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Team WTAworld, Administrator, aka Nibbler
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By Richard Pagliaro - Gobbling up games faster than a famished Koala bear feasts on food at an all-you-can eat salad bar filled with Eucalyptus leaves, Martina Hingis stormed into the fourth round of the Australian Open today with a 6-1, 6-0 thrashing of Barbara Rittner.

The three-time Australian Open champion had a huge edge in winners (23-9) and faced only one break point on her sometime suspect serve in completing the victory in a mere 46 minutes.

Playing in just her second tournament since undergoing surgery to repair torn ligaments in her right ankle in October, Hingis has looked sharp. She has dropped only eight games in her three tournamnent victories an appears to have a clear path to the semifinals.

Fifteenth-seeded South African Amanda Coetzer, who defeated 17th-seeded Barbara Schett, 6-3, 6-3, is Hingis' fourth-round opponent. Should she beat Coetzer, the Swis stylist would meet Martina Sucha or Adriana Serra Zanetti in the quarters.

"They (critics) almost counted me out but I'm still in the game, I'm still here," Hingis said. "I think I'm getting confidence each match. I feel definitely much better every time. I mean, you could see improvement already. Today, I was more aggressive, taking more chances. Even sometimes I miss, but at least I tried, and I wasn't very defensive."

The third-seeded Hingis has reached the Australian Open finals for five consecutive years, including 1999 when she defeated Amelie Mauresmo to win her fifth career Grand Slam crown. She hasn't won a Slam since, but Hingis appears to be incoporating elements that helped her win the Australian Open from 1997-99 into her game again. Hingis' soft serve that opponents often pound like a pinata has been the primary weakness of her game in recent years. Rather than going for a bigger first serve and risk a lower first-serve percentage, Hingis has been content to concentrate on improving her first-serve percentage to prevent opponents from attacking her second serve. She connected on 73 percent of her first serves against Rittner and has averaged a 73 percent on her first serves in the tournament.

The withdrawal of fifth-seeded Serena Williams with a sprained ankle has opened the door for Hingis to have a realistic shot at the semifinals and she's intent on making the most of her opportunity.

"I think you have just got to take your chances, definitely," Hingis said. "I mean the draw looks much brighter already. You know, when I saw the draw and there was Serena, and then she had to pull out; and maybe having to play the Williams sisters back-to-back again, that's just very difficult to do all the time. But I mean, now I think the draw has opened up a little bit. I just have to go out there and do my business."
 

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LOL! That's a pretty funny article!:D
 

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Than why are they called Koala BEARS!:p
 
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