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Qatar Open: Hingis storms into 2nd round

The Swiss comeback queen advanced with a clinical 6-1, 6-2 victory over American Mashona Washington.

india Updated: Feb 28, 2006 16:27 IST

Martina Hingis stormed into the second round of the 600,000 dollar Qatar Open with a clinical 6-1, 6-2 victory over American journeywoman Mashona Washington on Monday.

The Swiss comeback queen overcame a stuttering start; she was broken 40-0 in the first game of the match to establish her supremacy over the 29-year-old Washington who is yet to win a WTA title despite being a pro for a decade.

"The first game was like a wake-up call," conceded Hingis. "But I moved her around and she was coming in and my passing shots were working very well," she added.

Hingis, who won the Doha event when it was launched in 2001, said she has to be patient and play a waiting game to reach anywhere near the top.

"I have to take it step by step because it's hard work all the way," said the 25-year-old who first became the world's top-ranked player when she was 17, something she is particularly proud off.

"I was the World No 1 when I was 17 and stayed at the top for close to four years," she said, adding somewhat ominously, "You are a not a champion for doing nothing. It was not a gift from heaven. I worked hard for it."

After the shocking first game loss in which she struggled to middle the ball, Hingis was quick to stamp her class breaking back in the next game and holding sway throughout.

First Published: Feb 28, 2006 16:27 IST