CINCINNATI -- As she first told SB Nation in July, Martina Hingis was asked a member of Roger Federer's camp about coming out of retirement to play mixed doubles with Federer for Switzerland at the 2012 Olympics in London. Mixed Doubles is being introduced as a discipline in the tennis competition for the first time in the Open Era at the London Olympics, and will be held on the grounds of the All-England Club, the site of Wimbledon.
But once the story blew up in Switzerland and around the rest of the tennis world, Hingis seemed to retreat, clearly not expecting the attention the story brought her. Hingis has still not completely ruled out the possibility, and emphasized in later interviews that she had yet to speak to Roger Federer directly.
Having been the initial person who talked to Hingis about the possibility, and confused about why he would outsource this opportunity to form a medal-contending partnership, I wanted to ask Federer about what he was trying to do to make the hypothetical into a reality.
SBN: Martina Hingis said earlier in the summer she was asked by a member of your team about coming back to play mixed doubles in the Olympics with you. Can you talk about how that idea came about, when someone asked her, who asked her, and so on?
Roger Federer: Well, I mean, it was weird in the first place to just have the Olympics--sorry, the mixed in the Olympics--because nobody had ever asked, right? The next thing I know, they're like, Oh, we have mixed in the Olympics. I was like, "oh, that's weird" that the ITF just does it like that and decide whenever they want.
But then I was like, "well, might as well just see if she is available." I mean, if I played with anybody, the mixed would be with Hingis just because she's been an amazing player and I had my first kind of success at the Hopman Cup with her and practiced and played with her before. So I knew that even if she is retired, she might think about it at least, or see what she says.
I've approached her already a long time ago, and I guess she just mentioned something to the press and it took a life of its own. But I haven't spoken to her myself yet. We'll see where it goes. I know it's a lot on your plate to play singles, doubles, and mixed.
I need to decide if I want to do that in in the first place, and then see if she will come out of retirement. Still have a lot of things to go through, but haven't spoken yet. I don't know what's going to happen.
SBN: Since you guys would have such a great chance at a gold medal if you were playing together, have you thought about just picking up the phone, taking her out to dinner, and actually trying to win her over, to do something to get her on your side?
Roger Federer: I don't think I need to win her over. She's a champion herself. She's in retirement, not me, so she needs to do all the hard work. I've be on the tour playing and ready to go basically. So she has the whole thing to go through.
Because what I'm hearing, she just doesn't want to come back for a week of doubles, which I understand that. There is much more to it. At the end of the day, that's her decision.
SBN. You don't think talking to her directly would help her make a decision that would help you?
Roger Federer: I said I will talk to her.
He'll says he'll talk to her. Maybe he could take some pointers from Rory McIlroy on how to pick up the phone and make things happen with a female tennis player.
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