Tennis player Martina Hingis made a victorious comeback to the game on Wednesday by winning the first round of the Southern California Open in Carlsbad, but will only focus on the doubles game for now.
The Swiss player and her Slovakian doubles partner, Daniela Hantuchova, beat Germany’s Julia Goerges and Darija Jurak of Croatia, 6-1, 6-1 in the opening round of the tour.
“I always had it in the back of my head, probably the last six years,” Hingis told reporters when asked about her comeback, according to Bloomberg. “It was awesome.”
Returning to the game after a gap of six years -- Hingis’ last tour match was in September 2007 -- the 32-year-old said she felt comfortable only after the first set. ''For me, mentally, I felt really good after that. The (first) service game of the second set, after that game I was like, 'I'm back to normal,''' Associated Press quoted her as saying.
Hingis, who is a five-time Grand Slam singles champion and a former world number one player, first retired from the game in 2003 due to an ankle injury, and made a comeback in 2006. But, in 2007, she was tested positive for cocaine during Wimbledon, and the International Tennis Federation banned her from the game for two years in 2008.
According to AP, Hingis is scheduled to team up with Hantuchova for four tournaments, which include the U.S. Open, which will start on August 26. ''It was a great test for us and being able to beat them the way we did, it just gives us a lot of hope for the coming weeks,'' Hantuchova said.
But, for the time being, Hingis said she would concentrate only on playing doubles, according to The Independent. And, when asked by reporters if she would want to make a comeback to playing singles, she said: "I wouldn't want to come out and play one or two [singles] matches and then lose third round, that's not my type of personality. So, not at this point, no.”
Keerthi Mohan is an IBTimes reporter covering entertainment and human interest stories.