another job.