Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hingis has chemistry with Tonic

Leopoldo Gutierrez was undeniably surprised last summer when a former world No. 1 tennis champion got in touch with him completely out of the blue.

"She was shopping in a store in London, she bought our clothing because she liked our look and she kept buying more and more and more. Eventually she contacted us," said Gutierrez, who launched his Vancouver-made athletic clothing line, called Tonic, in 2004.

Tonic had a famous fan. And when Martina Hingis, a five-time Grand Slam champion who spent more than 200 weeks as the best women's tennis pro on the planet, called Gutierrez, she acknowledged it wasn't something that happens every day.

"This is the first time I think the athlete walked up to the company and not the other way," Hingis told the Courier Wednesday on her first visit to Vancouver. "I really loved the clothing."

Tonic Tennis-designed by local talent Jenny Grad and manufactured on the East Side-was originally conceived for yoga but now targets multi-disciplinarian "athletics and urban living." 

The small company sources fabric from Montreal and is incorporating merino wool into a luxury line of high-end tennis apparel that is the focus of the collaboration with Hingis.

Gutierrez emphasized their business relationship is about collaboration.

"It's not an endorsement at all," he said, "It's a partnership. An endorsement is, I give my name and I get money. In a partnership, she is totally involved in the creation of the design. She really understands the functionality of the clothing and what is needed in tennis."

Tonic Tennis, he said, "is an exclusive line which will not be available for everybody."

Hingis said her priorities are ensuring the clothing is functional, comfortable and stylish. "Around the shoulders and the back, this is where you have to feel comfortable with your stroke. It can't be restricting. If you're stretched everywhere, you still have to perform."

Proceeds from the line, which launches for spring 2012, will eventually sustain a scholarship for junior players who have the talent but not the means to pursue a professional career.

The 30-year-old Swiss athlete discovered Tonic while in London competing on the BBC reality television series Strictly Come Dancing. She withdrew from the international tennis tour in 2004 at age 22 because of injuries. She mounted a comeback only to retire in 2007 after testing positive for cocaine. She vehemently denied the charges, which she described as "monstrous."

Her acumen as a tennis champion is undeniable, however, and Gutierrez said the values and aspirations of his company align with those of Hingis. From that first unexpected phone call, he said, 

"We had chemistry."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Martina Hingis on possible Olympic team-up, team tennis and new clothing line

VANCOUVER, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Tennis great Martina Hingis said there are "lots of ifs" involved on whether she will team up with Roger Federer to represent Switzerland for the mixed-doubles competition at next year's London Olympics.

Speaking in Vancouver Wednesday night where she was collaborating on her new Tonic Tennis clothing line, the former world No. 1 who has twice retired from tennis, the most recent being in November 2007, said "there's talks definitely, but it's a bit premature."

The 30-year-old Hingis, who is playing on the World Team Tennis Tour and partnered with Lindsay Davenport earlier this month to win the Wimbledon Ladies Invitation Doubles title, defeating Martina Navratilova and Jana Novotna in straight sets, said ultimately it would require a total commitment on her part to form what would be a dream pairing with Federer, the 16-times Grand Slam winner and current world number three.

"If, if, if. I mean definitely I would have to play some tournaments, like mingle around, play some doubles, some mixed (doubles) at Grand Slams. But that's another issue if you want to go through all that," said Hingis, a winner of five Grand Slams in singles, nine in doubles and one in mixed doubles during an illustrious career.

"I'm not quite up there anymore. I think it is pretty much something that, you know, it's like players of today who are out there and play like (Andy) Roddick and (Serena) Williams ... it's almost like an unbeatable combination, so you have to definitely think even like going out there there are very strong pairings. I would not want to put myself in that position and look stupid. You have to be totally committed."

Hingis, who turned pro at 14 and held the world No. 1 position for 209 weeks, said it had been four years since she last played pro tennis. She added she still enjoyed playing team tennis and was "quite proud" of herself that she could still play Serena Williams and "hold her own".

Last weekend in New York, the pair met for the first time in nine years in Williams' Team Tennis debut in New York. Williams won the first match 5-3, and Hingis took the second match by an identical score.

With Roddick and Williams committed to play mixed doubles for the U.S.A. at next year's Summer Olympics, the addition of a Hingis and Federer pairing would undoubtedly be a major boost for the profile of tennis worldwide, and one of the stories of the Games.

Previously, Hingis had only partnered once with the then largely unknown Federer at the 2001 Hopman Cup.

Despite the Olympic speculation, Hingis remained non-committal.

"I didn't always play all the Olympics. I participated in one (in 1996) and I'm happy with that," she said.
Hingis explained her association with the Vancouver-based Tonic Lifestyle Apparel came about by chance. 

While appearing on the British television show Strictly Come Dancing in 2009, she bought some workout clothes made by the company and loved the material and quality.

After being introduced to the company's management, a new corporation, Tonic Tennis, was formed with Hingis a stakeholder. The company plans to debut 15 pieces of clothing in the spring of 2012.

The hands-on Hingis called the clothing line a "great challenge," adding it was something she could dedicate herself to, as opposed to her playing days, now that she had more time.

"It's great. I've always loved fashion," she said. "I met the designer, we had conference calls. I tested some of the clothing and we have a few little adjustments. She' s doing a great job and we work well together and hopefully, when the line is going to be out there, people like it as much as I do."

Hingis said her goal was to produce classy items that combined quality materials, have a comfortable feel and are fashionable. 

Tonic president Leopoldo Gutierrez said the company, which initially made its name in yoga wear, could go further with the high-profile Hingis aboard.

"She's totally involved, working with the design team and testing the product. It's not just an endorsement. I see a lot of potential with Martina's cooperation."

Gutierrez said the line would initially come to Asia through Hong Kong and then be introduced in other markets, including China's mainland where the success of French Open winner Li Na has increased the interest in tennis.

"Martina has a big, big name in Asia. We are starting close to home in North America and a little bit in Europe, a little bit in Asia," he said. "With time, and with her name and charisma, we'll be okay."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hingis/Federer Olympic team-up to be finalized next month

It’s said that true champions can make everyone around them better. Apparently, Roger Federer can also make them consider coming out of retirement.

Former No. 1 Martina Hingis had an “informal conversation” with Federer’s camp about the two Swiss stars playing as a mixed doubles pair in the 2012 London Olympics, Phil de Picciotto, the Octagon president of athletes & personalities and one of her agents, confirmed via email to after reports surfaced of the potential pairing.

Though de Picciotto said it’s “premature for Martina to think about the Olympics,” Swiss Tennis president RenĂ© Stammbach told that he will be sitting down in August and “having conversations with the parties involved on that potential subject,” indicating the possible Federer-Hingis pairing is being taken seriously at the highest levels of the federation. Additionally, the Swiss Olympic Association — which said that it, too, had heard the chatter — will be meeting with Federer’s team early next week to discuss in detail the 16-time Grand Slam champion’s Olympic plans, including the “question about Martina Hingis.”

Federer will certainly need the official Swiss blessing if he hopes to form his duo. ITF Olympic eligibility criteria state that all players must have made themselves available for national team play — either Davis Cup or Fed Cup — in at least two of the Olympic cycle’s four years, including one of its final two. 

Though Hingis has not appeared in a Fed Cup tie since 1998, the rules are vague regarding what constitutes “making oneself available,” leaving open the possibility that with Swiss Tennis’ support, Hingis could clear that hurdle.

A chance at Olympic gold would probably need to come after a return to the WTA Tour for Hingis, who has won five Grand Slams singles titles and nine in doubles. Any player who wants to enter mixed doubles at the Olympics must already be on site for either singles or doubles — draws into which entry is determined by professional ranking, which Hingis does not currently have. 

While the ITF issues a few wild cards, it seems unlikely that Hingis would receive one without having spent at least a few weeks playing at the tour level.

ITF rules would also require Hingis to make herself available for anti-doping testing for at least three months prior to any Olympic participation. She could satisfy this standard through out-of-competition testing and need not necessarily return to the tour in order to do so. 

Indeed, Hingis is currently registered with the Swiss anti-doping authorities and makes herself available for testing, according to Michael Krattiger, head of information and prevention at Antidoping Switzerland. Krattiger declined to say whether Hingis had been tested recently, citing agency policy.

And based on her recent World TeamTennis play, the Swiss Miss, who is scheduled to play in a Pro-Am at the Mercury Insurance Open in San Diego in August, appears to be in good enough form to surpass No. 56 in the rankings and receive a direct acceptance for Olympic singles.

Cynics should be careful not to write off the possibility of Hingis’ successful return. During her 2006 comeback — which was cut short roughly two years after it began when she tested positive for cocaine — Hingis quickly found her way back into the top 10, prevailing over the conventional wisdom that said she was too small to survive in the tour’s new era of power hitting. 

In a sign of what may be to come, the 30-year-old Hingis looked fired up and excited after defeating a rusty Serena Williams on Wednesday at the New York Sportimes’ final home match of the WTT season — a win that bodes well if Hingis decides to pursue a medal.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Kim Clijsters out of Mercury Insurance Open, Martina Hingis still in

Two-time defending champion Kim Clijsters and 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova both announced they were withdrawing from the Mercury Insurance Open at La Costa next month because of injuries.
Clijsters is still recovering from the same right ankle injury that forced her to miss the Wimbledon Championships earlier this summer.

The seventh-ranked Kvitova, who was scheduled to make her first career appearance at La Costa Resort and Spa, is suffering from a pulled abdominal muscle.

“I am sorry I am unable to play in the Mercury Insurance Open this year but I’m still recovering from an injury that happened at Wimbledon,” Kvitova said. “Best wishes for a great tournament and I hope to be in Carlsbad next year.”

Martina Hingis announced she will play in a pro-am from 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 1 that will be free to the public. It will be held at the nearby Rancho Valencia Resort.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Martina Hingis trades wins with Serena in WTT

 Awww, it's kind of nice to see 2 old rivals getting along

Serena Williams and Martina Hingis renewed their rivalry for the first time in 9 years this week as they faced-off on back to back days at World Team Tennis in New York, with Serena representing the unbeaten Washington Kastles and Martina, the New York Sportimes. 

Their first meeting, which Serena took 5-3, was not broadcasted live but their second match was, and the score was reversed with Martina taking the match 5-3.

With Martina’s win over Serena, those who didn’t watch the match will undoubtedly call for her return back to the tour. On one hand it’s impossible to read into anything from World Team Tennis – not only does WTT not compare to professional tennis, but Serena put in an abysmal performance, barely bothering to move her feet and routinely dumping the ball straight into the bottom (and no, that’s not hyperbole in the slightest) of the net.

However, what we did see of Martina was quite promising. After storming to 4-1 she began to shank a lot of forehands and struggled to redirect a some of Serena’s big shots, but on the whole she was very consistent, with her inside-out backhand still coming up with a few glorious strokes while her trademark variety was brilliant as ever. 

I think there’s a misconception that Hingis’ game simply couldn’t handle power players, but her problem wasn’t simply that a lot of players hit the ball harder – it was that those players who did hit the ball hard in her time were the likes of the Williams sisters, Davenport, Pierce, Capriati and many more – some of the most exceptional big hitters the game will most likely ever see. 

But in the past 12 months, the likes of Wozniacki, Azarenka, Zvonareva and even Radwanska have proven that 2011 is a very different era from the early and even mid-00s, with the more pronounced use of power and risk breeding more inconsistency, and consistency is more than enough to ensure a spot in the top 20 and 10.

Even so, I think Martina made it clear that she was not considering a singles comeback. Mid-way through the match, she missed a backhand down the line and made a loud quip along the lines of; “and this why I’m not coming back”. Then, in the interview she spoke candidly about her heart “not (being) able to handle” more than the one-set layout of world team tennis. 

But still, after watching her in action during the Women’s doubles, a doubles return remains a must. In the presence of two other doubles legends still active on the tour, she put on a masterful display and was easily the best player on the court. If she doesn’t at least come back to doubles, it will be a huge waste of such great and rare talent.

My favourite moment of the tie had to be in the women’s singles as Martina turned the clock back to 2000, coming up with a trademark dropper-lob-dropper combo. Serena chased the first two down before narrowly missing the third and, unable to stop herself from crashing into the net, she hurdled over it onto Martina’s side of the court before doubling over with laughter. 

Martina, also laughing, then walked over to Serena and patted her sympathetically on the back. A nice moment between both two former bitter rivals and two great champions.

I've said it before and I'll say it again Martina's still got it! (even if she doesn't always think so).

I agree with the author I think she could really make a go of it in doubles (which is something I've also previously mentioned).  And I'm standing by it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Kim Clijsters & Martina Hingis to play Mercury Insurance Open

Tennis legend Martina Hingis will play in the Mercury Insurance Open Presented by Tri-City Medical Center Tennis Pro-Am scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon, Monday, Aug. 1 at Rancho Valencia Resort, 5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe, tournament officials announced today.

Along with Hingis, the Mercury Insurance Open Tennis Pro-Am will feature several current professional players along with players from Southern California tennis clubs that won the opportunity to play in the event by generating the most Mercury Insurance quotes.

During her brilliant career, Hingis won the Australian Open singles title three straight years from 1997 to 1999. She also won Wimbledon and US Open singles championships in 1997.  

In addition to her success in singles, she captured 9 Grand Slam doubles titles and in 1998 became the fourth woman in history to complete a calendar-year Grand Slam in doubles.

On March 31, 1997, Hingis became the youngest player to achieve the No. 1 ranking at 16 years and 6 months. She is one of five players to hold the No. 1 ranking in singles and doubles simultaneously.

Hingis is a former two-time tournament singles champion in Carlsbad having won titles at The La Costa Resort and Spa in 1997, defeating Monica Seles 7-6 (4), 6-4, and in 1999, when she overcame Venus Williams, 6-4, 6-0. Hingis also teamed with Spain’s Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario to win the doubles championship in Carlsbad in 1997.

The public is invited to watch the Mercury Insurance Open Tennis Pro-Am and admittance is free.

The 2011 Mercury Insurance Open field will be highlighted by two-time defending US Open champion and reigning Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters, former world #1 Ana Ivanovic, current world #3 Vera Zvonareva, 2010 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, 2010 runner up Agnieszka Radwanska and other top stars on the WTA Tour including Daniela Hantuchova, Flavia Pennetta, Andrea Petkovic, Julia Goerges, Coco Vandeweghe, Christina McHale and Melanie Oudin.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Martina Hingis & Sportimes still winning despite setbacks

Martina Hingis won all three of her events, helping the New York SPORTIMES to a 24-18 win over the Kansas City Explorers in World TeamTennis action at SEFCU Arena tonight at the University of Albany.

The Kansas City (6-5) marquee team of Bob and Mike Bryan edged Jesse Witten and Travis Parrott, 5-4, to open the scoring, before the Sportimes battled back.  

The women's tandem of Katie O'Brien and Hingis topped Kveta Peschke and Madison Brengle, 5-1, and Witten bounced Ricardo Mello, 5-4, to stake New York to a 14-10 lead through three events.

Hingis and Parrott edged Bob Bryan and Peschke, 5-4, for a 19-14 Sportimes lead, and Hingis closed out the victory with a win over Jarmila Gajdosova for the final margin.

The win, coupled with the Boston Lobsters' loss to St. Louis, gives the Sportimes (7-5) a two-match lead over the Lobsters (5-7), for the second and final WTT Eastern Conference playoff berth.  Each team has two matches remaining.

The Sportimes host Serena Williams and the unbeaten (11-0) Washington Kastles in Albany on Tuesday and at SPORTIME Randall's Island on Wednesday to close the regular season.

The playoff scenario is much more complicated for the Explorers, who are in a three-way tie with Sacramento and St. Louis in the Western Conference, with the top two teams earning playoff spots.

World TeamTennis at Albany, N.Y.

New York Sportimes 24, Kansas City Explorers 18
Men's Doubles: Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (K.C.) def. Jesse Witten/Travis Parrott, 5-4
Women's Doubles: Katie O'Brien/Martina Hingis (N.Y.) def. Kveta Peschke/Madison Bringle, 5-1
Men's Singles: Jesse Witten def. Ricardo Mello, 5-4
Mixed Doubles: Martina Hingis/Travis Parrott def. Bob Bryan/Kveta Peschke, 5-4
Women's Singles Martina Hingis def. Jarmila Gajdosova, 5-4

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Kim Clijsters ready for return to tennis at Rogers Cup

TORONTO -- Kim Clijsters has been hampered by injuries in 2011, but the Belgian tennis star sees the Rogers Cup as a chance to get back on track.

The 28-year-old is set to return to competitive tennis at Rexall Centre next month after battling two separate injuries in the wake of her first Australian Open championship.

And Clijsters says the Toronto tournament is a stepping stone in her preparations for the U.S. Open.

"In my situation now, every tournament where I decide to go, I want to have a good tournament," Clijsters said on a conference call Monday. "(The Rogers Cup) is going to be an important test when I get out there."

After beating Li Na 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to win the Aussie Open in January, Clijsters hurt her right ankle in April while dancing barefoot at her cousin's wedding.

Ranked No. 2 in the world behind Caroline Wozniacki, Clijsters was fit to play at the French Open this spring but wasn't sharp, losing in the second round.

The last time Clijsters was eliminated that early at a major was when she lost in the second round at Wimbledon in 2002.

The two-time defending U.S. Open champion then hurt the same foot last month at the Unicef Open in the Netherlands and missed Wimbledon.

"I twisted my foot not sideways, but forwards," Clijsters said, noting the injuries were not related. "So I stretched the front of my foot and I had a lot of bone bruising in the back of my heel and my leg that hit each other."

With many of the top players in the women's game scheduled to be in Toronto, Clijsters is eager to see how her foot and ankle hold up.

"I'm obviously going to have to pay attention if I have intense matches," the three-time U.S. Open champ said. 

"But I hope in the next three weeks I can get to Toronto without even worrying about my foot too much."

Clijsters defeated Justine Henin-Hardenne to win the Rogers Cup in 2005 in Toronto and says although the U.S. Open is on her mind, she approaches every tournament the same way.

"I'm going to Toronto because I want to do well in Toronto," Clijsters said. "We'll take it one tournament at a time and we'll see how I react and how I feel and how my tennis is going."

Clijsters watched 21-year-old Petra Kvitova's victory at Wimbledon while she was on the shelf and says women's tennis is at a generational crossroads that should make for a wide open Rogers Cup.

"We're in an interesting time in tennis where you get the older generation that was dominating tennis for so long (against the younger players)," Clijsters said. "It's nice to have both generations playing for a lot of the big titles now."

Yay, that is very good news, barring anymore injuries it bodes well for the U.S. Open.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Roger Federer & Martina Hingis teaming up for 2012 Olympics?

A bit obsessed with mixed doubles (and impressed with her current form), I asked Martina Hingis after the match Wednesday if she would consider coming back to the highest level of the game to compete for Switzerland at the 2012 London Olympics in mixed doubles with Roger Federer.  

And since I framed (and considered) it a hypothetical, I was surprised by her answer.
TDF: You're playing so well now, and there aren't really any other Swiss women near the top of the game at the moment...

Martina Hingis: (nervous laughter [she seems to anticipate just as well off the court as she does on it])

TDF: I was wondering--they're having mixed doubles at the Olympics next year, and someone who has had success in doubles in the Olympics is your countryman, Roger Federer...

Martina Hingis: (more nervous laughter)

TDF: Would you play in the Olympics with him, if he asked?

Martina Hingis: You're tricky, right? (Laughs) Well...he kind of was like, through the angles, he already, like, you know tried, a little bit? But I don't know...

TDF: He already tried to ask you?

Martina Hingis: Well...I don't know? Not him, personally, but...I mean, they asked that question...We're still a long way away, so...

TDF: But you're not saying no, you're open to it?

Martina Hingis: I don't know, I don't know...I'm not sure, because you have to really commit.  And I feel great right now, but, you know, it's still a long way to go, it's another year.

TDF: So just to be clear, someone from his team did ask you?

Martina Hingis: Yeah, they did.  But who knows...I mean, I would have to play some doubles before, or some mixed....who knows?
Ok, this would truly make the whole tennis world explode!.

And although I know it's way too early and I shouldn't count my chickens before they hatch, but I really hope this happens!.

It sounds like Martina knows more then she's saying so.....  we'll see. *crosses fingers*  for the Swiss dream team ♥♥.

You can check out the whole thing at

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Martina Hingis continues her WTT winning ways with McEnroe

RADNOR — The match was officially billed as the Philadelphia Freedoms hosting the New York Sportimes, but few seemed to notice or care.

After all, it’s not every day that John McEnroe and Martina Hingis make their way to the Villanova Pavilion, so you’ll have to excuse the fans if they were more excited about getting a glimpse of two tennis legends than trying to figure out if the Freedoms could string together their second win in as many nights.

As it turns out, McEnroe and Hingis still can conjure up images of their younger days on the court. McEnroe dazzled the crowd with the speed that made him so successful and Hingis still can position her opponent wherever she wants to. Both helped the Sportimes to a 21-19 overtime win over the Freedoms in a World Team Tennis battle Wednesday night.

“It’s always nice to end on a good way,” McEnroe said of his and Travis Parrott’s doubles win over Nathan Healey and Brendan Evans. “We were sort of choking when we let them back into it and let them send it to overtime, but we were able to get the last point.”

Melanie Oudin said before the game that she had heard that Hingis, who has 14 total Grand Slam titles, still had the ability to take on anyone. Their battle in the women’s singles match more than confirmed that fact. Hingis had Oudin on the run from the beginning, jumping to a 3-1 lead early before finishing the 19-year-old off by a 5-3 margin.

“I felt good and I was excited (coming into Wednesday). I’m feeling good right now, especially since I’m winning and we’re winning in doubles,” Hingis said. “(Oudin) took the first game, so it was on right away, but I was able to come back. She’s a real player.”

Earlier, the women’s doubles match saw Hingis and Katie O’Brien combine to easily down Oudin and Lisa Raymond, 5-1. Hingis and O’Brien took control early and made Oudin and Raymond pay for their aggressiveness with deep lobs over their heads that the Freedoms pair was unable to catch up to.

With the Freedoms down 9-6 after two matches, the team of Raymond and Nathan Healey combined to stun the duo of Hingis and McEnroe. McEnroe and Hingis took an early lead and appeared to be on cruise control, but Raymond and Healey refused to give up and sent the final game to a tiebreak. Healey then smashed a lob past Hingis and McEnroe for the winning point to whittle New York’s lead to 13-11.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Roger Federer canvas portrait for Credit Suisse

Is it me, or does Roger get immortalized in art a lot?.

Not that I'm complaining ;).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Martina Hingis leads NY Sportimes to another victory in WorldTeamTennis

Former world No. 1 Martina Hingis led the New York Sportimes to an incredible 16-15 come-from-behind victory over the Western Conference leaders, the St. Louis Aces, on Monday. 

It was a thrilling contest that went the distance, as Hingis edged out Liezel Huber of the St. Louis Aces by the slimmest of margins in the super-tiebreaker to give the Sportimes a 5-1 team record.

The St. Louis Aces took each of the three doubles sets, but they were dominated by the Sportimes in singles. Roman Borvanov and Jean-Julien Rojer from St. Louis took the first set 5-2 over Travis Parrott and Jesse Witten from New York to win in men’s doubles.

Huber and Maria Sanchez extended the lead for the Aces by winning 5-1 against Hingis and Katie O’Brien in women’s doubles, making the team score 10-3 in favor of St. Louis.

Things looked bleak for New York, but Witten obliterated Borvanov, 5-0, to get the Sportimes back into the match, cutting the deficit to 10-8.

Huber and Rojer regained the lead in mixed doubles by taking the set, 5-2, over Hingis and Parrott, leaving New York in a 15-10 hole for the match.

The final set in regulation came down to a women’s singles match-up between Hingis and Huber. 

Hingis needed to at least win the set to send the match into overtime, and she ended up winning by a margin of 5-0 to single-handedly tie the match at 15 games apiece, sending the match into a deciding super-tiebreaker.

Hingis and Huber traded blows in the super-tiebreaker to knot the score at 6 points all. 

Whoever earned the seventh point in the super-tiebreaker would ultimately win the match. Hingis was clutch, taking the last point to give New York an unlikely victory.

With the victory, the New York Sportimes kept pace with Eastern Conference leaders Washington Kastles, who have yet to be defeated in 2011.
Marquee match-ups: Former World No. 1 John McEnroe will make his 2011 World Team Tennis debut alongside Martina Hingis against conference rivals Washington Kastles. Will Hingis and McEnroe be enough to deal the Kastles their first loss of the season?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Martina Hingis continues to dazzle in WTT NY Sportimes

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA - Former world No. 1 ranked women's tennis star Martina Hingis, a 14-time Grand Slam champion impressed in her World Team Tennis appearance against the Sacramento Capitals at Sunrise Mall on Friday evening.

Hingis, playing as the marquee player for the New York Sportstimes defeated the Capitals' Yasmin Schnack, of Elk Grove 5-1 in the Women's Singles match in Sacramento's home opener.

Hingis then teamed with her doubles partners Travis Parrott in mixed and Kate O'Brien to defeat Sacramento 5-1 in both matches.

New York spoiled opening-night, defeating the Caps 21-12 on Friday night.

Hingis, now 30-years old boasts a career full of accolades which includes three Australian Opens, one Wimbledon, one U.S. Open championship and a total of 209 weeks as the World No. 1 women's player.

After signifigant ligament injuries in both of her ankles, Hingis' career was cut short in 2002, causing the 22-year old to remain absent from the Women's Tennis Association until 2006. Hingis retired in 2007 after testing positive for cocaine at Wimbledon, which she denied ever taking.

New York won all but one category in Friday's matches against the Capitals. Here's a recap of Friday's action:

Women's Singles - Martina Hingis (Sportimes) def. Yasmin Schnack (Capitals) 5-1.

Mixed Doubles - Martina Hingis & Travis Parrott (Sportimes) def. Yasmin Schnack & Mark Knowles (Capitals) 5-1.

Women's Doubles - Christina Fusano & Yasmin Schnack (Capitals) def. Martina Hingis & Katie O Brien (Sportimes) 5-1.

14-time Grand Slam Champion *headdesk* once again why does no one proof read, or check their facts.

Kim Clijsters out of Rogers Cup with torn stomach muscle

Kim Clijsters could miss out on the chance to defend her US Open title later this month after retiring against Zheng Jie at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

The Belgian was a set up when she withdrew with a stomach problem.

Asked about her prospects for Flushing Meadows, she said: "I still have a few weeks until then so will try to do everything to obviously be ready."

 Clijsters was leading 6-3 1-2 when she pulled out, showing some discomfort after hitting a forehand, and she later revealed she felt pain in her stomach during the warm-up and had it taped ahead of the match.

She added: "During the match it just felt like it went worse. I already had an ultrasound here on site and I have a partial tear in my left stomach muscle and a little bit of blood."

Clijsters, who has won the US Open for the last two years running, injured her right ankle in April and then withdrew from tournaments in Rome and Madrid with shoulder and wrist injuries.

Tuesday's match was her first match since returning from a foot injury suffered in the Netherlands in June which forced her to miss Wimbledon, and she now faces a race to be fit for the US Open, which starts on 29 August.

Well this sucks:(. 

I was really looking forward to seeing her play again. 

She seems to be cursed with injuries at the moment, and just cannot catch a break. 

Sounds serious though, hope it doesn't jeopardize her chances at the U.S.Open. 

Get well Kim! :).

Kim Clijsters out of Rogers Cup with stomach muscle tear :(

Kim Clijsters could miss out on the chance to defend her US Open title later this month after retiring against Zheng Jie at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

The Belgian was a set up when she withdrew with a stomach problem.

Asked about her prospects for Flushing Meadows, she said: "I still have a few weeks until then so will try to do everything to obviously be ready."

Clijsters was leading 6-3 1-2 when she pulled out, showing some discomfort after hitting a forehand, and she later revealed she felt pain in her stomach during the warm-up and had it taped ahead of the match.

She added: "During the match it just felt like it went worse. I already had an ultrasound here on site and I have a partial tear in my left stomach muscle and a little bit of blood."

Clijsters, who has won the US Open for the last two years running, injured her right ankle in April and then withdrew from tournaments in Rome and Madrid with shoulder and wrist injuries.

Tuesday's match was her first match since returning from a foot injury suffered in the Netherlands in June which forced her to miss Wimbledon, and she now faces a race to be fit for the US Open, which starts on 29 August.

BBC News

Well, this really sucks :(.  She seems to be cursed with injuries at the moment. 

I was really looking forward to watching her play again. 

Sounds really serious though.  Hope it doesn't jeopardize her chances at the U.S. Open.  Get well Kim! :).

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Martina Hingis continues winning streak with NY Sportimes

VILLANOVA -  The Philadelphia Freedoms suffered a home loss to the New York Sportimes, 23-13, Thursday night at Villanova University. A surprise appearance by former world number one, Martina Hingis, thrilled spectators but proved to be a major setback for the Freedoms.

Hingis overwhelmed 19-year-old Freedoms team member Beatrice Capra in women's singles, 5-0, in a set lasting only 13 minutes. Hingis also teamed up with the Sportimes' Abigail Spears for women's doubles, and the duo overtook Capra and teammate Lisa Raymond for a final score of 5-2.

The Sportimes' Jesse Whitten led off the evening with a 5-2 men's singles victory over the Freedoms' Brendan Evans. Spears and teammate Greg Jones defeated Nathan Healey and Lisa Raymond of the Freedoms in mixed doubles, 5-4. Heading into the final set, the Freedoms were down 20-8 in the overall match scoring, but Evans and Healey fought back and defeated Jones and Whitten 5-2 in men's doubles. This sent the match into a brief overtime, which the Sportimes won by a score of 1-0, capturing their second victory of the WTT season.

Reading stuff like this just makes me wish even more she was back on the WTA tour for real. 

That desire will probably never go away :D.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Martina Hingis victorious with NY Sportimes

Martina Hingis won her singles and women’s doubles matches, pacing the New York SPORTIMES to a 21-16 World TeamTennis victory over the visiting Boston Lobsters at SPORTIME on Randall’s Island in Manhattan Wednesday night.

Women’s Singles: Martina Hingis (N.Y.) d. Coco Vandeweghe, 5-2
Mixed Doubles: Coco Vandeweghe/Eric Butorac (Bos.) d. Martina Hingis/Greg Jones, 5-3
Women’s Doubles: Martina Hingis/Abigail Spears (N.Y.) d.  Coco Vandeweghe/Mashona Washington, 5-1

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Martina Hingis leading Sportimes in NY

She was known as “The Swiss Miss,” and at the ripe old age of 18 dominated the women’s tennis scene, especially the hard courts and tough fans of New York’s US Open. 

Now at age 32, a reborn, married and healthy Martina Hingis will return to New York and the fans who loved her as a member of the New York Sportimes of World Team Tennis. 

The Sportimes will begin defense of their 2010 Eastern conference title Wednesday the 6th when they take on The Boston Lobsters on Randall’s Island.

“I love the Team Tennis format that Billie Jean has created, and getting to play on the court in New York, at the beautiful facility John McEnroe has will be a thrill for sure,” Hingis said this week. “I feel great, I am enjoying life, and I want to have a great month for the fans and our team.”

The Martina Hingis of today is much more like the graceful player that stormed to the top of the women’s tennis game and much less like the rebellious twenty something whose life turned due to injuries, boredom and other off the court issues in the latter half of the last decade. 

She has a new husband, showjumper Thibault Hutin, a new doubles partner at Grand Slams seniors events (Lindsay Davenport, who she teamed to win the French Open Masters with in May), and a new outlook on life that is refreshing in a sport that usually casts off its former stars for long periods of time. 

“I have my horses, my tennis and a very nice balance right now, especially not travelling 30 weeks a year playing,” she added.

Hingis will be a Sportimes mainstay for their matches this coming month. Fans can catch her no less than five times at the beautiful Randall’s Island facility, playing singles (including a match with the Washington Kastles Serena Williams) and mixed doubles with team captain McEnroe.

More importantly for tennis, it appears that one of their former bright stars is back and enjoying the game, and will bring that joy to the fun-filled world of WTT starting on Wednesday. 

For all the details visit 

Ok, this has been happening in almost every other article I read, so it needs to be said. 

Martina is not 32 yet, she will be at the end of September (the 30th to be exact).  

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Martina Hingis wins Wimbledon Legends doubles with Lindsay Davenport

Martina Hingis of Switzerland and Lindsay Davenport of the United States defeated Martina Navratilova of the United States and Jana Novotna of the Czech Republic, 6-4, 6-4, to win the title in Wimbledon Ladies Invitational Doubles.

It was a more tightly contested match than their 2011 French Open meeting, but the result was ultimately the same, as Hingis and Davenport broke their opponents four times in two sets.

Court 18 was packed with spectators who were thrilled to watch four great legends rekindle some of the magic that made them so great. 

All of the women had won Wimbledon titles in both singles and doubles during their careers, and the match featured three players who had held the No. 1 ranking at some point, the exception being Jana Novotna, whose career-high singles ranking was No. 2 in the world.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Martina Hingis excited to play for Sportimes in New York

It sounds almost silly to say that Martina Hingis can be playing in legends tennis at Wimbledon. After all, the youngest-ever number one player is just 32 years old. 

However in women’s tennis, 32 is old, aged, retired, almost eligible for Hall of Fame status for even the best of tennis champions.

But Hingis has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance not just in her career but in her life, even if she is playing in the legends doubles event this week at the All-England Club. 

Next week she returns to the States, and to the New York area, playing World TeamTennis for the New York Sportimes at Sportime Randall’s Island. 

The opener for the team, which will also list captain John McEnroe on their roster, will be Wednesday night against the Boston Lobsters. New Jersey resident Fritz Buehnig will be coaching Hingis and her teammates as they begin defense of their WTT Eastern Conference crown.

“I love being married, playing tennis, having a social life and enjoying all those things you don’t get to do when you are playing full-time,” Hingis said in a conference call on Thursday. “Playing with people like Lindsay Davenport and then mixed doubles with John is a lot of fun, and there is no better place to play than in the New York area,” she added.

During a career that saw her turn number one at 18 and win five Grand Slam titles, the Czech-born and Swiss-raised Hingis was always charming and effortless in her game. 

However, the early success led to boredom, and injuries shortened a career than many thought would last a decade or more. 

Comeback attempts failed, a positive cocaine test in 1997 shocked many, and it looked like another storybook tennis career would end on the rocks of a sport that loves to eat its own. 

She left the game and the limelight, returning to her horses and catching up on a more normal life for someone who had lost much of her youth to the rigors of professional tennis.

The past year has seen a renaissance for a young woman who was beloved by the tennis world and popular culture when she was at the top if her game. 

She started playing competitively and relatively pain free in 2010, and earlier this year teamed with Davenport to win the French Open legends doubles championship.

“It has been a great thrill to play again at the Grand Slams, and Lindsay has been a great partner since we have played with or against each other for so many years,” she added. 

So the Hingis who comes to New York next week, for the first of five Sportimes home matches, will probably resemble the care free smooth hitting player of her youth, always a fan favorite and always looking for a little edge on her opponent, even in the more relaxed and always fun filled world of the Billie Jean King-created model of World TeamTennis.

Although it is sad to sometime see how fast young players come and go in tennis, it is refreshing to see a comeback, and Hingis is providing one on the courts in New York this July.

Ok, once again I hate it when journalists don't check their facts, or proof read their stuff. 

Martina did not get banned in '97 (that was the year she was at the height of her career in fact). 

It was after her second come back. 

Having allegedly tested positive at the 2007 Wimbledon after her 3rd round defeat.  She was banned by the ITF at the end of 2008.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Martina Hingis enjoys life on the WTT tour

Martina Hingis spoke on the phone Wednesday from Wimbledon, the tournament she lorded over when she was only 16 years old.

Already ranked No. 1 in the world, Hingis beat Jana Novotna in the 1997 Wimbledon final to become the youngest women's champion at the All England Club in the 20th century.

"It came very natural," Hingis recalled. "I think today that it was amazing, but at that moment, it's like, 'OK, I was meant to win.' It was almost normal. Now I think, 'Wow,' I was really young and I've changed so much."

The Swiss Miss' greatness has passed. Hingis, 30, is playing with Lindsay Davenport in Wimbledon's Ladies Invitation Doubles, which is mainly for retired players.

Hingis, who holds five Grand Slam singles titles, walked away from the pro tour four years ago after testing positive for cocaine at Wimbledon.

Now she's a seasonal player who will appear on July 18 and 19 as a member of the New York Sportimes in World TeamTennis matches at the University at Albany's SEFCU Arena.

"I love playing exhibitions," Hingis said. "I love playing tennis and being out there. This is really the season, two or three months, I'm playing almost every day, which is pretty fun."

This will be her second straight year playing in Albany. Hingis spent last summer with the New York Buzz, who merged with the Sportimes after the season. The Sportimes will play two home matches in Albany and five on Randall's Island in New York City.

"I love playing in Albany and playing indoors is my favorite," Hingis said.

Hingis and the Sportimes will face the Kansas City Explorers, featuring twin doubles players Bob and Mike Bryan, on July 18 at SEFCU Arena. The next night, she'll lead the Sportimes against Serena Williams and the Washington Kastles.

The two were supposed to face each other in Glens Falls last July. But Williams, who's won 13 Grand Slam singles titles, was reduced to a spectator by a foot injury.

"Playing Serena in Albany should be cool," Hingis said.

Hingis is embarking on a new chapter in her life after marrying Thibault Hutin, a French show jumper, last December. 

Besides her tennis skills, Hingis is a horsewoman who rides in show jumping competitions.

She will be eligible for the International Tennis Hall of Fame next year, five years after her positive drug test. 

Given a two-year suspension, Hingis insisted she was innocent but never returned to the tour.

Hingis was asked Wednesday if the drug issue could keep her from being inducted to the Hall.

"I think that's the past," she answered. "I don't really talk about this anymore. I don't really care because people remember who I was as a player. So I think this is not really important."

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Catching up with Martina Hingis

Interview by Michael Wehrle in „Aargauer Zeitung“ June 27, 2011. 

After the Tonic press conference Martina was speaking about other topics. This was done in a small circle.

There are similar articles in other papers. So I made some 3 amendments from the „Basler Zeitung“. These amendments are marked at the beginning with „BZ“. 

Q : How much do you enjoy playing tennis?

MH: I still enjoy to play and now I play a lot. If you feel fit, it is easier on the court and you have more fun. The last 2-3 months I played intensely, I play more or less every day.

Q: So you are totally fit?

MH: I am enough fit for an exhibition match. I have just won in Liverpool against Eugenie Bouchard, a junior, however on a grass court. Perhaps on another surface the result would have been different.

Q:How important is it to play well at exhibitions?

MH: Of course I am ambitious. 

Q: Do you believe that you can keep up with the pros?

MH: I have no idea. It worked more or less at Teamtennis last year. The matches were against players ranked around 70 to 80. One set is just enough for me. I do not plan a comeback. Physically it is too hard, mentally it could work.

Q: People in Switzerland miss you but they also complain that there are no top players in Switzerland.

MH: Yes, that’s amazing. Following the resignation of Patty Schnyder there is no one. This is a shame. There are a lot of possibilities in Switzerland. Practically every village has a tennis club. How do you see it: Are there not enough coaches?

BZ: I trained 2 or 3 times with Belinda Bencic. My mom has already invested a lot of time and nerves in her. Belinda improved and in the next years we will see how good she is. 

Q: You retreated too early.

MH: (Laughs). I was the only one who played R-and N-tournaments. Now, there are Swiss Championships for U10. 

Q:Are you often in contact with Lindsay Davenport?

MH: We played some tournaments. I also played with Anan Kournikova and I am in contact with her. At these events with the „Legends“ you meet all the former top players. In Paris I got to know many younger players in the locker room.

Q: Are the matches at these tournaments real contests?

MH: Oh, with Lindsay I want to win. In Paris we did it. Now we have Barbara Schett and Magdalena Maleeva in our group. Maleeva played lately Fed Cup. It would be really good if there are more such teams. It’s nice that we can give back a bit to tennis and that the people still want to watch us. 

Q: How is your life now? Do you play more tennis? Do you still ride?

MH: In summer tennis is priority. I ride only on amateur level. You cannot do everything at the same time. For fun and as a hobby it is nice. But I cannot do more.

Q: You were never more ambitious?

MH: No, no. I have my tennis career, that’s enough.

Q: Do you live now in Paris?

MH: No, in Switzerland.

Q: You still have the house?

MH: I sold the house. But I have an appartment at the lake of Zurich.

Q: At home means Switzerland for you?

MH: Yes. The appartment is not ready yet. So I was with my mother. I will combine both: Switzerland and Paris. 

Q: Did the marriage change much in your life?

MH: You have more responsability. I try to combine the riding with the tennis. 

Q: Do you see each other often?

MH: Yes, I do not travel so much. The French Open was in Paris and my husband comes to Wimbledon.

BZ: My husband comes for 3 days to Wimbledon and also to the USA afterwards. 

Q: How is the family planning?

MH: I want at first to enjoy life without children. And when I am ready for children I will be ready.

BZ: .. Wimbledon, the women's side.

MH: For tennis it would have been good, if the number 1 Caroline Wozniaki would have won her first Grand Slam tournament. Maria Sharapova is a favourite. I think that Petra Kvitova will be a dangerous underdog. 

Interview translation courtesy of hilarius from

Interesting a while ago it seemed like she might turn riding into a career, but it's nice to see that's not the case and that tennis is still her first love :).