The O.G. Swiss superstar Martina Hingis is back in the tennis limelight three years after receiving a two year ban for testing positive for cocaine at Wimbledon in 2007.
The Swiss Miss will play a full 14 game schedule for the New York Buzz of World Team Tennis. The league is celebrating its 35th season of play, which is quite remarkable when you consider how little fan fare it receives.
So is Hingis planning on a return to the WTA Tour? The answer unfortunately is no. In an interview with tennis.com Hingis said, “tennis gave me a lot of things and sometimes you have to put things behind you.”
Even if the former world number one isn’t planning on making a tour comeback, we are certainly going to get sense of how sharp her skills are right off the bat. She is scheduled to play this Friday against Serena Williams, although the match could be in jeopardy because Serena reportedly has a foot injury. The current world number one plays for the Washington Kastles along with sister Venus Williams.
The trio went pro within a year of each other and developed a rivalry as they ascended to the top of the rankings. The Williams sisters did it with speed and power, while the smaller Hingis used her finesse and pin point accuracy to pick opponents apart. Combined they’ve won a total of 25 Grand Slam singles titles. Hingis accounted for five of them before injuries forced her to retire the first time in 2002.
Although the Swiss is set to turn 30 in September, and has taken two significant breaks, a return to action might not be the worst thing. The WTA Tour certainly could use the star power – something its lacked for years – or at least since Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal started stealing headlines.
Hingis was the type of player that never overpowered anyway, so if she were to return, she could easily put a dent into the top 20. Don’t forget, the last time she un-retired in 2005 she managed to crack the top ten.
On a side note, the Rogers Cup is fast approaching and today on Top Spin Radio we had a chance to speak with tournament director Karl Hale who confirmed that 44 of the top 50 players in the world will be hitting the courts at the Rexall Centre from August 7-15.
Andy Murray will try to defend his title, while past champions: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Roddick will all be nipping at his heels.