Tennis: Hingis hits high notes in defeat of Maleeva

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Martina Hingis, the world No 1, crushed Bulgaria's Magdalena Maleeva 6-1, 6-2 in 50 minutes in the second round of the Bank of the West Classic at Palo Alto, California.

Joining the Australian and Wimbledon champion in the winners' enclosure were the third seed, Amanda Coetzer of South Africa, and the fourth-seeded American, Lindsay Davenport.

Fifth seed, Mary Pierce of France, was beaten by a wild card entry Anne Kremer of Luxembourg, a Stanford University student who won 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 on her own college court.

Hingis, who has lost only one match this year - the French Open final - played so fluently that between points she watched part of Coetzer's 6-2, 6-0 victory over American Meilen Tu on the adjoining court. "Why not?" Hingis asked. "I was pretty well in control and they were having some good rallies."

The 22-year-old Maleeva was overwhelmed by the 16-year-old's improved serve and bullet returns. Maleeva tried to hit Hingis off court and found herself on the receiving end of a lesson in how to counter-punch.

Hingis said her nearly error-free display was a result of the confidence gained from winning Wimbledon. "After winning Wimbledon, I don't have to be afraid of anything," Hingis said.