Hingis' delicacy a joy to behold

It was not the sort of exchange you expect to see at the top level of modern women's tennis. Martina Hingis played the craftiest of drop shots, followed it with a perfectly judged lob volley and rounded off the point with a clean winner at the net. The 25-year-old appeared as cool as a Swiss mountain stream, while her opponent looked as if she needed to jump in one.

You had to feel sympathy for Anastasia Myskina, the world No 12, after her second-round defeat at the Dubai Duty Free Women's Open here yesterday. The former French Open champion thought she had played well but it was Hingis who went through, winning 6-4, 6-3 to earn a tantalising quarter-final against Maria Sharapova, whom she beat in Tokyo a fortnight ago.

In an age when female players tend to use a battering ram rather than a key to get through any door, Hingis' return after a three-year absence is a joy. Myskina was shown the Swiss player's full repertoire as the Russian chased around the court trying, often in vain, to guess where to run.

"It's very hard to play against a player with a game like Martina's," Myskina said afterwards. "It's much easier to play against someone who just hits the ball, because you know what to expect. Against Martina you don't know what's going to happen. The next ball might be a drop shot or a high lob."

Just five tournaments and 17 matches into her comeback, Hingis is back to No 50 in the world. What did Myskina think was a more realistic ranking? " Top 20 for sure, maybe top 10, but she needs more matches because I don't think she's played her best so far."

Hingis was too tentative at times, too bold at others and made more unforced errors than when she was at her peak, but she feels she has improved with every tournament during her comeback.

The top three seeds all made fine starts to their campaigns here. Lindsay Davenport recorded the fourth whitewash in her 700 career wins in beating Elena Likhovtseva, Sharapova dropped only one game against Vera Dushevina and Amélie Mauresmo made up for a slow start by winning nine of her last 10 games against Henrieta Nagyova.

* The women's world No 1, Kim Clijsters, will not defend her title at the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells next month after aggravating an ankle injury.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker