Australian Open

Hingis rebuffs Federer advance

2012-01-14 14:26
Martina Hingis (File)

Melbourne - Switzerland's former tennis queen Martina Hingis has rebuffed an attempt by Roger Federer to coax her out of retirement for the London Olympics, the world number three admitted on Saturday.

Federer said Hingis let him down gently after he called her up with the ambitious Olympic proposal, which would have been a dream pairing for Swiss tennis fans - and Federer himself.

"I just wanted to see what was her feeling. She was the one to basically also tell me I should focus on winning singles and defending my doubles," said Federer, who won the 2008 Olympic men's crown with Stanislas Wawrinka.

"She's very happy staying in retirement. She thinks it's the only right thing for me to do. She basically took the decision for me, which was very nice of her.

"We were very happy I think at the end of the phone call and didn't have any hard feelings. She was very nice."

Hingis, 31, dominated women's tennis in the late 1990s but finally quit the sport in 2007 after testing positive for cocaine, although she maintained she was innocent.

To be eligible for the Olympics, Hingis would have had to return to WTA doubles competition, make herself available for the Swiss Fed Cup team and be available for doping tests.

"I just let it run its course. I didn't know how far it was going to go anyway. But the conclusion to it was she's a wonderful person," said Federer. "I've looked up to her in a big way because she's only a year older but made the breakthrough so much earlier. I remember seeing her play very often. I always was a big fans of hers.

"For me, it was the only player I could imagine playing mixed together with at the Olympics."

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