PATTAYA, Thailand -- Martina Hingis' return to tennis Tuesday was spoiled when she was beaten by Germany's Marlene Weingartner 1-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the
first round of the Volvo Women's Open.
Hingis, greeting the crowd before her loss, told reporters afterward that she has no plans for an extended comeback.
Playing in a tournament for the first time since taking a two-year break after severely injuring her ankle, Hingis won the first set easily but looked
far slower than she did when she was the No. 1 ranked player in the world. The five-time Grand Slam champion last competed in a WTA tournament in
October 2002 at Filderstadt, Germany, where she lost to Elena Dementieva.
Hingis told reporters the match had been "a nice experience," but that she had no set plans for an extended comeback or to play other tournaments.
"I might play exhibitions," she said. "My life has been very good over the past couple of years and I feel comfortable with it."
Hingis thought she played well but said the two-year layoff had taken a toll.
"The foot is still all right now," Hingis said. "But we will see tomorrow. I'm 25 now. It's hard for me physically. I'm not 18 years old anymore."
In the first set, the Swiss star moved swiftly all over the court and used well-placed groundstrokes to break Weingartner twice for a 3-0 lead. After
double faulting to drop a game, Hingis rallied against her erratic opponent to win the set in 24 minutes.
Weingartner attacked a weak serve from Hingis to break the opening game of the second set but could not hold her next game. After Hingis went ahead
2-1, the German used a series of powerful shots to take charge in the next five games.
The difference in energy levels between the two players became obvious in the final set, when Hingis could not chase down balls and Weingartner hit
Weingartner quickly strode to a 5-2 lead and set up a match point with a forehand down the line. The German celebrated her 1-hour, 19-minute win after
Hingis netted a forehand.
It was Weingartner's first victory against Hingis, who easily beat her twice in 1999 and 2002.
In other matches, third-seeded Conchita Martinez of Spain survived a scare from American Shikha Uberoi to advance into the second round. Martinez,
ranked 43rd, bounced back from a 4-2 deficit in the final set to beat the rising American star 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a match lasting 2:31.
Sixth-seeded Marta Domachowska of Poland was upset by 17-year-old Shahar Peer of Israel, 6-3, 6-2; Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain beat Tzipora
Obziler of Israel 6-3, 6-4; Galina Voskoboeva of Russia easily handled Yuliana Fedak of Ukraine 6-2, 6-1; qualifier Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan
stunned Antonella Serra Zanetti of Italy 6-3, 6-2, and Silvija Talaya of Croatia defeated Angelika Bachmann of Germany 6-2, 6-1.
Three seeds have already lost, including fourth-seeded Mashona Washington of the United States and Kristina Brandi of Puerto Rico on Monday.