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Hingis takes first title since ending exile
Latest Updated by 2006-05-22 15:57:33
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Former world number one Martina Hingis swept aside Russia's Dinara Safina 6-2 7-5 to win the Italian Open on Sunday, her first title since ending a three-year self-imposed exile from the professional game.

The Swiss, who returned in December, had last won a tournament in Tokyo in February 2002.

"I never thought I'd be here again," Hingis said after claiming her second title in the Italian capital.

"But they say never give up hope and keep fighting, and here I am. It's just great to be back on top of the game."

Safina had beaten a series of higher-ranked players en route to the final, including world number two Kim Clijsters, but her form deserted her as she sprayed shots long and wide.

Hingis's victory is expected to move her back into the world's top 15 and establish her as a contender for the French Open, which starts next Sunday.

Asked whether she felt ready to win at Roland Garros -- the only grand slam trophy missing from her collection -- the Swiss replied: "Well, I had my chances in the past.

"This year there are many good players who can do well in the tournament.

"I've always said I'm a good horse but still an underdog. Though definitely this win in Rome will give my confidence a big boost."

Editor: Donald

By: Source: China View website
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