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Hingis avenges Pennetta loss at German Open

Written by: Staff

BERLIN, May 10 (Reuters) Former world number one Martina Hingis defeated Italy's Flavia Pennetta 7-5 6-3 to reach the second round of the German Open.

Hingis, currently ranked 23, exchanged service breaks throughout the match yesterday with the powerful Pennetta, but the 25-year-old Swiss player's accuracy and consistency carried the day.

The Swiss lost their only previous encounter in January in the semi-final of the Gold Coast event, the tournament that launched her comeback from a three-year hiatus.

''I quickly got to 4-1 but she is very good when she is behind and her game starts to come through,'' the five-times grand slam winner said.

''I was pretty nervous at the beginning of the year. This time I changed my tactics a little and it worked well.'' Hingis, a winner here in 1999, is attempting to reach the tennis heights she scaled before being forced out of the game in 2002 due to foot injuries and burnout.

''It's a great feeling to be standing here again on this court.

Today I am happy that I was able to gain revenge,'' she said.

Hingis plays German Julia Schruff today, when current world number one Amelie Mauresmo of France and Belgium's Justine Henin-Hardenne are also in action.

''I have never played against her,'' Hingis said of Schruff.

''She is very strong and I think it will be a similar match to today.'' Reuters PG RN0934

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