Tennis Prose



Did Hingis Really Teach Federer How To Win?

Martina Hingis once half-joked that she taught Roger Federer how to win, as their first time collaboration produced a victory at 2001 Hopman Cup for Switzerland. Before that win, the 19 year old Federer still had not won anything on the ATP World Tour, no titles and no impact at Grand Slams. Hingis had won seven Grand Slam singles titles before 2001.

“I taught Roger how to win,” Hingis semi-jokingly told tennis journalist Richard Pagliaro. “I taught him how to be professional.” Hingis also later told Chris Evert, young Roger was a “wildboy” and his practice system and pre-match preparation lacked structure and organization.

Federer later credited that the winning experience with Hingis “definitely helped me to become the player I am today.”

After winning Hopman Cup in early 2001, defeating Monica Seles and Jan Michael Gambill in the final Federer suddenly began to win. He won his first ATP title in Milan, beating Julien Boutter. Then at French Open, he reached the QF (lost to Alex Corretja) and then at Wimbledon he scored the biggest win of his life, beating the four-time defending champion Pete Sampras in the fourth round.

In 2003 Federer won his first Grand Slam at Wimbledon, besting Andy Roddick in the semifinal and Mark Philippoussis in the final. He would win 19 more Grand Slams.

But the most important spark of young Roger Federer’s career may actually come from Martina Hingis at 2001 Hopman Cup.

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