Rio 2016: Are Roger Federer and Martina Hingis the most decorated mixed doubles pairing in history?
Roger Federer and Martina Hingis are two of the most important and decorated players in the history of tennis. The Swiss pairing had already announced in December of last year that they will be representing their country in the Rio Olympics. But the question is, will it be a treat for their fans or will they be disappointed by a much younger pair at the Games?
Past few years have seen Federer failing to win any major Slams
The 17-time Grand Slam winner, Roger Federer, has been playing professional tennis since the year 1998. He has won everything that the tennis court has allowed him to. He is the winner of a tied record seven Wimbledon championships, five US Open titles, four Australian Open title and a French Open title which he won in 2009.
The Swiss maestro had been the undisputed champion of tennis in the period stretching from 2004 to 2010. But the occurence of injuries meant that he had to step away from tennis for some time.
This stepping away led to other players such as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to capitalise on the absence of the Swiss player. But the current world number 3 did not give to his injuries and managed to win the ATP Tour Finals in 2011 and the came back to the number one ranking by winning the 2012 Wimbledon title.
But it has been 4 straight seasons for the Swiss that he has failed to win any of the major tournaments and Grand Slams. Federer is ageing no doubt, but at 34, he is still one of the fittest players in tennis. He has maintained his body for the last 18 years of his professional career. His stamina might have gone down in recent years, but his play is still the same.
He might not be as quick as the younger players, but his technique and style is still one of the best you will come across. Such is the greatness of the player that he has been at the number one rank in the World Rankings for 237 consecutive weeks. One thing that has been a stand-out in Federer’s career is his consistency.
He has never dropped out of the top 10 rankings since October, 2002. The Swiss will have the chance to win an Olympic gold once again this season when he teams up with her compatriot and a great of the women’s game, Martina Hingis.
Martina has rediscovered her mojo
Martina Hingis is a fellow Swiss great of the game. She announced herself to the world when she won her first major title at the 1997 Australian Open. She was just 16 years and 3 months old.
That same year, she also won the US Open and the Wimbledon Championship’s singles titles. But she lost in the final of the French Open to Iva Majoli. She also won the Australian Open women’s doubles title with Natasha Zvereva.
The year 1998 saw her win all four of the Grand Slam women’s doubles titles. She was having the time of her life as she was dominating the tennis arena at such a young age. But after having the five best years of her career, she picked up an unfortunate injury to her right ankle and underwent a surgery in 2001.
The following year, she underwent another surgery, this time on her left ankle. These injuries took away her best for from her and she could not perform well afterwards. Therefore, the Swiss decided to retire from tennis in 2003 at the age of just 22.
She had won 40 singles’ titles at that age coupled with 36 doubles titles. Martina returned to tennis for two unsuccessful years and had to retire again in 2007 due to the International Tennis Federation’s two year ban on her for doping even though the chemical found in her urine sample was in a very minute quantity.
The tennis star came out of retirement again in 2013 and since then she has not looked back. She had struggled initially in her comeback but ended up winning a combined six Grand Slam titles in women’s doubles and mixed doubles competitions along with a 2015 Tour Final’s victory.
Martina can help Federer rejuvenate his career with a medal at Rio
These two Swiss greats have had their ups and downs during their illustrious careers but currently, they sit at the very top of their games’. Even though Federer has failed to win any major trophies in recent years, his ability to win a medal can not be questioned.
Hingis has been pairing up with India’s Leander Paes and has managed to create a record of winning three consecutive Grand Slams with Paes. But the Federer-Hingis pairing will be coming together after 15 years to participate in an official tournament as partners. There should not be a problem in their gelling up with each other as they have already played together for Switzerland in the past. Federer described Hingis as his “ideal partner”.
Hingis and Federer have not achieved glory at the Games barring Federer’s win in the men’s doubles with Stanislas Wawrinka at Beijing 2008.
The Swiss magician had also won a silver medal in 2012, defeated in the final of the singles event by Andy Murray. But this time around, Federer will be participating all the three events – singles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles.
Hingis will only be participating in the doubles’ competitions. The fact that both these athletes have accomplished so much in the court of tennis makes them the most decorated mixed doubles’ pair ever to have played the game of tennis.
Rio will be on its feet if the magical duo can reach the latter stages of the competition as Roger’s serve can be matched well by Martina’s net skills.