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Hingis writes off her Wimbledon chances

sports Updated: Jun 26, 2007 04:58 IST
Alison Wildey

Ninth seed Martina Hingis wrote off her chances of winning a second Wimbledon title 10 years after her first title, following her 6-7 7-5 6-0 win over British wildcard Naomi Cavaday in the first round on Monday.

Hingis has been sidelined for five weeks with a back injury and struggled against Cavaday, who forced two match points on the Swiss's serve in the second set.

"I don't see myself right now after today's match as a contender," Hingis, who won the title as a 16-year-old, told a news conference.

Hingis said her doctor had put her at only 60 to 70 percent fit but the world number 11, who returned to tennis in 2006 after three years out, could not bear to miss the grasscourt grand slam.

"It's an inflammation in the femur bone. Usually it takes six to eight weeks but I'm like, I don't want to miss out on Wimbledon no matter what happens," the five-times grand slam winner said.

"I was happy he told me I can't make it worse," she added.

"But I'm happy to be able to run and walk and play tennis again. I wasn't able to do that five weeks ago."

Hingis was slow to settle in the cold, drizzly conditions against Cavaday when play finally started two hours and 45 minutes late because of rain.

The British teenager, ranked 221 places below her opponent, broke the out-of-sorts Hingis in her first two service games for a 3-0 lead and then eased through the first set tiebreak 7-1.

But once the Swiss had saved the two match points, the 1997 winner did not look like becoming the latest big name to fall on court two, known as 'the graveyard of the champions'.

Hingis whizzed through the third set as Cavaday ran out of steam.

"I was just like, 'no, this is not going to happen to me, not here again at Wimbledon'," Hingis said when asked what was going through her mind at match point against her.

"I've never lost on court two. I know it's a graveyard of champions but it's never been to me. I played really good on those two points.

"After that, it was just a pretty smooth ride. Somehow I never felt 'okay, she's on top of me'. I was always hanging in there. It was never on my mind that I was going to lose."