Monday, July 17, 2017

Martina Hingis captures 2nd mixed doubles title at Wimbledon with Jamie Murray

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LONDON, Great Britain - Former World No.1 Martina Hingis captured her 23rd Grand Slam title on Sunday, partnering Jamie Murray to dethrone defending champions Heather Watson and Henri Kontenin, 6-4, 6-4.

"It's easy to play with Martina," Murray said in the post-championship press conference. "I mean, she's always smiling and happy and stuff. Makes it easy for me.

"She takes care of her side of the court, makes my job a lot easier."

Hingis won her first Wimbledon crown as a 15 years, 282 days old in 1996, triumphing in women's doubles with Helena Sukova to become the youngest Grand Slam champion in the Open Era.

Top seeds in mixed doubles, Hingis and Murray were playing together for the first time at a major; Hingis typically partners with Leander Paes, with whom she'd won three of the four Grand Slam tournaments in 2015.

Murray had planned to focus on men's doubles because of its grueling best-of-five format, but when reconsidered when the Hall of Famer gave him a call.

"I'm not used to 'No,' Hingis laughed after the match. "No, I don't take 'no' as an answer pretty much. But I understand in the past guys would have said no because they really want to focus on doubles only because it's three-out-of-five. This is the only tournament that still does it.

"It's definitely easier to ask somebody on the other three Grand Slams and not Wimbledon. But I definitely was hoping for a big yes."

With Murray, the Swiss Miss didn't drop a set en route to the final, where they were set to face Watson and Kontenin, who won the title last year.

Watson and Kontenin came through the tournament unseeded, beating four seeded teams to return to the final, including No.4 seeds Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig, No.10 seeds and reigning French Open champions Gabriela Dabrowski and Rohan Bopanna, and No.2 seeds Elena Vesnina and Bruno Soares.

Murray last won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title in 2007 with another former WTA World No.1 in Jelena Jankovic, and his shared experience with Hingis proved too tough for Watson and Kontenin, saving break points in the final game to serve out the win in 70 minutes.

"You had to also cheer me up a couple times," Hingis said, addressing her partner. "I get down, feeling frustrated when I can't return the guy's serve. I'd pick the right side, but still he served so good today.

"Today we didn't really get nervous about it. Like even if we didn't get to play the things we usually did in the last four matches, today we did when it mattered."

Hingis has now won six mixed doubles titles to add to her 12 in women's doubles and five in singles; her latest partnership with Chan Yung-Jan has helped her become No.1 on the Porsche Race to Singapore leaderboard after they won two of the first three Premier Mandatory tournaments at the BNP Paribas Open and the Mutua Madrid Open.

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