Bengaluru: In her days at the top, she didn’t care much for common convention and spoke from the heart, just like the way she played on court. In an era of hard hitters, her looping top spins and slices were a treat to watch, but after many ‘youngest-ever’ triumphs and five Grand Slam singles in a career riddled by injuries, she bid adieu to the sport.
A champion of many comebacks, Martina Hingis returns to singles play again, at the Vijay Amritraj-backed Champions Tennis League when she turns out for the Hyderabad Aces. Hitting the doubles circuit again and having done reasonably well in the second half of the year, Hingis is looking forward to her second visit to India after 2006 for the Sunfeast Open that culminated in her winning the title.Currently based in Spain and looking forward to another memorable trip to India, in an interview, the 34-year-old Swiss Miss opened up on her life on court.
On playing in India
I was in Kolkata in 2006 and I won. I got the confidence to play tournaments. Now to travel to other cities and to see more of India, I’m really looking forward to that experience. Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Pune, I have never been to these cities before. I have heard so much about these cities especially about Bengaluru from Rohan (Bopanna) and Mahesh who always tell me their city is the best. I’m also very interested in historic places like the Taj Mahal.
On what appeals about India
I really like historic places. I like peaceful places and India is known for meditation and yoga.
On her doubles career
I think the second half of the year after Wimbledon was great. I mean winning in Miami (partnering Sabine Lisicki) gave me a lot of hope and to be able to win a big tournament like that again. It was a wow moment because that was what I was dreaming about. And it actually happened.
On current doubles partner Flavia Pennetta
Partnering Flavia was really cool. We played a tournament before Wimbledon, but she already had a partner at Wimble-don. I’m looking forward to the next season, with the way we finished this season, hopefully we can start on that when we begin in Brisbane.
On returning to singles
No never, it is already tough enough playing doubles, I’m already 34. I would have to train a lot harder but I don’t think my body will be able to take it. I tried in 2006-07, but it was always iffy.
On playing Venus Williams in the CTL opener
I hope I can perform. When I saw the draw I was like, Holy cow! I have to play Venus first. I’m looking forward to it. She is such a good player, I have nothing to lose....