Federer/Hingis to Represent Switzerland in the 2016 Olympic Games

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Roger Federer and Martina Hingis have been confirmed represent Switzerland in mixed doubles at the Rio 2016 Olympics . Speculation over the partnership has gone back a few months but now it has been confirmed.

Rio 2016 will not be the first time these two represent Switzerland together. They played together in the Hopman Cup in 2001 beating the American team of Monica Seles and Jan-Michael Gambill in the final. Back then, it was Hingis with all the experience as the #1 player in the world at the time with five grand slam singles titles to boot. Federer was #29 in the world on the ATP rankings without a career title. He quickly surpassed his countrywoman in the next few years, and then some. Nevertheless, Federer and Hingis remain Switzerland’s finest tennis players.

A Federer Perspective

For Federer, this is an opportunity to add to his Olympic glory. A silver medal finish resulting from a white-washing from home crowd favorite Andy Murray in the 2012 London Olympics might seem disappointing for a player of his caliber. Regardless, he does have a gold medal to his name. He and now two-time grand slam winner Stan Wawrinka triumphed in the men’s doubles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. That triumph included a straight set win over the Bryan brothers.

Hingis to Represent Switzerland for the First time Since 1996

Hingis, a Czechoslovak native, came to represent Switzerland after immigrating there at the age of seven. For all her achievements in singles and doubles, she never triumphed at the Olympics in any event. To put this in to perspective, the last time she played in the Olympics, she was a 15-year-old. In 1996, Hingis fell in the second round to Ai Sugiyama. She withdrew from the 2000 Sydney Olympics while ranked #1. While she mounted a comeback after retiring in 2002, it did not last until the Olympics.

Putting Them Together

Looking at the numbers, the team of Federer/Hingis bring a truckload of achievements and experience to the table. Hingis carries the weight of doubles achievements with 10 slams in mixed doubles and four in mixed doubles. But Federer’s 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medal demonstrates that he is no slouch in the doubles department.

Their triumph will depend on a variety of factors. One aspect of the mixed doubles section of the Olympics is that there is no full third set; if teams split the first two sets, they will go to a third set tiebreaker. This was demonstrated in the final of the London games when Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi defeated Andy Murray and Laura Robson in the final set super-tiebreaker. It came down to just a few points. Because the margins are so thin, Federer/Hingis will have to be on their toes in order to triumph. So much of it will be down to good fortune if the matches get tight along the way.

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