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Hingis continues comeback run

Martina Hingis continued her comeback run on Thursday by eliminating third seed Nathalie Dechy in the second round of the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2006 15:10 IST

Martina Hingis continued her comeback run on Thursday by eliminating third seed Nathalie Dechy in the second round of the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament.

The Swiss wild card, who won here four times between 1997 and 2002, took an early break in the final set for a 3-0 lead and never looked back in a 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory over the French woman.

"I thought I finally beat a top 20, but definitely it's sweet to beat number three seed," said Hingis, ranked 117th this week against Dechy's 21st.

"Once I started feeling more comfortable from the baseline, hitting the rallies and actually winning them, I started dictating more as well. In the first set and a half, I usually won the shorter points and I sometimes lost longer rallies.

"I survived a three-set match today, so I think the match fitness is quite there. Definitely having played some matches and getting confidence winning matches like today I think over the next round even more trying to get better," added Hingis.

Meanwhile, Dechy said: "Martina is playing really well. Her game hasn't changed too much from before. She still takes the ball really early and still has unbelievably good hand-and-eye coordination."

"When she stopped playing before, she was good. and now, she has a lot of confidence from the Australian Open. Her steadiness and depth made it difficult for me during the whole match," added the Frenchwoman.

The 25-year-old, who has never lost to Dechy in five encounters, retired in 2002 due to foot and ankle injuries but came back to action this season.

She reached the semi-finals at the Gold Coast in her comeback debut and lost to Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium at Sydney in the first round.

But Hingis reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open last month and won the mixed doubles title with Mahesh Bhupathi of India.

In the quarter-finals Friday, Hingis will take on Maria Kirilenko of Russia, who eliminated eighth seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia and Montenegro 6-4, 6-4.

Meanwhile sixth seed Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia fell victim to Samantha Stosur of Australia 7-6 (7/5), 6-2.

Seventh seed Elena Likhovtseva of Russia safely went through, beating Marion Bartoli of France 6-2, 7-5.

First Published: Feb 02, 2006 15:10 IST