Monday, October 23, 2006

Zurich Open fails to meet attendance goal

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) - The Zurich Open failed to reach its goal of 40,000 spectators, despite the return of Martina Hingis to professional tennis.

Organizers said Sunday that they sold 35,638 tickets through the week.

"I don't think Martina had a big effect on attendance," tournament director Beat Ritschard said. "The 'Hingis effect' didn't prove itself."

Hingis, who made her comeback this season after about three years of retirement, made her first appearance in six years at the Swiss tournament.

The former top-ranked Swiss player reached the quarter-finals, where she was eliminated by third-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia.

"Financially, it wasn't a catastrophic scenario. We almost broke even," Ritschard said.

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