Hingis struggles to beat Van Roost

It certainly wasn't her best performance, but Martina Hingis will accept it as a first step.

It certainly wasn't her best performance, but Martina Hingis will accept it as a first step.

Hingis, the world's top-ranked player, started her preparation for the U.S. Open with a 6-2, 7-6(2) victory over Belgium's Dominique Van Roost on Tuesday in the second round of the $535,000 Acura Classic in Carlsbad, California.

It was Hingis' first match since losing to Venus Williams in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon nearly a month ago.

"Overall, I think it was a good match to have," Hingis said. "I still need a little bit of improvement on some of the strokes. Some parts of my game I got better and took some more risks."

Also on Tuesday, Anna Kournikova of Russia hit with authority and took advantage of numerous mistakes in an impressive 6-2, 6-3 first-round victory over Alexandra Stevenson.

Kournikova, who faces second-ranked Lindsay Davenport in the second round on Wednesday, never allowed the hard-hitting Stevenson to get into a groove.

"I had a good rhythm," said Kournikova, who reached the semifinals last week at the Bank of the West Classic.

"It's tough to get into a rhythm with Alexandra because you never know what's going to come," she added. "It's either the fence or a winner or an ace or a double-fault."

Stevenson held a 3-1 lead in the second set, but began spraying the ball all over the court. Kournikova broke Stevenson in two straight service games before winning when Stevenson, fittingly, hit a forehand long.

Hingis breezed through the first set against Van Roost and then had to fight through a tough second set. The 19-year-old from Switzerland survived a break on her service in the 11th game as Van Roost took a 6-5 lead. But Van Roost managed just one point on her service game, and Hingis broke back to force the tiebreak.

After holding her serve for a 2-1 lead, Van Roost committed four unforced errors and a double-fault to seal the match.

"I should have closed it out (sooner)," said Hingis, who drew a first-round bye. "I wasn't able to step it up."

Seventh-seeded Anke Huber of Germany become the tournament's first upset victim when she lost 6-0, 7-6 (3) to Amy Frazier.

Frazier won the first nine games before Huber rebounded to make it close in the second set.

"It was going too smoothly," Frazier said. "I knew there was no way it was going to stay like that for three sets."

Down 3-0 in the second, Huber won three straight games. Huber, ranked ninth in the world, fought off two match points on Frazier's serve in the 10th game. Huber won the game, which lasted 16 points, and tied the score at 5-5 on her fourth break point of the game.

After each player held serve, Frazier took control of the tiebreak by winning the final four points.

Frazier's victory was her third this season over Huber.

In other matches, fifth-seeded Conchita Martinez of Spain beat Kim Clijsters of Belgium 6-3, 6-4; sixth-seeded Nathalie Tauziat of France defeated Anne Kremer of Luxembourg 6-4, 6-3; eighth-seeded Sandrine Testud of France defeated Chanda Rubin 3-6, 7-5, 6-2; and Amanda Coetzer of South Africa beat Lisa Raymond 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.

Hingis, winner of five Grand Slam titles, is looking for her first major victory since capturing the 1999 Australian Open. She has been shut out of the last six Grand Slam championships.

Her preparation for the U.S. Open, which begins on August 28, includes playing next week at Los Angeles and then at Montreal. But Hingis' schedule does not include the Olympics, which start in Sydney just over a week after the Open ends.

"Last year, I was totally worn out (after the Open)," she said. "I didn't want to do the same thing and to make it worse. My health has been the most important to me."

Results from the $535,000 Acura Classic Sanex WTA Tour hard-court tournament:

Singles - First Round

Amy Frazier, United States, def. Anke Huber (7), Germany, 6-0, 7-6 (3). Nicole Pratt, Australia, def. Fabiola Zuluaga, Colmbia, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2. Meilen Tu, United States, def. Elena Dementieva, Russia, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3. Sandrine Testud (8), France, def. Chanda Rubin, United States, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2. Amanda Coetzer, South Africa, def. Lisa Raymond, United States, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1. Nathalie Tauziat (6), France, def. Anne Kremer, Luxembourg, 6-4, 6-3. Tatiana Panova, Russia, def. Barbara Schett, Austria, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5. Conchita Martinez (5), Spain, def. Kim Clijsters, Belgium, 6-3, 6-4. Anna Kournikova, Russia, def. Alexandra Stevenson, United States, 6-2, 6-3.

Second Round

Martina Hingis (1), Switzerland, def. Dominique Van Roost, Belgium, 6-2, 7-6 (2).

Doubles - First Round

Jennifer Capriati and Amy Frazier, United States, def. Nathalie Dechy and Nathalie Tauziat, France, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Kim Clijsters, Belgium, and Ai Sugiyama, Japan, def. Tina Krizan, Slovenia, and Barbara Schett, Austria, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (4).

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger is in Argentina having chemotherapy

Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum
theatre

Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
News
We are phenomenally good at recognising faces; the study showed that humans have been selected to be unique and easily recognisable
science

Human faces unique 'because we don't recognise each other by smell'

Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show?
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
news

Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Colin Firth and Emma Stone star together in Magic in the Moonlight: Woody Allen's 1920s romance

Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Student
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise
student

Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
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.

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week