Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Martina Hingis: Berlin Open 06

Hingis counting her blessings

Tuesday, May 09, 2006-->
Web posted at: 5/9/2006 4:37:15

BERLIN • Former world number one Martina Hingis of Switzerland is savouring every moment of her comeback year. Playing active tennis after a sabbatical of three years, Hingis says each outing these days is a moment of absolute joy.

“For me, every match is like a victory. I don’t have to look at the results to feel happy. Just being out there on the court feels like a win to me. I am simply trying to get into my groove. I am getting used to the old routine of playing and traveling, but I am not complaining,” Hingis, who won five Grand Slams before retiring from the sport in 2002, said.

Hingis will take on Flavia Pannetta of Italy in her first round match at the $1.3m Qatar Telecom German Open, which began in the German capital yesterday.

Hingis, who has appeared in 10 Grand Slam finals in her illustrious career, said she has no long-term plans in what is actually the second phase of her career.

“I have not set any great plans for myself. I just want to see out my first season without injury problems. I want to take part in as many tournaments as I can. That is my main goal,” said the Swiss star. “Frankly speaking, I am delighted to be back in Berlin, playing on clay. It is good to be here,” Hingis, who has won more than $18m in prize money, added.

World number seven, Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium yesterday praised Hingis, saying the Swiss had done extremely well in her comeback.

“I think Martina has done really well. She has won some important matches and is getting there at the level she would like to see herself at. It is not easy to come back after three years and play good tennis at the top level like that. Considering that, Hingis has done well. All credit goes to her for being so bold with her move,” Henin-Hardenne, who is the defending champion in Berlin, said.

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