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Tennis: Hingis makes mark on new generation

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova admits that she stops and takes notice when new coach and tennis legend Martina Hingis offers advice in an on-court relationship which began only a few weeks ago.

"I have so much respect for her, I definitely listen to her," said the world number 19, who advanced to the semi-finals of the Portugal Open on Thursday in the longest match of the week, a two and three-quarter hour epic against Russian Fed Cup teammate Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/3).

"It's not like when you are coached by a parent, I listen to her for sure."

Hingis, a five-time Grand Slam champion, consults at the Patrick Mouratoglou academy in Paris, where the former teenage prodigy from the late 1990s and her first pupil hooked up officially last month after working together since 2012.

Hingis is now travelling with her Russian charge during the clay season leading up to the French Open from May 26.

An enthusiastic Pavlyuchenkova rated the collaboration "so far so good," and added after reaching her fourth semi-final of 2013: "I'm playing well, this is much better than last season, which was probably my worst.

"I'm back in the top 20 again and I have a lot of goals. I don't want to stop here. I'm happy but things can get better."

The player described having Hingis on board as "amazing".

"She knows so much about the game and really helps me. I'm enjoying it all so much. Martina is very experienced and sees tennis well. Her help is coming at just the right moment.

"We have decided to travel together and she is enjoying it. It's all very natural and easy-going."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130502/tennis-hingis-makes-mark-new-generation