Sunday, December 06, 2015

Martina Hingis: Wimbledon win with Sania Mirza was special

SWISS Miss Martina Hingis has won as many as five Grand Slam doubles titles this season. But due to the sheer intensity of the events that unfolded there, she singled out her women’s doubles win with India’s Sania Mirza at the Wimbledon as the best one. Incidentally, it was first Grand Slam title for an Indian woman in women’s doubles category.

“I love all the five (laughs), But still I suppose the Wimbledon victory with Sania was something special. We came back after a one-set deficit. We were lagging 5-2 in the third set but rallied again to square it at 5-5. Then there was a break...then the roof (of the Centre Court) had to be closed. 

“With the lights on, it looked like a concert hall. It was a different feeling altogether,” recalled Hingis, while talking to reporters here on Thursday. Her team, Hyderabad Aces, would face Nagpur Orangers in their last tie of the Champions Tennis League on Friday.
For the record the Indo-Swiss pair, playing just their second Grand Slam together, prevailed 5–7, 7–6 (7–4) , 7–5 over Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.

In the same breath, Hingis remembered her season opening Australian Open mixed doubles title win with Leander Paes. “Well, it was special too. Another Grand Slam title coming for me after a huge gap of 17 years.”

On the qualities of Mirza and Paes as doubles players, Hingis said, “Both started as singles players and did well too, so to term them only doubles players is not just. Sania has got one of the best forehands in women tennis and if she had remained injury free early in her career, she would have been certainly a good singles players too.

“And Paes is a brilliant player. He is a great athlete and a very good anticipator. The best thing common to both is they enjoy challenges. They are positive players and fight till the last point.”
When asked whether she has plans to open any academy, Hingis said, “My mom is already running an academy. I go there whenever I find time. I love the action part of the sport and would prefer the role of a coach than say working behind the curtains or even doing commentary. Presently, I am enjoying my comeback and want to continue with the doubles for quite some time.”

Hingis was all praise for the CTL. “I am liking it therefore I am back for the second year. Playing at different places and as a team is a new concept in tennis. Vijay (Amritraj, the brain behind the league) is doing a great job by bringing so many top players under one roof. This will help the game immensely in India.”

Having almost perfected the art of playing doubles, Hingis may be seen in action at Rio Olympics. “Yes, I am trying. If everything goes well, you may see me participating at Rio,” she concluded.

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