Mumbai: Having captured two Grand Slam doubles titles as well as the year-ending WTA Tour finals with Sania Mirza, and the US Open mixed doubles title with Leander Paes, Martina Hingis says the key to her success with both the Indian aces was her ability to adapt to their style of play.
“My quality to adapt to moments and partners is the key. Leander has one of the best volleys in the game. He controls the net when I am at the baseline. With Sania it’s the other way as she plays exactly opposite to Leander. I can adjust to any partner,” said the Swiss ace at a media conference called to launch the Champions Tennis League (CTL) commencing here tomorrow.
The 35-year-old player will represent Hyderabad Aces, the home franchise of her doubles partner Sania’s hometown, and Hingis said the Indian champion — with whom she won the Wimbledon and US Open before clinching the year-ending WTA title at Singapore — has improved her net game.
“With her former doubles partner Cara Black, who is a fine volleyer, she did not get enough chances at the net. With me, I give her the chance to do well at the net too. She has improved a lot at the net,” said Hingis who won had five singles Grand Slam titles before switching over to doubles full time.
About Paes, the former world number one women singles player said, “He (Paes) sees the game very well and his instincts are incredible. That’s why we are so good together.”
Talking more about her tie-up with Sania that began in the US, the tennis star said, “Sania has always been a great player before teaming up with me. She was world number five (in doubles). We have respect for each other and she is a very optimistic person. As our friendship and relationship grew we have got better and better. That’s the key to our success.
“It has been an incredible year. I had hopes of winning one or two titles, but I have five. It’s been better than expected.”
Asked about the coming year, Hingis said, “to continue the same way forward, starting from Brisbane (Australia).”
Talking about CTL, Hingis said she had enjoyed playing in it last year and was very happy to be back in India for the second edition of the franchise-based league.
“I will be playing in Sania’s hometown and spending six days there. I hope we can meet though I know she is playing in the other (Mahesh Bhupathi promoted) league.