Hingis to join WTT
The Associated Press reports that once retired in 2002/then returned in 2006/then banned from 2007-2009/now horse jumping and ballroom dancing former tennis champ Martina Hingis will be playing a full schedule—14 matches—of World TeamTennis this season. She will be selected for a team as part of the marquee player draft to be held Feb. 11. “There’s a spark,” Hingis said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
But she also said she would rule out the possibility of a return to the tour “at this point,” primarily because of all the travel.
“If it was played in the backyard,” Hingis said from her home in Switzerland, “then I’d probably think about it twice.”
The five-time Major Singles titlist played World TeamTennis in 2005, in preparation for her first return to tour. Kim Clijsters played in the league last season before winning the 2009 U.S. Open title.
Hingis gets coy when asked if the Belgian comebacks are inspiring her decision:
“It’s great to see them dig deep and come back that well,” Hingis said. “I don’t know if I could handle it.”
She watched more of this Australian Open than she has in years.
"Of course, it makes you think. Tennis was all my life, and the most natural thing is that it makes you think. It would be sad if it didn’t make me think, don’t you think?” Hingis said.
Williams Sisters trade racquets for the gridiron
While Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Melanie Oudin are busy defending USA’s honor in their Fed Cup tie against France, the top two American tennis players, Venus and Serena Williams, are busy with football. As part-owners of the Miami Dolphins NFL franchise, the sisters were in Miami in early February as the city played host to Super Bowl XLIV.
Tennis served up in AC
Situated at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City is the Caesar's Tennis Classic. The exhibition, to be held Saturday, April 10, will feature Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, Andy Roddick and Marat Safin, and will be hosted by Venus Williams. This will be Ivan Lendl's first event in 16 years since he retired at the 1994 U.S. Open.
Clijsters immortalized in plastic
Now little Jada Clijsters will still have her mother to play with, even when Kim Clijsters is off competing in Grand Slam tournaments. The tennis star has been immortalized as a Barbie doll, and her daughter Jada is also now available in a mini-version of the doll phenomenon that has spanned generations.
“When I was a young girl I played with my Barbie dolls,” said Clijsters. “My family means everything to me, so I was really excited when I found out that Jada would also receive her very own 'Jada Barbie' doll."
Jada, almost 2, caught the world's attention at the U.S. Open last September when celebrating her mother's victory at Flushing Meadows.
About 10 years ago, Serena and Venus Williams released their own non-Barbie dolls at FAO Schwartz. Their dolls cost $19.99 (no word yet on the price of a Clijsters doll) and came with sun visors and water bottles. The Kim Clijsters Barbie includes a necklace with clear Swarovski crystal and "real socks." I can only imagine how little girls across the country will reenact Kim and Serena's semifinal match at last year's U.S. Open.
Brees n’ Bode
Andy Roddick may have come up short against Serena Williams in his pre-teen years, but it was revealed that the Texan stomped New Orleans Saints QB and Super Champion Drew Brees three times in junior competition. “He’d kill me,” Brees confided. “I can play his sport better than he can play mine, though.”
Speaking of multi-sport achievers, Olympic skier Bode Miller (whose parents founded the Tamarack Tennis Camp in his native New Hampshire) will attempt to qualify for the U.S. Open this spring when he participates in the USTA’s newfangled U.S. Open National Playoffs. “Tennis has always been a part of my life,” said Miller.
Andy Murray on why he was repeatedly touching his pants/hip during the final of the Australian Open, was asked by reporters if he had a hip injury: “It's not really a problem. It's not really my left hip. It's quite hard to explain. I wear cycling shorts, and sometimes they're quite tight. So you need to … you know, Roddick does it a lot. It's kind of what Rafa does on the other side. I don't really know what I'm trying to say, but basically my hip is fine. It was just the cycling shorts were tight."
Hit for Haiti
Led by Roger Federer, philanthropists from the tennis set hit Rod Laver Arena to raise money for victims of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010. Rafael Nadal, Kim Clijsters, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Sam Stosur, Lleyton Hewitt and Bernard Tomic showcased the lighter sides of their personalities, taking part in a charity exhibition match that raised more than $125,000 on the day. Several players also donated signed racquets to the tournament’s Bid for Haiti eBay auction that raised a total $44,007.19; Federer’s racquet selling for $28,124.65. With major contributions from the ATP World Tour, Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, ITF and the Grand Slam Committee, the Australian Open Haiti fundraising activity raised nearly $700,000.
Along with participating in Roger Federer’s impromptu fundraiser at the 2010 Australian Open, Serena Williams did her part for raising money for Haitian earthquake survivors by appearing at BET’s oddly named SOS Saving Ourselves: Help for Haiti telethon. The featured performances from Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, Nas, Ludacris, Robin Thicke, Mary J. Blige, Ne-Yo and a host of others