| ||SYDNEY, Australia -- Anna Kournikova says the recent split
with doubles partner Martina Hingis was not the bitter breakup that
was reported in the media.
Kournikova said the breakup during an exhibition match in Chile
last month resulted in some tears, but she didn't elaborate.
The Russian tennis star and the world's No. 1 singles player
last were paired on Nov. 18 to defend their Chase Championships
The pair also teamed in 2000 to win at Filderstadt, Zurich and
Philadelphia following a successful 1999, when they won titles at
the Australian Open, Italian Open, Indian Wells and Eastbourne.
Kournikova, who has never won a singles title on the WTA tour,
said there was nothing wrong with her personal relationship with
the top-ranked Hingis.
"It's not like a breakup," she said. "It's just that we both
have different partners. It's not like we're never going to see
each other, never going to talk to each other. No way.
"A lot of players change their partners all the time, so it's
absolutely normal -- this is our sport and this is the way it is."
Kournikova said her partnership with Hingis has been off and on
for a number of years.
"We want to try different things," she said. "I want to
concentrate more on my singles. I'm not going to play as much
doubles as I used to."
Kournikova advanced to the second round of the Adidas
International in Sydney with a 6-4, 6-4 victory Tuesday against Elena
She is teaming with Austrian Barbara Schett in the doubles.
Hingis will play with Monica Seles in the doubles at Sydney and
again next week at the Australian Open in Melbourne.
The 19-year-old Kournikova, the No. 6 seed in Sydney, said her
progress in singles has been excellent of late, despite the fact
she doesn't have a full-time coach.
"Hopefully, this year I can make the top five," she said,
adding that to make it, she has to "play much more consistent and
just win the big matches."
Hingis has a first-round bye in the singles draw in Sydney but
joined Seles in a doubles opener and broke the win streak of Wimbledon and Olympic
doubles champions Venus and Serena Williams.
Speaking last week in Perth, where Hingis led Switzerland to
victory in the Hopman Cup mixed teams tournament, Hingis said her
relationship with Kournikova was intact, but Hingis wants more
|Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis played their last WTA doubles match together when they won at the Chase Championships.|| |