Hantuchova behind Hingis' return

Daniela Hantuchova has revealed it was her idea to summon Martina Hingis out of retirement.

Martina Hingis

Five-time grand slam singles champion Hingis will play doubles at a series of tournaments during the North American hard-court season, starting alongside Hantuchova at the Southern California Open in Carlsbad next week.

The 32-year-old Swiss player has played team tennis and remained active in grand slam exhibition events, but Hantuchova suspects she has more to offer and is relishing her return to the WTA tour after six years away.

Slovakian Hantuchova told the tour website: "We talked a couple of months ago. She still enjoys the game so much, and the competitiveness has always been in her, so I was like, 'Why don't we play? We always enjoyed it so much and had so much fun'.

"I respect her game incredibly and she was always my idol growing up. So I was like, 'Why don't we give it a try? We have nothing to lose. We can just have fun on the court'.

"She thought about it for a while, and here we are.

"Once you are a champion inside, you're never going to lose that. She understands the game like no other. It'll obviously be really interesting to see. Playing a competitive match will be totally different, and I can't wait to play with her and see how it's going to be out there."

Hantuchova has singles business in Stanford, California, to deal with before playing alongside Hingis, and was a 6-2 4-6 6-0 winner against Belgian Yanina Wickmayer in the first round of the Bank Of The West Classic, calling her display "very solid".

American Varvara Lepchenko saw off Portugal's Michelle Larcher de Brito - the player that beat Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon - 6-2 6-4.

Tamira Paszek, Vera Dushevina and Coco Vandeweghe also reached round two, which is where Australian second seed Samantha Stosur's tournament came to an end.

Having had a first-round bye, Stosur lost 6-2 6-4 against Olga Govortsova of Belarus.



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