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Bonnard
Dec 30th, 2002, 06:32 PM
Russian number one Anastasia Myskina yesterday downplayed her chances of winning this week's Hong Kong Ladies Challenge, saying she is still recovering from a shoulder injury. The 21-year-old world number 11 from Moscow is the second highest ranked player in the eight-woman field behind nine-time Grand Slam champion Monica Seles, but Myskina says she will be playing in her first tournament for some time.
Myskina, who is ranked ahead of compatriot Elena Dementieva, last year's Challenge finalist, said she suffered a muscle tear in her right shoulder early last month and had not played in any tournaments. "It's my first tournament after a long break due to injury. I don't rate my chances and I just have to do the best I can. I had a bit of a tear in the shoulder muscle so it's not really good for me and I hoping it will get better.

"For a couple of months I couldn't even serve. I was battling to serve properly last Friday. It's going to be very hard playing. I hadn't played tennis for a long time and my shoulder was hurting. It's going to be the first tournament for me and tough."

Injury also beset Myskina early this year when a wrist problem forced her to miss the Australian Open. "I will try to do my best in Hong Kong because I want to show people that we can play really good tennis at a high level."

Myskina has had a remarkable year all the same. Before her injury, she performed a giant-killing act at the New Haven Open in Connecticut in August, when she claimed the scalps of former world number one Martina Hingis and last year's Wimbledon finalist Justine Henin of Belgium on her way to the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Dementieva, who lost to American Jennifer Capriati in this year's final, said she hoped to go one better in 2003. "Every year my goal is to become the world number one," said the 21-year-old Muscovite. "That's why I practise so hard."

"I don't like playing doubles," added the Russian, who enjoyed tremendous success in doubles, winning three tournaments this year as well as reaching the US Open final. "I like to play singles and I was just lucky in doubles."

ColinB
Dec 30th, 2002, 10:42 PM
That's a very interesting statement she made about doubles.... I wonder if she will still team with Husarova this year then?