Federer lauds Hingis influence

January 7, 2018

Lawn Tennis

Reference: http://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/federer-lauds-hingis-influence/article22387749.ece

Roger Federer paid tribute to the influence of countrywoman and former Hopman Cup teammate Martina Hingis on his career after guiding Switzerland to its third success in the mixed teams tournament on Saturday.

Federer looked primed for his Australian Open title defence when he came from a set down to beat World No. 4 Alexander Zverev in the men’s singles, before Angelique Kerber accounted for Belinda Bencic in straight sets to level the tie against Germany.

The Swiss duo then claimed the tournament with a straight-sets win in the deciding mixed doubles.

For the 36-year-old Federer, it was a second title in Perth, having also been part of Switzerland’s previous victory back in 2001, when he teamed with Hingis.

At that time, Federer was just 19 and was yet to win at an ATP event. He said the time spent with Hingis in Perth had a profound effect on his career, which now includes 19 Grand Slam singles titles. Hingis was the youngest ever Grand Slam champion and World No. 1, spending 209 weeks at the top and winning five Grand Slam singles titles.

Federer visited Perth with Hingis twice, once as a hitting partner and then in 2001 as her teammate, and said it shaped his career.

“I could look up to her and think, wow, how is she being so mentally strong and so consistent at such a young age,” the Swiss star recalled.

Federer was thrilled to add a second Hopman Cup to his glittering resume and said it was a very different feeling to the first. “It is totally different to when I won it with Martina because I was the apprentice and she was the master,” he said.

Unbeaten in his three singles matches in the tournament prior to the final, Federer dropped the first set against the 20-year-old Zverev, but recovered to win in three sets, 6-7(4), 6-0, 6-2.

The results:

Switzerland bt Germany 2-1: Men (singles): Roger Federer bt Alexander Zverev 6-7(4), 6-0, 6-2. Women (singles): Belinda Bencic lost to Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-1. Mixed doubles: Bencic & Federer bt Kerber & Zverev 4-3(5/3), 4-2.

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