Daniilidou ousted early

Eleni Daniilidou bowed out of the Australian Open in Melbourne with a 6-4, 6-3 first-round loss yesterday against Swiss seventh seed Patty Schnyder, a quarterfinalist at the Grand Slam tournament last year. Daniilidou, who has slipped in the world rankings to 96 after peaking at number 14 a few seasons ago, provided plenty of resistance against the seventh seed without, however, being able to deprive her opponent of any sets. Daniilidou was troubled by a shoulder injury at last week’s Canberra International tournament, a warmup event to the Australian Open. A local favorite for the Australian city’s sizable ethnic Greek population, Daniilidou had reached the tournament’s fourth round in 2003. Martina Hingis made a successful comeback to Grand Slam tennis with an impressive 6-1, 6-2 win over Russian 30th seed Vera Zvonareva. The 25-year-old Swiss player took just over an hour to demolish Zvonareva and claim her highest ranking scalp since launching a comeback earlier this month following a three-year injury layoff. «I still need to do this and that but I’ve played a couple of tournaments now and I feel I can get better… I love coming back here, this stadium has been so good to me,» said a beaming Hingis. She has won the Australian Open three times between 1997-99 and last played in 2002 before injuries cut her career short. It was a disappointing end to the day for home fans when French 25th seed Sebastien Grosjean swept past struggling hometown boy Mark Philippoussis 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 in the featured night match. Tournament favorites Roger Federer and Kim Clijsters powered their way into the second round. Federer sent a chilling warning to his rivals by swatting Uzbekistan wildcard Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in ruthless fashion. The Swiss top seed, who Monday equaled US great Pete Sampras’s mark of 102 weeks as world number one in the ATP rankings, was in devastating form. (AFP, Kathimerini)

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