Perth: Top seed Martina Hingis marched into the quarter finals of the Australian Women’s Hardcourt Championships on the Gold Coast with a 6-0, 6-1 demolition of Nicole Pratt on Tuesday.
The world No. 7 gave the Australian little hope, dominating with her superior movement and speed at the back of the court to book a place in the last eight against Colombia’s Catalina Castano.
Hingis completely outclassed Pratt in the opener before the Australian broke the Swiss player’s serve in the first game of the second to give the home crowd some hope.
But the Swiss moved into another gear to shatter the world No. 77 in under an hour.
“I think I came out well prepared and I knew she had the crowd behind her,” Hingis told reporters.
“I knew what to expect from her, even though we’ve played only once in the Hopman Cup. She’s been on tour a long time but so have I.”
Hingis made her full-time tour comeback after a three-year absence in the 2006 event, and the former world No. 1 believes she is a much-improved player since she reached the semi-finals 12 months ago. “I feel very comfortable and confident at this point. I’ve come a long way (since then). I’ve made it back into the top 10 and I know what to expect from myself and my game.
“If I win, great. If I lose, my world’s not going to change anymore and I’m going to be the same.”
Second seed Dinara Safina trounced Elena Likhovtseva 6-3, 6-2 and then took a swipe at her fellow Russian’s tactics after their first-round encounter.
The 20-year-old world No. 11, playing for the first time since fatigue problems ended her 2006 campaign in October, swept into the second round and then criticised Likhovtseva for the numerous breaks for a foot injury she took throughout the match.