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Hingis makes perfect start

The former world No 1 made an impressive start at the Pan Pacific Open on Wednesday.

india Updated: Feb 01, 2006 15:03 IST

Former world No. 1 Martina Hingis made an impressive return to Tokyo on Wednesday, taking just 35 minutes to crush South Korea's Cho Yoon-jeong 6-0, 6-0 in the first round of the Pan Pacific Open.

Hingis barely broke a sweat on her way to a convincing win over Cho that set up a second round clash with third-seeded Nathalie Dechy of France, who had a first-round bye.

Second-seeded Elena Dementieva of Russia recovered from a shaky start on her way to a 2-6, 6-1, 7-5 second-round win over Slovenia Katarina Srebotnik.

Fifth-seeded Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic also advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Japan's Saori Obata. Top-seeded Maria Sharapova also had a first-round bye and will open her title defense on Thursday against American Lisa Raymond. Hingis, who retired three years ago because of foot, heal and ankle injuries, is a four-time winner in Tokyo. She last contested the tournament in 2002.

In her comeback campaign, Hingis won her first mixed doubles Grand Slam title at the Australian Open on Sunday after reaching the singles quarterfinals. She now has 15 Grand Slam titles. In other first-round matches on Wednesday, Raymond downed compatriot Meilen Tu 6-1, 6-3, while seventh-seeded Elena Likhovtseva of Russia defeated Shinobu Asagoe of Japan, 6-3, 6-2.

Australia's Samantha Stosur posted a 6-1, 6-3 win over Japan's Aiko Nakamura to advance to the second round, along with Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic, who beat China's Zheng Jie 7-5, 7-6 (7/2).

First Published: Feb 01, 2006 15:03 IST