By Gianna Addario
---- — MANCHESTER — Martina Hingis has been a Hall of Famer a little over a week now, and last night she showed just how dynamic of a player she is to the game of tennis. Hingis, the marquee player for her team, finished with three wins last night, leading the Washington Kastles in women’s singles, mixed doubles and women’s doubles.
Hingis recorded 13 points, which helped the Kastles get by the host Boston Lobsters, 19-18 in Mylan World Team Tennis action at Joan Norton Tennis Center at the Manchester Athletic Club.
“We’re at that stage as a team, that we’ve played together for quite some time now,” said Hingis. “We’re getting better and better each match and starting to figure each other out. It’s working and it’s the best time for us to peak towards the end of the season.”
The Kastles are the first team to qualify for Mylan WTT post-season action and clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Hingis, who is playing her sixth season of WTT, was named female MVP last season with the New York Sportimes and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame earlier this month.
“It’s a great feeling to be there on the podium,” Hingis said of the honor. “It’s amazing to be part of such an elite group of tennis players. The whole experience has just been great, I’ve been saying that over and over again for the past 10 days.”
The superstar talent has won five Grand Slam singles titles in her career and nine Grand Slam doubles titles. A natural for the sport, Hingis made her professional debut at the age of 14 and became the youngest Grand Slam champion of all time, when she teamed with Helena Suková at Wimbledon to win the women’s doubles title at age 15.
Hingis was most definitely on her game last night, defeating the Lobsters’ Jill Craybas 5-2 in women’s singles. She also paired with teammate Anastasia Rodionova, as the duo swept Craybas and Katalin Marosi 5-0 in women’s doubles.
The Lobsters’ (4-7) Amir Weintraub won the first match of the evening, topping Bobby Reynolds, 5-4 in men’s singles, while Weintraub and partner Eric Butorac dominated at men’s doubles, 5-2.
The match of the night came down to mixed doubles. Butorac/Marosi and Hingis/Frederik Nielsen went head to head to determine the night’s winner. Though the Kastles were up heading into the match 16-12, Butorac, who is a doubles master, and Marosi won the match 5-2— which meant it would head into overtime.
Butorac and Marosi once again took the match to tie the score at 18 all. In the end it was Hingis and Nielsen who came out on top, as they won the super tie breaker 7-3.
“It was nerve-racking playing that last set,” explained Hingis. “We clicked in the tie breaker, which was just good timing.”