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Hingis Doesn't Horse Around in First Match in Seven Weeks

May 28, 1997|JULIE CART

PARIS — Top-ranked Martina Hingis stormed into the second round of the French Open by beating Henrieta Nagyova, 6-0, 6-2, in 51 minutes Tuesday. The 16-year-old was playing for the first time in seven weeks.

Steffi Graf, the defending women's champion, also needed less than an hour to beat Paola Suarez, 6-1, 6-4, but she looked a little rusty in her 54-minute victory.

Hingis, Graf's successor as No. 1, fell off a horse April 21 and needed surgery on her left knee. Her last match was April 6.

"I did not play for seven weeks and it's always tough to come back," said Hingis, who is unbeaten in six tournaments this year, including the Australian Open in January, her first Grand Slam title.

Graf, a five-time winner since 1983 on the red clay of Roland Garros, is also coming off an operation on her left knee and a three-month layoff, and this is her third tournament since she returned to action two weeks ago.

In men's action, fourth-seeded Goran Ivanisevic became the highest seeded player to lose here, falling to 38th-seeded Magnus Gustafsson, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.

Two other two seeded players exited Tuesday. Kimberly Po of the United States defeated eighth-seeded Anke Huber of Germany, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. Huber is the first seeded woman to lose.

Tim Henman of Great Britain, seeded No. 14, was defeated by Olivier Delaitre of France, who is ranked No. 159, 6-2, 2-6, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4. Henman is still recovering from elbow surgery.

Ivanisevic is recovering from a lifetime of being himself, which included adding a Catholic priest to his entourage at this tournament last year. He has also worn a ponytail sprouting from the top of his head and managed to say uncomplimentary things about most municipalities he has visited.

He's just back on the tour after breaking a finger on his right hand, slamming it in the door of his apartment.

Whether his play Tuesday was a function of readjusting to the tour or adjusting to his opponent was not clear.

"When you have 10,000 break points and you cannot win one, you have to pay for that," he said. "I had, every game, easy shots. I didn't do anything."




* Pete Sampras (1) vs. Francisco Clavet

* Yevgeny Kafelnikov (3) vs. Guillaume Raoux

* Thomas Muster (5) vs. Jeff Tarango


* Steffi Graf (2) vs. Amelie Mauresmo

* Lindsay Davenport (5) vs. Elena Makarova.

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