BEIJING, China - 2015 China Open doubles champion and Global Ambassador for the International Tennis Hall of Fame Martina Hingis headlined a youth clinic featuring the nation's top junior prospects.
"Tennis has definitely come to China," the Swiss Miss remarked in a press conference. "I played in Guangzhou, I played in Wuhan last week, now Beijing, then Tianjin.
"You can see the improvement over the past 10, 15 years, many more academies, and more top players. How many more will come out of this country? The kids today, you see how much better they are. The infrastructure of the country, there are so many opportunities and possibilities."
The junior clinic was a collaborative effort of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the China Open, the Chinese Tennis Association, and Hingis herself. The young players in the clinic were gathered by the coaches at Star River Professional Tennis Club, which is the first professional tennis club in mainland China.
"I always say, I wish we had one of these stadiums in Switzerland," Hingis continued, referencing the National Tennis Stadium housing the China Open. "But here they're like mushrooms popping up everywhere. Hopefully this will help, having the right infrastructure, the coaches, the possibilities will happen to have many more like Li Na and Shuai Peng, many more players like that in the future."
Offering technical advice, the 2013 International Hall of Fame Inductee also gave a historical perspective to the clinic, aiming to impart a love of tennis history in the hopes that the youth in attendance might look back on how far the game has come.
"Tennis history, it's always been very important to me. My mom always encouraged me to learn about Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, who invented the WTA Tour, she started the tour, all of that history," said Hingis. "You have to go and check out the Hall of Fame. Definitely if you're in America, it's a beautiful place to visit and a great place to learn about our tennis history."