Jamie Murray and Martina Hingis mixed doubles future unclear despite US Open success

Hingis has been reluctant to make any long-term commitment, despite claiming two Grand Slam titles with Murray this summer

Paul Newman
New York
Sunday 10 September 2017 15:06
Comments
Murray has said he's enjoyed every minute of his time on court with Hingis
Murray has said he's enjoyed every minute of his time on court with Hingis

Jamie Murray and Martina Hingis have won two successive Grand Slam mixed doubles titles but their future as a pair seems far from certain. After following up their Wimbledon title with victory here at the US Open on Saturday Hingis appeared reluctant to make any long-term commitment.

Might the 36-year-old Swiss be contemplating retiring for the third time? She first quit in 2002 because of a long-term foot problem, returned at the start of 2006, but retired again in 2007 after testing positive for cocaine, which led to her being banned for two years.

Hingis started a second comeback in 2013, playing only doubles, and has enjoyed great success. In the five years since her return she has won 25 women’s doubles titles, including four at Grand Slam level, enjoyed a spell on top of the world rankings and won six Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.

She won her 25th Grand Slam title here on Sunday in the women’s doubles final alongside Taiwan’s Yung-Jan Chan, beating the Czech Republic’s Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova 6-3, 6-2.

After winning the mixed doubles title with a 6-1, 4-6, 10-8 victory over New Zealand’s Michael Venus and Chan’s younger sister, Hao-Ching, Hingis was asked whether the partnership with Murray would continue into next year. “If I play, then definitely we will,” Hingis said. “We said yes, if we go to Australia and everyone is healthy and playing.”

Hingis, who will be 37 later this month, pointed out that they had not confirmed they would be playing here until a little while after Wimbledon. “We are just going to do the same thing,” she said. “It’s a long way to go till next year.”

Considering their outstanding record together – they are unbeaten since Hingis first suggested that they should play together at Wimbledon this summer – the Swiss player’s reluctance to commit to the future might be seen as an indication that she is looking ahead to a life beyond tennis.

Hingis refused to say if her and Murray would be pairing up again next season

Murray said he had enjoyed every minute of his time on court with Hingis. “It’s been a lot of fun for me and a great opportunity for me to compete with Martina,” he said. “She’s such a great player, a huge champion of the game.

“Every time we are on court, we get a lot of people coming out to watch us, a lot of people supporting us. It makes it fun to play.”

Murray won his first Grand Slam title playing mixed doubles alongside Jelena Jankovic at Wimbledon in 2007. In later years he did not play much mixed, often preferring instead to focus on men’s doubles, but he has now won more Grand Slam titles in mixed (three) than in men’s doubles (two).

Today mixed doubles is played only at the four Grand Slam tournaments, the Olympics and the Hopman Cup in Perth in January. Both Murray and Hingis would like to see more opportunities to play.

Hingis and Murray celebrate their US Open mixed double victory

Hingis thought there might be scope to play mixed doubles in March at the Indian Wells and Miami tournaments, which are played over more than week, while Murray said that mixed was “a lot of fun”. He added: “Some of the rallies that you see, you wouldn't see them in the men's doubles or on the singles court. And the fans do get into it, because it is different.”

Murray would also like to see more prize money put into mixed doubles. At Wimbledon Murray and Hingis shared £100,000 while their reward here was $150,000 (about £114,000). That compares with the $3.7m (£2.84m) in prize money won by the singles champions.

“Obviously a lot of money has been pumped into the Grand Slams over the last few years and people are making a lot more money than they used to, but a majority of that is going into the singles game,” Murray said.

“Doubles is a huge part of tennis. I think that that should be supported, as well as on the singles front, with some of these prize money increases.”

Asked why his game was so well suited to mixed doubles, Murray said: “I think my serve and the skills I have at the net lends itself to mixed doubles. My return as well. It’s easier for me to return in mixed doubles than it is in men’s doubles. I think I can get away with more.

“I did play a lot of mixed doubles when I first started playing and had a lot of success. And even when I lost I was always losing to the team that was winning. I think it happened six or seven tournaments in a row that we lost to the team that went on and won.

“I knew I had played well, but sometimes in the last two or three years I felt like I had more of a chance to do well in the men’s doubles. Sometimes I just wanted to focus on that.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in