x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Chance for Martina Hingis to say a proper goodbye to tennis

Martina Hingis could make a surprise return at the 2012 Olympics

Martina Hingis had a grand entrance and an awkward exit. She won five grand slam titles in the 1990s while still a teenager but battled injuries throughout the first half of the new century and abruptly retired in 2007 following a positive test for cocaine at Wimbledon.

The widely popular "Swiss Miss" may have a chance at a more graceful departure next summer: playing mixed doubles for Switzerland with Roger Federer at the 2012 London Olympics.

Federer last week said his representatives have been in touch with the former women's world No 1, who is still only 30, about a collaboration at London.

Federer remembers well that his first major tennis success came in mixed doubles with Hingis at the Hopman Cup in 2001, when she was a global star and he was just another promising young player.

He suggested that he is sounding out Hingis for London because she would represent his best opportunity to win in mixed, but he also said that he has not decided whether he will play doubles as well as singles.

Hingis, who was quietly married last year, denied using cocaine but she did not fight the two-year ban. Her most prominent tennis activity in the past two years has been in senior doubles with Lindsay Davenport at Roland Garros and Wimbledon; they won championships at each event.

She has ruled out a return to the WTA, even as a doubles player, but perhaps an Olympics date with Federer could bring her back for a farewell tournament next year.

poberjuerge@thenational.ae


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