Hingis Is at Home With a Win

From the Associated Press

Martina Hingis, playing in her home country for the first time in six years, defeated Anna-Lena Groenefeld, 6-0, 7-5, on Monday in the first round of the Zurich Open in Switzerland.

Hingis, seeded fifth, won the tournament in 2000, the last time she competed in the event.

“I’m returning defending champion,” Hingis joked. “There were a lot of people that I know and friends who came to see the match. It’s always special to play in front of a home crowd.”

Hingis is seeking her third tour title since returning from retirement and a spot in next month’s season-ending WTA Championship.


In the only other first-round match, Katarina Srebotnik won, 6-3, 7-5, handing Mary Pierce her fourth consecutive defeat since the U.S. Open.

Zurich is the last big event before the season-ending championship in Madrid. The top eight players in the WTA yearlong race qualify, and Hingis is eighth.

The top three seeded players in Zurich -- Amelie Mauresmo, Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova -- already have qualified. Fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva, sixth-seeded Patty Schnyder and Nicole Vaidisova are still vying for spots.


Tim Henman beat Fernando Verdasco, 7-5, 6-3, to advance to the second round of the Madrid Masters, and former French Open champions Carlos Moya and Gaston Gaudio both lost.

Henman, who needed a wild card to make the main draw, will now face David Ferrer.

Gaudio took the first set from Nicolas Massu, but after he lost the second he retired with a stomach injury. Massu will now face top-ranked Roger Federer today.

Former No. 1 Moya fell to Juan Ignacio Chela, 6-3, 6-2. Andy Murray, making his tournament debut, beat Ivan Navarro Pastor, 6-2, 6-4.


Also, Mardy Fish overcame 16 aces from Xavier Malisse to win, 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, and set up a second-round match against defending champion Rafael Nadal; Sebastian Grosjean beat Jonas Bjorkman, 6-4, 7-5; Paradorn Srichaphan downed Gorka Fraile, 6-2, 6-2; Julien Benneteau routed Alejandro Falla, 6-2, 6-1; Agustin Calleri advanced with a 7-6 (3), 6-3 win over Florent Serra; and Robby Ginepri beat wild card Feliciano Lopez, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.


Knicks’ Jeffries Has Broken Left Wrist

Jared Jeffries, expected to be the New York Knicks’ starting small forward, could miss the beginning of the regular season because of a broken left wrist.


Jeffries was hurt Friday night against New Jersey in his Knicks debut and didn’t play Saturday night at Philadelphia.

He had an MRI exam Sunday, which revealed a non-displaced fracture in his left wrist.

Coach Isiah Thomas said during a conference call that Jeffries could be sidelined at least three weeks, though the Knicks said they would have a better idea today.

Jeffries signed with the Knicks over the summer after spending his first four seasons with the Washington Wizards.


The Miami Heat may be without backup center Michael Doleac for up to three weeks because of a strained right ankle.

Doleac’s availability for the Heat’s season opener Oct. 31 against Chicago is unknown. He was injured Saturday night in Miami’s 91-81 exhibition loss to Atlanta. X-rays were negative, Doleac said.

New Jersey Nets guard Eddie House had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and the team said there was no timetable for his return.

Doctors removed torn cartilage from his knee at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Rehabilitation will begin immediately.


House, a six-year veteran, signed as a free agent Aug. 17. He averaged a career-high 9.8 points for Phoenix last season.

Charlotte Bobcats forward Walter Herrmann will miss seven to 10 days because of a strained right foot.

The Bobcats signed Herrmann to a one-year contract in September. Known for his outside shooting when he played in Spain, Herrmann has missed all nine shots he has taken in Charlotte’s first two exhibition games.



Duke Point Guard Paulus Injured

Duke point guard Greg Paulus is out indefinitely because of a foot injury, though it’s not known whether the Blue Devils captain will miss any games.

The sophomore injured his left foot Saturday, the second day of practice, team spokesman Jon Jackson said. Paulus apparently first injured the foot during high school and aggravated it over the weekend near the end of the workout. Paulus, who was re-evaluated at the Duke University Medical Center on Monday, will not need surgery.

He is expected to follow a rehabilitation plan and make a complete recovery, the school said.


Tara VanDerveer has received a six-year contract extension to remain Stanford’s women’s coach through the 2011-12 season.

VanDerveer begins her 21st season at Stanford and 28th overall as a college head coach having taken her team to 18 straight NCAA tournaments, falling just short of reaching the Final Four the last three seasons.

VanDerveer, 53, has led the Cardinal to two NCAA championships, five Final Four appearances and 14 Pacific 10 Conference titles. She is a three-time NCAA coach of the year.



Site Announced for 2008 Olympic Diving Trials

USA Diving said that Indianapolis would play host to the 2008 Olympic trials for the fifth time overall and the first time since 1996.

The 2008 trials will be held June 18-22. USA Diving, based in Indianapolis, chose Indianapolis over Columbus, Ohio; Huntersville, N.C.; and Seattle.

Drag racer Melanie Troxel was named the Women’s Sports Foundation’s individual sportswoman of the year. Pro beach volleyball players Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh were selected in the team category.


Troxel, the first motorsports athlete to win the award, outpaced finalists Annika Sorenstam and Amelie Mauresmo.

The Women’s Sports Foundation, founded by Billie Jean King, is marking its 32nd anniversary.

Diana Nyad (long-distance swimming), Shane Gould (swimming), Nawal El Moutawakel (track) and Rutgers Coach C. Vivian Stringer (basketball) were Inducted into the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.