Thu. Apr 25th, 2024


An Extreme Changeover Has Hingis Back in Game

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla., March 22 — Across the net from Martina Hingis stood an opponent whose game she did not know well. This is a prosaic fact of Hingis’s comeback, for during her three-year retirement a whole new crop of players sprouted on the WTA Tour.

Hélio Castroneves, a two-time Indianapolis 500 champion, was in town for a race this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which is how he came to be on a practice court at Crandon Park on Wednesday waiting to receive a serve from Hingis, one of the headliners in the Nasdaq-100 Open.

The photo opportunity provided a snapshot of Hingis’s motivation for resuming her playing career. Hingis, 25, started out serving balls to Castroneves that landed as softly as balloons. Then he ran down a couple of balls during a rally to win a point.

Her next serve was a bullet that Castroneves could only wave at. “Wow,” he said. Chuckling, he added, “Thank God she’s not a racecar driver.”

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