Swiss world number one Martina Hingis has suffered a shock first round defeat on the opening day of the prestigious Wimbledon tournament.This content was published on June 25, 2001 - 18:21
The 20-year-old star went out in straight sets (4-6, 2-6) to Spain's Virginia Ruano Pascual, a player currently ranked 83rd in the world.
The surprise result marked only the fourth time in Wimbledon's long history that the top women's seed has lost in her opening match. Incredibly, though, it is the second time that it has happened to Hingis, following her first round defeat at the hands of Jelena Dokic two years ago.
"It seems I either do really well here or lose in the first round," the world number one said after her defeat.
Hingis blamed her performance on tendinitis, which she said almost forced her to abandon her appearance at the world famous grass-court tournament.
"Because of my injury I wasn't able to do any training last week at all," she said, "but I really didn't want to miss Wimbledon."
Hingis had been hoping to put an end to the Grand Slam drought which has seen her fail to win a major tournament since the 1999 Australian Open. Instead the St Gallen player now seems likely to lose her world number one spot when the sport's weekly rankings are released next Monday.
As for her plans for the future, Hingis said she would profit from her unexpectedly early exit from the tournament by returning to Switzerland and taking five weeks' holiday.
"I really need the time to rest my body and my mental spirit," she told reporters after the match.
No problems for Federer
Swiss men's number one Roger Federer had no such difficulties in his opening round match against Belgium's Christophe Rochus.
In what was the first ever encounter between the two men, the Basel teenager enjoyed a comfortable straight sets win (6-2, 6-3, 6-2) over the world number 63.
Federer is seeded 15th at Wimbledon, his first ever seeding at a Grand Slam event, and has been tipped as a possible dark horse for this year's title.
Swiss qualifier, Ivo Heuberger, failed to match Federer's success, losing his own first-round tie against Andy Roddick. The American teenager beat his Swiss opponent in three sets, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6.
Back in the women's tournament, Switzerland's Miroslava Vavrinec suffered the same fate as her female compatriot, Martina Hingis, by crashing out of the first round to her opponent, American Amy Frazier, in straight sets (1-6, 5-7).
There was better news for Swiss women's number four Emmanuelle Gagliardi, who won her first round match at Wimbledon for only the second time in her career.
The 24-year-old Genevan (WTA 98) enjoyed a straight sets victory (6-4, 6-1) over British wildcard entry Lucy Ahl (WTA 175), and will now face America's Kristina Brandi (WTA 41) in the second round.
swissinfo with agencies