Myskina stunned by Polish junior, Hingis finds her feet on clay


WARSAW: Former French Open champion Anastasia Myskina slumped to a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 defeat by Polish 17-year-old Agnieszka Radwanska in the first round of the Warsaw Cup yesterday. 

Radwanska, winner of the 2005 Wimbledon junior title, troubled Myskina with a strong forehand and often caught her out with beautifully executed drop shots on the clay surface. 

“Obviously this was a very big surprise for me because Myskina is one of the best players in the world,” said the 309th-ranked Radwanska. “I wasn't expecting this victory at all and I'm just very very happy I was able to win here.” 

WINNING START: Switzerland’s Martina Hingis jubilates after defeating Russia’s Maria Kirilenko7-5, 7-6 in the first round of the J&S Cup tennis tournament in Warsaw on Monday to set up apossible showdown with American Venus Williams in the next round. – REUTERSpic

Myskina rarely looked comfortable during the encounter. 

“It's my first tournament on clay and the girl was playing pretty good,” Myskina told reporters. “Just a couple of mistakes and the match is over. I saw her for the first time in my life so it's a little bit difficult to play her.” 

Daniela Hantuchova, who has split from British coach Nigel Sears after working with him almost continuously since June 2001, recovered from a set and 3-5 to beat Israel's Anna Smashnova 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. 

Fifth seed Francesca Schiavone needed only 55 minutes to beat Finland's Emma Laine 6-0, 6-1.  

Former world number one Martina Hingis made a winning return in her first clay court match in four years on Monday as she overcame a gallant challenge from Russia’s Maria Kirilenko to set up a possible clash with Venus Williams. 

The Swiss star claimed a tense and skilful two-hour battle 7-5, 7-6 (7-1), despite her opponent once serving for the first set and twice serving for the second. 

Hingis, who had not played a clay court match since losing to Venus Williams in Hamburg exactly four years ago, admitted she struggled to find her game after such a long absence. 

“It’s been a long time,” said the former Roland Garros finalist. 

“Hopefully I’ll get into it, and I’m very happy to be through this first round.” 

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