“I found I enjoyed playing and that I was still competitive, in doubles at least,” says Martina Hingis of Switzerland.
Photograph by: Ronald Martinez, Getty Images
Martina Hingis walked away from tennis in 2007 but she said this week that she still feels the competitive urge.
And that’s why the former No. 1 on the women’s tour was in Montreal to compete in the women’s doubles at the Rogers Cup Canadian Open women’s tennis championships.
“I played some tournaments last year and I had some success,” said the 33-year-old Hingis. “I found I enjoyed playing and that I was still competitive, in doubles at least.”
Hingis proved that earlier this year when she teamed with Sabine Lisicki of Germany to win the doubles at the Sony Ericsson tournament in Miami, one of the top events below the Grand Slams.
Hingis was still in the top 20 and was only 27 when she decided to retire from the game. She won 43 WTA Tour singles titles and another 38 in doubles. She won five Grand Slam titles, including the Australian, Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles in 1997. She had more than $20 million in official earnings.
Hingis played with Italian Flavia Pennetta here and their quest ended Friday when they lost in the quarter-finals to the top-seeded Italian team of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci 6-3, 3-6, 10-1.
Hingis said she has no desire to resume her singles career.
“It would be a lot of hard work to get back into shape for singles,” she said. “In doubles, you only have to play half the court. I’ve played some singles matches in (World Team Tennis) but that’s only one set.”
Run do not walk: Caroline Wozniacki was supposed to walk down the aisle with golfer Rory McIlroy in November but the British Open champion dumped the 24-year-old Danish tennis star earlier this year and she’s taking advantage of an opening in her calendar to help some kids.
Wozniacki recently announced that she will run in the New York Marathon as part of the New York Road Racers Team for Kids.
“I’m a little bit crazy but I’m looking forward to running and doing something to help the kids,” said Wozniacki, who was in New York last week to promote the race along with American marathon star Meb Keflezighi.
Serena Williams, who defeated Wozniacki in the quarter-finals Friday, said she wasn’t interested in challenging the Dane over the 26.2-mile marathon distance, suggesting that she would be more comfortable with a five-kilometre run and a half-marathon may be her limit.
That social feeling: Many of the players on the WTA Tour have been embraced social media with their own websites as well as Twitter and Facebook accounts. The Williams sisters are front and centre, with Serena boasting 4.3 million followers on Twitter while older sister Venus recently passed one million followers on Twitter and also one million likes on Facebook. Victoria Azarenka has 500,000 twitter followers
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