Sunday, December 04, 2016

Martina Hingis wins big for IPTL Tennis

The Swiss Miss has been a major contributor in the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL).

Martina Hingis may be 36 years old and long retired from singles tennis on the WTA Tour. However, that doesn’t mean that the former World No. 1 doesn’t have her game together and it showed on the IPTL courts in Japan over the last few days.

Hingis is a part of the UAE Royals, a tennis team that competed in the four-team IPTL. The event combines singles and doubles sets to make up matches with Hingis making a major contribution to her team’s efforts. Here’s what she did in three matches that came from Japan between December 2nd and December 4th inclusive:

December 2nd: Hingis beat Kiki Bertens 6-1
December 3rd: Hingis, partnered with Daniel Nestor, won mixed doubles 6-4
December 4th: Hingis beat Kirsten Flipkens 6-4 and won mixed doubles 6-4

There were a couple lost sets not mentioned above as well. However, with a 4-2 set record she is a major part of the team’s overall success. Furthermore, it’s really interesting that Hingis was able to beat both Bertens and Flipkens straight up. Those are two strong players on the women’s tour and you can’t help but wonder if Hingis would be a Top-25 player in singles if she was so inclined to compete on the WTA Tour in a capacity other than doubles.

Following matches in Japan, the Royals are the top team in the league with Roger Federer’s Indian Aces in second place. The league won’t play on Monday, which looks like a travel day for the players as the venue switches over to Singapore. However, Hingis is a mainstay for the upcoming matches that will come on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. She is listed as part of all that match details and her presence in the tournament helps make the Royals a very important team in the overall event.

So far Hingis has carried the load when it comes to the women’s contributions for the Royals. However, in Singapore she will get some help as Ana Ivanovic is expected to join the team. My guess is that Ivanovic will play in the women’s singles sets while Hingis, who won a silver medal in Rio for doubles, will probably play in the mixed doubles sets. The Royals are looking dangerous, however Serena Williams is expecting in Singapore as well and her presence in the tournament could certainly shake up the standings.

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