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Resurgent Hingis complains of media pressure

Written by: Staff
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BERLIN, May 13 (Reuters) Former world number one Martina Hingis has made a remarkably successful return to the professional tennis circuit after three years out recovering from injury and burnout.

The Swiss five-times grand slam winner has reached the quarter- finals or better at seven of the 10 events she has contested since her January comeback, claiming the top-10 scalps of Maria Sharapova and Lindsay Davenport on the way.

However, there were signs today that Hingis, still only 25, is becoming increasingly irritated by the intense media scrutiny and the demands that have been placed on since she announced she was coming out of retirement late last year.

Slovakian-born Hingis was knocked out at the quarter-final stage of the German Open here on Saturday by world number one Amelie Mauresmo and next competes at the Rome clay event beginning on Monday.

''There is a lot of attention from the media and from the tournament and they want me to do things that some of the other players just don't have to face,'' Hingis said.

''So that's stealing some of my practice time and it's some extra stress. Sometimes it would be nice to just have a breather, a day not having to rush.'' Hingis, who is coached by her mother, has won 40 WTA titles since she turned professional in October 1994 at the age of 14, reaping some 18.3 million dollars in career earnings.

That puts her fourth on the all-time prize money list after Steffi Graf, Davenport and Martina Navratilova who all earned more than 21 million dollars.

''I try to keep it under control but sometimes it's not so easy,'' Hingis said of the buzz that surrounds her.

''It's nice to have the attention on the one hand. I don't mind that,'' she added.

Mauresmo said today Hingis had shown this week in Berlin that she was back up with the best as the world's top players gear up for the French Open, the premier claycourt event which begins at the end of this month.

It remains the only grand slam Hingis has never won.

REUTERS SY RN2307

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