Hingis, Davenport to Face Belgians in French Open

Published May 26th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The two top-ranked players in the world, Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport, will face Belgian opponents in the first round of the women's singles when the French Open starts Monday on the red clay of Roland Garros in Paris. 

Top-seeded Hingis was Friday drawn to play Sabine Appelmans in her opening match, while second-seeded Davenport will face Dominique Van Roost. 

"Martina wants the French more than anything else. Everyone knows that and I don't think she will lose her temper like she did last year," Davenport, the WTA's No. 2 player told Reuters.  

Hingis broke down in tears and threw tantrums as she lost to the now retired Steffi Graf in last year's final, after her game collapsed when she argued about a line call. The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament the Swiss teenager has not won. 

The Swiss 19-year-old, who missed the Italian Open with a foot injury, looks to have a relatively simple start to the tournament and would face a qualifier in the second round if she beats Appelmans. Her first seeded opponent would be France's 12th-seeded Julie Halard Decugis in the round of 16. 

Australian Open champion Davenport is the same half of the 132-player draw as American rival Venus Williams, the fourth seed. 

Davenport skipped this week's Madrid tournament with a back injury but is confident she will be back on full form ahead of the start of the Open. If the draw holds up, her first seeded opponent would be ninth-seeded South African Amanda Coetzer. 

Hingis, who has won all three Grand Slam events outside the French Open in her career, was drawn in the same half of the draw as three-time French Open champion Monica Seles of the United States. 

Hingis and third-seeded Seles would meet in the semifinals providing they avoid upsets - (Several Sources) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

You may also like