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Qualifier Dokic crushes world No. 1, 6-2, 6-0
Posted: Tuesday June 22, 1999 05:59 PM
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- This time there were no tears for Martina Hingis, who simply walked off the court dazed in defeat.
In one of the greatest upsets in Wimbledon's 113-year history, Hingis lost 6-2, 6-0 Tuesday in the opening round to Jelena Dokic, a 16-year-old qualifier ranked 129th.
The world's top-ranked woman was playing her first singles match since her emotional collapse at the French Open final. But there was no repeat of her petulant display that drew boos in Paris.
Instead, Hingis left the court with a vacant, stoic expression. At a news conference she even managed to smile while discussing the loss.
"It happens to everybody sometimes," she said. "I'm not that disappointed."
Nonetheless, the result was a stunner, even though Dokic was the top-ranked junior last year before turning professional. She has been touted as a potential star, and her mixture of baseline power and drop shots overwhelmed Hingis.
Dokic (pronounced DAH-kick), a Yugoslav-born Australian, had to win three qualifying matches just to make the tournament. She swept the final 11 games and completed her victory in 54 minutes, showing no sign of nervousness.
"It's surprising," Dokic said. "You'd expect me to be, but I wasn't. There's no pressure to win. I've been playing well, and I just went for it."
This was only the third time the top-seeded woman was eliminated the first round at Wimbledon -- the others were Margaret Smith in 1962 and Steffi Graf in 1994.
It was also the third time during the Open era that a top-seeded woman has lost in the opening round of a Grand Slam event.
There was one more first -- Hingis played a major match without her mother in attendance. The experiment didn't work.
"This tournament we decided to have a little distance," said the 18-year-old Swiss. "I was probably too nervous -- not much believing what I could do. I wanted to do it; it didn't work out this time."
Hingis' mother, Melanie Molitor, doubles as her coach. Hingis said they're still close and she's not looking for another coach, but she will take four or five weeks off.
When asked if she wants time to reflect on her life, Hingis smiled.
"It's been a great life so far. I really like it," she said, before adding, "A break would really suit me right now."
Hingis looked rattled at times but avoided a repeat of the French Open final against Steffi Graf. In that match she walked to the other side of the court to question calls, served underhand near the finish, drew jeers from the crowd and sobbed afterward on her mother's shoulder.
Wimbledon's Court 1 crowd seemed partial to Dokic, but Hingis had no complaint.
"I didn't make that many winners," she said. "They didn't have much to clap about."
Among those cheering -- politely this time -- was Dokic's father, Damir, who was expelled two weeks ago for disorderly conduct from a tournament where his daughter played in Birmingham, England. He later blocked traffic, threw himself on the hood of a car and was held by police for several hours.
Dokic played Hingis once previously, losing at the Australian Open in January, 6-1, 6-2. The women were practice partners before the French Open at Hingis' home in Switzerland.
"She played some great tennis today," Hingis said. "This win will give her confidence."
Hingis was the first seeded player eliminated this week. No. 5 Jana Novotna, coming back from an ankle injury in the French Open, began defense of her 1998 title by beating Shi-Ting Wang 6-2, 6-1. No. 3 Lindsay Davenport and No. 7 Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario also won.
In a match that took two days to complete, Jennifer Capriati defeated Anke Huber 5-7, 6-3, 9-7. The match was suspended Monday at 5-5 in the third set because of darkness.
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