Federer and Hingis taking next Olympic steps

Roger Federer and Martina Hingis are one of the most eagerly anticipated potential pairings in mixed doubles as we look ahead to the 2012 Olympics. Luckily for many tennis fans, early steps are being taken to set a Federer-Hingis partnership in motion.

The London Games will mark the introduction of a mixed doubles event at the Olympics, and many in the tennis world were thrilled by initial rumors of a Federer-Hingis pairing after Hingis confirmed that she had been approached by a member of Federer’s team. At the time, Hingis had sounded unsure about the possibility of competing alongside the 16-time Grand Slam champion.

According to SI.com, former world No. 1 Hingis has indeed had an “informal conversation” with Federer’s camp about the matter, says Phil de Picciotto, the Octagon president of athletes & personalities and one of Hingis’s agents. De Picciotto said that it would be “premature for Martina to think about the Olympics,” however.

Nevertheless, Swiss Tennis president Rene Stammbach says that he is planning on sitting down and “having conversations with the parties involved on that potential subject” in August.

The Swiss Tennis Association will also be meeting with Federer’s team next week to discuss the world No. 3’s plans for the 2012 Olympics, a meeting that would include a discussion of potential mixed doubles partner Hingis.

In order for Hingis to join Federer in the mixed doubles competition, however, she will need to satisfy a number of requirements. The five-time Grand Slam champion must likely make a return to the WTA tour so that she may gain the professional ranking that she would need in order to qualify for Olympic singles or doubles play.

Additionally, Hingis must make herself available for anti-doping testing for a minimum of three months prior to the Olympics, although she would be able to achieve this through testing outside of competition.

Another requirement would be for Hingis to play Fed Cup in 2012, as players must have made themselves available for Fed Cup two of the past four years. Switzerland would therefore need to petition the International Olympic Committee to secure entry for Hingis, who has not participated in a Fed Cup tie since 1998. According to SI.com, ambiguity in what constitutes a player making herself “available” for Fed Cup leaves open the possibility that Hingis could be found to have satisfied the requirement.

Hingis has never won an Olympic medal, while Federer claimed Olympic gold in men’s doubles in 2008 with partner Stanislas Wawrinka. Hingis and Federer have made a winning duo in the past, leading Switzerland to a Hopman Cup title in 2001.

Date: 26.07.2011, Source: 10 Balls


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