Hingis set for Nottingham Masters debut
Originally published on: 24/03/10 10:09
After the news that former world No.4 Tim Henman is to return to competitive action at the Royal Albert Hall at the end of this year, British fans will be treated to the return of two other former greats somewhat sooner.
Former Wimbledon champions Martina Hingis and Richard Krajicek will both return to British grass courts to compete at the Nottingham Masters tournament from June 10-13.
Krajicek, who won the Nottingham title last year, picked up a 17-title haul during his career, including his sole Grand Slam win at SW19 in 1996.
The Dutchman retired from professional tennis in 2003, the same year that Martina Hingis initially retired from the game.
The 29-year-old Swiss, who launched a comeback in 2006, before retiring for a second time in 2008 after being found guilty of a doping offence, had stated that she would not return to the professional game after her two-year-ban expired.
But Hingis committed to a full year on Biliie Jean King’s World Team Tennis Tour in 2010, having used the event to assist her first comeback in 2006, sparking rumours that she may yet consider a third return to the WTA Tour.
Thirty-five year old British No.1 Tim Henman certainly won’t be considering a comeback to the professional tour, but is eagerly anticipating his return to competitive tennis for the ATP Champions Tour at the Royal Albert Hall on November 30.
“I have had a really good break and I would now like to get out and hit some balls,” Henman said this week.
“First and foremost I want to play well because tennis has always been a huge passion of mine and to play well in London in front of a British crowd is another incentive.”
The four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist is relishing the thought of playing for the love of the game again, after an injury-disrupted end to his career in 2007.
“For 29 and a half years it was my hobby but for the last six months it was my job and I never wanted tennis to be that,” he said.
“I stopped at the right time. I loved the freedom of not having to practice, to train, to travel, to go to the tournaments and all the commitments that go with that,” added Henman, who is confident that Masters Tennis is the ideal way to return to competitive tennis.
“The beauty of playing this type of event is that although I will need to practice and make sure that I am in good shape, it’s not the same discipline and the same commitment.”