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Martina Hingis preps for return to WTA

By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com
Martina Hingis preps for return to WTA
Anna Kournikova of Russia, along with Martina Hingis of Switzerland, takes on Pat Cash of Australia and Mats Wilande of Swedan during the exhibition doubles match at the U.S. Open. Hingis is returning to the real tournaments at the U.S. Open after six years out of the WTA. UPI /Monika Graff | License Photo

Martina Hingis is preparing to return to doubles tennis as she comes off a World Team Tennis title with the Washington Kastles.

Hingis, 32, is a former world No. 1 in singles, and joins the WTA tour to play doubles with Daniela Hantuchova. The two will play five tournaments as they prepare for the U.S. Open in September.

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Her comeback may be difficult, as she has not played in a WTA event since 2007. Hingis says she does not know what to expect going in.

“I can’t tell,” she said, laughing. “I hope it goes well.”

Hingis was named World Team Tennis MVP the past two years and was named to the International Tennis Hall of Fame earlier this month. She won her first Grand Slam singles title at age 16 -- the youngest player to do so in tennis history -- and won nine Grand Slam doubles titles from 1996 to 2002.

Even still, the Swiss tennis star is nervous -- six years is a long time to go without playing in the circuit.

“I’ve been thinking about it for the past five years,” Hingis said. “I didn’t have the courage, I would say.”

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For now, Hingis is not considering a return to singles tennis.

"Doubles is different since a lot of the top girls don't usually play, like [Maria] Sharapova and [Victoria] Azarenka. And Serena [Williams] now says her partner is injured or something, so it can be interesting. It's wide open right now."

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