Saturday, September 30, 2017

Martina Hingis celebrates her 37th Birthday winning 3rd consecutive title with Chan Yung Jan in Wuhan

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WUHAN, China - Top seeds Chan Yung-Jan (Leticia) and Martina Hingis marched to their third consecutive title after taking down Shuko Aoyama and Yang Zhaoxuan at the 2017 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, 7-6(5), 3-6, 10-4.

“It's nice to celebrate [my birthday] with a victory, obviously, and with a great partner to do it with,” said Hingis, who turned 37 today. “We're looking forward to the after party, so…

“It's my third time obviously here in Wuhan. It's even more special now with Leticia because she kind of guided me through this week. It was nice.”

Chan and Hingis came into the matchup with the knowledge that, regardless of the outcome of the final, Hingis would replace Lucie Safarova as No.1 in the WTA rankings on Monday for her 67th non-consecutive week at top spot, and Chan would occupy the No.2 spot – her career-best ranking.

The recent US Open champions hadn’t dropped a set en route to the final in Wuhan, but faced a tough challenge against the unseeded team, who was bidding to win their first Premier-level title.

The top seeds dropped serve in the opening game and spent the whole first set playing catch-up before forcing a tiebreak, where they finally pulled away. But Yang and Aoyama struck back in the second, recovering from an early break to reel off five games in a row. Chan and Hingis finally edged through in the match tiebreak to wrap up the match after an hour and 48 minutes.

“Martina and I have been performing very well this year,” Chan said. “We have won many matches. We have been through many difficult matches. We were very confident. Also, we have belief in each other. I'm very happy today that we won this match.”

With the victory, Chan and Hingis have now won 14 consecutive matches and last tasted defeat against Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke at Toronto in August.

They sit firmly in first place in the Road to Singapore standings and have already qualified for the season-ending BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.

Hingis added: “It's pretty cool to go with a victory into next week because I'm going back to No.1. Leticia is highest ranking No. 2.

“Right now we feel like we are the team to beat, the hot team till the end. It's a nice position to be in.”

Friday, September 29, 2017

Martina Hingis & Chan Yung Jan reach finals of Wuhan Open

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WUHAN, China - Top seeds Chan Yung-Jan and Martina Hingis reached yet another final as they defeated Sania Mirza and Peng Shuai at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open.

They will face Shuko Aoyama and Yang Zhaoxuan, who received a walkover into the final when Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua withdrew from the competition; the 21-year-old cited fatigue after beating Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-0 to reach the singles final.

Aoyama and Yang progressed through the quarterfinals when second seeds Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova retired in the first set.

Chan and Hingis are looking for their eighth title of the year in Wuhan, and won the US Open earlier in the month.

Interesting score 7/6 6/4. They continue to win matches without losing a set since the U.S. Open. Impressive. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

#1 seeds Martina Hingis & Chan Yung Jan roll on at Wuhan Open

WUHAN, China -- No.1 seeds and US Open champions Chan Yung-Jan and Martina Hingis rolled through their quarterfinal match on Thursday, leading a handful of highly-seeded doubles teams into the semifinals of the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open.

The Taiwanese/Swiss pair dismantled the No.6 seeds, Germany's Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic, 6-1, 6-0. The top-seeded team never faced a break point during the 45-minute encounter.

Chan and Hingis have been on a tear all year, having already won seven titles, which will lead to Hingis reclaiming the World No.1 ranking from Lucie Safarova next week. They were one of the first teams to qualify for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, and look to be headed into the season finale in incredible form.

Another pairing who have already qualified for Singapore, No.2-seeded Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, were not as fortunate. The Russian teammates, who won Wimbledon earlier in the year, were forced to retire while trailing 3-4 to the unseeded pair of Shuko Aoyama of Japan and Yang Zhaoxuan of China.

Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua, seeded No.4, will be the opponents for Aoyama and Yang in the Wuhan semifinals, as they eased past 5th-seeded Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yifan, 6-3, 6-4.

The Australians have also already punched their ticket to the WTA Finals, and Barty in particular is having a superb week in Wuhan, making the semifinals in singles as well as doubles.

Rounding out the final four teams in Wuhan are the No.3 seeds Sania Mirza and Peng Shuai, who eked out a win over 7th-seeded Alicja Rosolska and Abigail Spears, 3-6, 6-3, 10-5. Rosolska and Spears led the match tiebreak 3-0 before Mirza and Peng reeled off 10 of the last 12 points to claim victory.

The Indian/Chinese tandem, comprised of two former World No.1 players in doubles, are having strong success in only their fifth tournament together. They will take on the top seeds in the semifinals, meaning Mirza will be across the net from Hingis, her long-time former doubles partner, in the next round.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Martina Hingis and Chan Yung Jan cruise into quarters at Wuhan Open

Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan and Martina Hingis of Switzerland cruised into the quarter-finals of the doubles at the Wuhan Open yesterday, while Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei gave top seed Kristyna Pliskova a fright in the first round of the singles at the Tashkent Open.

Chan and Hingis took just 57 minutes to complete a 6-1, 6-2 second-round victory over Raquel Atawo of the US and Darija Jurak of Croatia.

The top seeds saved two of three break points and converted five of seven, winning 53 of the 86 points contested to advance to the quarter-finals.

Monday, September 25, 2017

ATP NextGen Tournament to test all-electronic line calls

LONDON — There won't be anyone for players to argue calls with at this tennis tournament: They're getting rid of the line judges entirely.

The men's tour announced Monday that the Next Gen ATP Finals, a season-ending event for top 21-and-under players, will feature electronic line-calling for all shots. It's the first time this is being tried at an ATP tournament.

The Next Gen ATP Finals will be held in Milan, Italy, from Nov. 7-12.

The Hawk-Eye Live system will employ the same technology currently used for replay reviews at other tournaments when players contest a line judge's call. But this time, each call will be final. When there is a close shot, screens at the stadium will show a video replay so the competitors and spectators can see precisely where the ball landed.

The only official at each match will be the chair umpire.

The event also will showcase other experimental rules changes, including four-game sets, no lets and a serve clock.

I know a lot of people are debating, and maybe not liking all these changes and experimentations. 

But I'm loving it personally.  It's good for a sport to try new things and stay current.  

And there's no other way to do that than through some trial and error. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Roger Federer clinches Laver Cup victory for team Europe

 This image will forever be burned in my mind 

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Roger Federer delivered the Laver Cup for Team Europe with a nail-biting win over Nick Kyrgios on Sunday.

The inaugural tournament came down to the final match after Team World's John Isner upset Rafael Nadal, but Federer would have the final say to secure a 15-9 score-line.

The world No 2 won 4-6 7-6 11-9 against Kyrgios to avoid a deciding match that, for long periods, appeared to be on the cards.

The third and final day began with Team Europe enjoying a 9-3 advantage but Jack Sock and John Isner added three points to Team World's tally by beating Tomas Berdych and Marin Cilic in doubles action.

Alexander Zverev beat Sam Querrey 6-4 6-4 to give Team Europe an overall 12-6 lead, and hand Nadal the opportunity to seal victory.

But world No 1 Nadal suffered a surprise 7-5 7-6 loss to Isner forcing him to hand the baton to team-mate Federer, who eventually got the job done.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Martina Hingis talks tennis & longevity in new CNN interview

(CNN) Much has been made of the resurgence of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal this season.

Aged 36 and 31 respectively, both have defied the odds to collect two grand slam titles.

But another legend of the game, who is 10 months Federer's senior, has just sealed two grand slam titles in the space of 24 hours.

Martina Hingis, 36, won the women's doubles and the mixed doubles at the recent US Open, taking her overall grand slam total to 25. She partnered with Taiwan's Chan Yung-Jan to win the women's doubles title and Briton Jamie Murray to win the mixed doubles tournament.

In doing so, she returned to the scene of her first US Open singles triumph, recorded against an emergent Venus Williams exactly two decades ago.

It has been a "wonderful journey," to quote Hingis herself, beginning with a debut on the WTA Tour just a week after turning 14, and showing no signs of stopping as her 37th birthday approaches.

"I've always loved to play tennis," Hingis told CNN Sport's Don Riddell. "This is what I do best; this it what I know; this is my education since I was two years old."

The Swiss remains the youngest grand slam champion in history -- having won the Wimbledon women's doubles aged 15 years and 282 days alongside Helena Suková, a partner twice her age.

And she remains the youngest singles grand slam winner in the Open era -- having reached all four major finals in 1997, only missing out at Roland Garros.

"I was the youngest in most of the things I did," says Hingis. "Now, I look back at it and see [today's] juniors and young upcoming players ...You say 'Oh Jelena Ostapenko, when she won the French Open she was only 20 years old!'

"And I'm like hang on ... Back then when you were 20, if you hadn't won a grand slam by then you were almost too old!"

Hingis became the undisputed world No. 1 aged 16 and it was a position she held on and off at the top of women's tennis for a total of 209 weeks -- the fifth longest of all time -- until a series of ankle injuries forced her to retire aged 22.

Had she done too much too young?

"In my case I definitely wouldn't want to change what I went through with anyone," says Hingis. "It's a lot cooler than having to go to school."

"I did education until I was 14 when I turned pro and then some later on as well, but I think this is the best education you can get.

"My mom always made sure that when we traveled to different cities and countries that we also took something from there to learn about."

Hingis came out of retirement and returned to the ATP Tour in 2006, duly lifting the Australian Open mixed doubles trophy with India's Mahesh Bhupathi.

But, hampered by injury, she was never again the same electrifying talent and, on 1 November 2007, the "Swiss Miss" announced her retirement for a second time following a positive test for metabolites of cocaine.

The former darling of women's tennis was banned by the International Tennis Federation for two years and, though she refuted the charges, this time it really did look like the end.

"I believe her when she says she's retiring permanently," commented Larry Scott, the chairman and chief executive of the WTA at the time.

And yet once again Hingis was not to be denied.

Since returning to the WTA Tour in 2013, she has won 10 further doubles grand slam titles and insists her only major regret is relinquishing control of the 1997 French Open singles final to Croatia's Iva Majoli.

Twenty three years after her WTA debut, the game has changed but Hingis's inimitable desire to win remains the same.

And her longevity means there are few players better positioned to appreciate the grand sweep of women's tennis history.

"Sometimes I did complain that I want to see a bit more variety and a little bit of strategy in the game," she said.

"You see that more in the men's tennis, but eventually women will return to that.

"Once you are able to control that power, [you] have the variety out there again. Sometimes I think that's forgotten.

"Hey, tennis is a game. It's not just sheer power!"

Many players, both male and female, have looked up to Hingis during her long and storied career -- not least Federer himself.

"I always say I taught him how to win his first tournament," she laughs, reflecting on their mixed doubles victory at the 2001 Hopman Cup. "We ended up winning Sydney too the week after.
"There were some great moments we shared. We all know what happened afterwards."

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Martina Hingis & Yung Jan Chan U.S. Open Ladies Doubles Champions!

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NEW YORK, NY, USA -- One day after claiming the mixed doubles at the 2017 US Open, Martina Hingis clinched her 13th women's doubles Grand Slam championship -- and brought a brand new partner into the circle of major winners.

Chan Yung-Jan and Hingis disposed of the Czech team of Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday. The Taiwanese/Swiss pairing claim their seventh title of the year, and their first Grand Slam as partners.

It was also Chan's first Grand Slam title ever, after twice being a women's doubles runner-up, as well as a one-time mixed doubles finalist. By contrast, this was Hingis' 25th Grand Slam title, when you combine the Hall of Famer's exploits amongst singles, doubles, and mixed.

It was a powerful performance by the No.2-seeded team, who never faced a break point in the match. Chan and Hingis got the pivotal break at 2-1 in the first set and did not look back from there.

24 hours after winning mixed doubles with Jamie Murray, her 24th career Grand Slam, Martina Hingis wins her 25th.  Tying her in 4th place all-time with the great Billie Jean King. 

So that make it 13 women's doubles, 5 in singles and 7 in mixed for Hingis.  

Talk about a great early birthday present, Hingis is just a few weeks shy of her 37th (Sept. 30). 

It's also lucky #7 for Chan and Hingis as a team, having won; Indian Wells, Madrid, Rome, Mallorca, Eastbourne & Cincinnati. 

That's titles on all 4 surfaces.  Absolutely outstanding.  But even more impressive, they won this one without losing a set!.  

This match may have been somewhat one sided, but it did not lack in some awesome shot making and rallies at the net, particularly from Chan who was just on fire today. 

And of course Martina who clinched the match with another one of her trade mark backhands down the line at championship point.

Hard to believe that 20 years ago on this day Martina Hingis won her 1st and only U.S. Open singles title as a teenager, beating Venus Williams. 

And all these years later she still has that same joy, talent and drive to capture yet more titles. Simply inspirational. 

Congratulations on your first Grand Slam together ladies!.  You've proven unstoppable as a team this year, an absolute thrill to watch on court.  

Here's to continued success for the remainder of the tennis season.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Martina Hingis and Jamie Murray U.S. Open Mixed Doubles Champions!

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Hall of Famer Martina Hingis remained undefeated in mixed doubles Grand Slam finals on Saturday, partnering Jamie Murray for a second straight major tournament at the US Open, surviving Chan Hao-Ching and Michael Venus in a tense match tie-break.

NEW YORK, NY, USA - Two decades after she won her first US Open title, Martina Hingis took home her fifth in Flushing Meadows, this time in mixed doubles alongside Jamie Murray with a 6-1, 4-6, 10-8 victory over Chan Hao-Ching and Michael Venus on Saturday.

Following a dominant first set, the top seeds recovered from an early break down but nonetheless found themselves in a tough match tie-break, one in which neither team led by more than one point until 8-8. From there, Hingis and Murray took control to clinch the Swiss star's second US Open mixed title - Murray's first - in one hour and nine minutes.

Hingis and Murray took home their first major title together two months ago at Wimbledon, and reunited once again to take out tough teams including Australian Open champions Abigail Spears and Juan Sebastian Cabal, and US Open singles semifinalist CoCo Vandeweghe and Horia Tecau en route to their second straight final.

The victory increases the former WTA No.1's total Grand Slam title haul to 24, with five in singles, 12 in doubles, and seven in mixed. Hingis has a chance to win a 25th major title on Sunday, as she will partner Hao-Ching's sister Yung-Jan in the women's doubles final, where they take on Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova.

Murray and Hingis are the first team to go back-to-back at Wimbledon and the US Open since Hingis achieved the feat with Leander Paes in 2015. They are the only team to do so in 20 years.

That super tie-break was insane!. I was shaking. It was literally a difference of one point where it could have gone either way. 

But the way Martina handled those last 2 shots from Micheal Venus was incredible!. 

She put everything she had in that backhand down the line that set up the winning volley for Jamie. 

A match worthy of champions.  

You really fought your hearts out, out there. 3 fantastic super tie-breaks fans of tennis won't soon forget. 

Congrats on an incredible tournament and a tremendous push to the finish.  Well done!.   

All the best in ladies doubles tomorrow Martina Hingis, go for 25!.