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LONDON -- Martina Hingis is returning to professional tennis -- again.
The 25-year-old Swiss, who retired from the WTA Tour three years ago because of an ankle injury, is hoping to return to the women's tennis circuit in early 2006 and resume a career which produced five Grand Slam singles titles and made her the youngest player to be ranked No. 1.
Hingis made a brief comeback in February, losing in the first round of the Volvo Women's Open in Thailand. Her previous match was at Filderstadt in October 2002, but she believed she prematurely returned to competition following left ankle surgery, and withdrew from all remaining tournaments.
"I was never happy that my injuries cut my career short and ultimately forced my decision to step away from tennis," Hingis said Tuesday in a statement. "I have enjoyed my time away from the court. However, I miss the game and the challenge of competing at the highest level of tennis and I want to gauge whether I can stay healthy and compete against today's top players."
ZURICH, Switzerland -- Martina Hingis hopes to make her return to Grand Slam tennis at the Australian Open next month.
"It's going to be great -- four more weeks to go probably 'til I play my first tournament," the 25-year-old Swiss star said at a news conference.
The Hong Kong exhibition and Gold Coast tournament are scheduled for Jan. 2-9. The Australian Open -- the first Grand Slam event of 2006 -- is Jan. 16-29.
Martina Hingis saw a different side of life in her three years away from tennis. Some things, however, don't change: She can still win tennis tournaments.
Hingis beat 16th-seeded Dinara Safina 6-2, 7-5 Sunday in the Italian Open final for the 41st title of her career, but first since winning in Tokyo more than four years ago.