Hingis makes winning return
The former world No. 1 showed no signs of an extended layoff due to chronic foot injuries and outplayed her opponent.tennis Updated: Jan 02, 2006 16:06 IST
Martina Hingis made a successful return to competitive tennis on Monday after a three-year absence, beating Maria Vento-Kabchi of Venezuela 6-2, 6-1 at the Australian women's hardcourt championships.
The 25-year-old Hingis, winner of five Grand Slam singles titles, made a nervous start when both players exchanged service breaks. But the former world No. 1 from Switzerland, showing no signs of an extended layoff due to chronic foot injuries and outplayed her opponent for the rest of the match.
Tournament spokesman Eloise Tyson said Hingis appeared to be free from injury at the end of the match.
Hingis also plans to play in next week's Sydney International on a wild card and the Australian Open at Melbourne beginning January 16, a tournament she has won three times.
It was Hingis' first tour match since a loss to Elena Dementieva in Filderstadt, Germany, in October 2002.
Hingis will take on seventh-seeded Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic in the second round.
"I was a little nervous," Hingis told the sold-out Royal Pines stadium after the match. "I'd like to thank my family and friends for supporting me."