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Swiss tennis legend arrives in Taiwan to frenzied welcome

2012/05/25 12:02:55

Taipei, May 25 (CNA) Five-time Grand Slam champion Martina Hingis arrived in Taiwan Friday to an enthusiastic welcome from her fans, many of whom had waited overnight at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to greet her.

The former Swiss tennis queen has been invited to Taiwan for exhibition games with other tennis legends such as Andre Agassi, his wife Steffi Graf and Croatian Goran Ivanisevic.

Hingis was scheduled to arrive Thursday evening, but unexpected transportation factors delayed her arrival until Friday morning.

Many of her fans began gathering at the airport Thursday and stayed there overnight. They squealed and screamed when Hingis entered the arrival lounge smiling.

She signed autographs for her fans, as they showered her with gifts and flowers. Exclamations broke out among them when she took a close-up photo with a male fan.

When the retired tennis star learned that many of her fans had waited overnight to greet her, she said she was moved by their passion, love and devotion.

During her visit, Hingis and Graf, holder of 22 Grand Slam singlestitles, will play one of the two highly anticipated singles matches while Agassi and Ivanisevic will play the other. The four will also play a mixed doubles match and coach a group of teenage players at Taipei Arena.

(By Pien Chin-feng and Sofia Wu)
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