Tennis AUSTRALIAN OPEN Hingis proves weak state of women's game Your feedbackWomen's tennis is in trouble and Martina Hingis is the proof! When the former world number one can reach the quarter-finals of a major after three years of absence, it shows that the game has not moved on, argues Gregory Lanzenberg. Many predicted that the 25-year-old Hingis would not pass the first hurdle in Australia when she was drawn against 30th seed Vera Zvonareva. But those predictions went down the Yara river. But they forgot that Martina Hingis was one of the smartest players in history. In her preparation, Hingis always made sure to strike the balance between athleticism, technique and strategy. NO GAME PLAN Athletically, the game has moved on. Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova, the Williams sisters, and Lindsay Davenport can hit the stuffing out of the ball. But Hingis can not only return, she can anticipate where her opponent is going to hit the ball and decide in a flash where to put it herself. That's how she ended Monica Seles' reign as undisputed world number one. Four players among the elite have the ability to do more than bash the ball: Justine Henin-Hardenne, Kim Clijsters, Amelie Mauresmo and Anastasia Myskina have a complete game, enter the court with a game plan, and can change plans during the course of a match. All the others have the same baseline game and few answers when the script does not go according to plan. The Swiss surprised even herself winning her first-ever mixed doubles title at the Australian Open. "It definitely exceeded my expectations, " she told reporters before jetting off for Tokyo to play the Pan-Pacific tournament. "It has to be so encouraging for Martina Hingis to see Amelie Mauresmo win and not Maria Sharapova or Lindsay Davenport, because Mauresmo is not going overpower Hingis," noted Eurosport TV analyst Mats Wilander. The former Swedish champion says Hingis can say to herself "I can do what Mauresmo does and I'm mentally tougher." EYE ON ROLAND GARROS As Hingis' serve improves, Wilander believes she and Mauresmo have a genuine shot at dominating the big tournaments. In the case of Mauresmo, she's always choked at the French Open under the pressure of playing in her home tournament. Finally winning a major could relieve that pressure. And as for Hingis, we missed her last year in Paris. So few of the top women showed any inspiration on clay. The return of Hingis will undoubtedly oblige her opponents to think on their feet, and that can only be good news.