CARLSBAD, Calif – Martina Hingis was a winner Wednesday night in her first match on the Women’s Tennis Association tour in six years, teaming with Daniela Hantuchova, for a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Julia Goerges and Darija Jurak in a first-round doubles match in the $795,707 Southern California Open women’s tennis tournament at La Costa Resort and Spa.
Hingis was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame July 13, honoring a career during which she won 43 singles titles and 37 doubles titles, was the world’s top-ranked women’s singles player for 209 weeks and the top women’s doubles player for 35 weeks.
The 32-year-old Hingis said she “always” had a comeback “in the back of my head.”
“But now having been back so much closer to it — helping Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and being closer to the game, closer to the matches, mostly the doubles, I felt like I should try it again,” Hingis said before her match.
Hingis ruled out a comeback in singles.
“It’s a completely different world,” Hingis said. “Even World Team Tennis now, it’s brutal, it’s only one set, but still the next day you wake up and you have to put so much more effort into it.
“Playing tournaments is the easy part — it’s the grind behind it that’s tough, the things behind the scenes that people don’t see, the six-to- eight hours of training and the older you get, the more rehab you have to do.”
Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, third-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic and fourth-seeded Roberta Vinci of Italy were all winners in straight sets Wednesday as second-round singles play began.
Azarenka defeated Francesca Schiavone of Italy, 6-2, 6-3; Kvitova topped Laura Robson of Great Britain, 6-1, 6-2; and Vinci eliminated American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 6-4, 6-2.
Each of the top four seeded players received first-round byes.
The two other seeded singles players in action Wednesday also won. Fifth- seeded Samantha Stosur of Australia defeated qualifier Sesil Karatantcheva of Kazakhstan, 6-4, 6-1 in a second-round match and Ana Ivanovic of Serbia topped Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, in a first-round match.