Hingis: Will be great to partner Roger in Rio

Speaking at a promotional event here on Friday, the former World No. 1 reminded that she has a special affinity with Hyderabad and would love to perform well in front of the very passionate crowds.

Martina Hingis speaking at a promotional event.   -  PTI

Swiss great Martina Hingis hopes Hyderabad Aces will continue the good work in the coming matches also of the second edition of the Champions Tennis League.

Hyderabad Aces will play two matches at LB Stadium here on November 29 and 30 and the final of the CTL is also scheduled here on December.

Speaking at a promotional event here on Friday, the former World No. 1 reminded that she has a special affinity with Hyderabad and would love to perform well in front of the very passionate crowds. “I hope to see the big crowds again to cheer the home team,” she said with a big smile.

Leander, Sania a great inspiration: Hingis

Reflecting on her association with leading lights of Indian tennis including Leander Paes and Sania Mirza, Hingis felt that it was always great for any country to have such outstanding players. “They are obviously a great inspiration for anyone because of their achievements,” she pointed out.

“Well, with Sania I have had an incredible last six months on the circuit and it was great to finish off as the No. 1 in women’s doubles in the world tennis. And I just hope we continue the same next year also,” Hingis said to a specific query.

“Who is Roger?”

On the likelihood of partnering another Swiss great, Roger Federer, in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Hingis quipped this was the most asked query in the last few weeks. “But on a more serious note, it is not yet decided with whom I will be playing. May be, I will break the news here in India,” she said. “It is definitely going to be great to play with someone like Roger,” she said after quipping “Who is Roger?”

“Well, it is always nice to have a three-week break (after she and Sania won the WTA Tour doubles final in Singapore) and be back on the court. We are ready for the challenges,” she said.

For his part, Thomas Johansson, the former Swedish Davis Cupper, felt that the competition in the CTL was very tough. “But, I loved the format. I am proud of my teammates. We are ready to win this CTL,” he remarked.

Game has become more physical: Johansson

Commenting on the contemporary tennis in general, Johansson said that the game had changed drastically in the last few years, becoming more physical forcing the players to be very careful about their training schedules also.

The former Swedish star felt that with the best coaches of his country preferring coaching assignments abroad, there was a dearth of quality coaches which in a way was also responsible in Sweden not producing quality players as in the past like Bjorn Borg, Stefan Edberg, Mats Wilander. “You need a big name to look up to,” he insisted.

For their part, the juniors players in the Hyderabad Aces, who will not play in any of th games but travel with the team, Adil Kalyanpur and Sama Sathwika hoped they would learn a lot by watching how these greats train and play in the CTL.