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Hingis hopes rise as rivals tumble

Amelie Mauresmo's French Open campaign finished almost as soon as it began Keystone

Martina Hingis's chances of winning her first ever French Open have risen sharply following shock first round exits for America's Venus Williams and France's Amelie Mauresmo.

This content was published on May 28, 2001 - 17:46

Williams, who was seeded second for the Grand Slam tournament, was defeated in straight sets on Monday by Austria's Barbara Schett.

Mauresmo had been seen as a major threat to Hingis following two recent wins over the Swiss star, but the French fifth seed was also unable to make it beyond the first day, losing out also in straight sets to Germany's Jana Kandarr.

Taken together with the late withdrawals of Lindsay Davenport, Mary Pierce and Monica Seles, Monday's upsets have raised the credibility of Hingis's French Open bid without the world number one even having to hit a ball.

Despite a disappointing run that has seen her fail to win a tournament in three months, Hingis had said before arriving in Paris that she had "a better chance than ever to win the event."

On Tuesday Hingis will be keen to prove that self-confidence, by avoiding any upset in her own first round match against Spain's Gala Leon Garcia.

The French Open is the only Grand Slam title yet to elude the Swiss star.

Swissinfo with agencies

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