Hingis heaps praise on Kerber ahead of Fed Cup

Ahead of their Fed Cup clash, Martina Hingis heaped praise on Angelique Kerber for her sensational win at the Australian Open last month.

The German rallied to upset the indomitable Serena Williams in the final of the Melbourne event. Now, Kerber lines up for Germany opposite Hingis and the Swiss team in this weekend’s Fed Cup action.

“It’s a nice setting…once it’s going to be packed, it’s going to be a great atmosphere,” said the 34-year-old of the Leipziger Messe court in Germany.

“It’s going to be really good tie because Angelique is obviously in great form, winning the Australian Open and No. 2 in the world. She’s the leader of the team.

“All the German hopes are with her on the team as a champion who also beat Serena Williams, the No. 1 player. It’s a great moment to have it here.”

Hingis is coming off a big win in Melbourne herself, picking up her third consecutive grand slam women’s doubles title with Sania Mirza.

Switzerland returns to the World Group for the first time since 2004, largely thanks to the efforts of world number 11 Belinda Bencic and 15th ranked Timea Bacsinszky, who are key to Swiss hopes this weekend.

“It’s really nice to go back up,” continued Hingis, who will sit out the opening round.

“The ladies, Timea and Belinda, have done most of the job to get up here.

“The last tie was really nerve-racking. It came down to the last few points. It was really nice to be part of the team again there and now joining the best of the best is pretty cool.”