Former world number one tennis star Martina Hingis has made a successful return to professional tennis, winning her first-round match at the Australian hardcourt championship on the Gold Coast.
The 25-year old Swiss player beat Maria Vento-Kabchi of Venezuela in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1.
It was Hingis' first competitive match in more than three years. She retired in October 2002, after suffering chronic foot and ankle injuries.
The five-time Grand Slam singles champion made a tense start against Vento-Kabchi, ranked 62nd in the world. Hingis dropped her serve in the opening game, but quickly broke back, and dominated the rest of the match. She will face Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic in the second round.
Hingis is using the event as a warm-up for this month's Australian Open, which she has won three times.
Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.