By Kiran Gollakota at the “Open Source” Blog from Sports Illustrated
It’s said that true champions can make everyone around them better. Apparently, Roger Federer can also make them consider coming out of retirement. Former No. 1 Martina Hingis had an “informal conversation” with Federer’s camp about the two Swiss stars playing as a mixed doubles pair in the 2012 London Olympics, Phil de Picciotto, the Octagon president of athletes & personalities and one of her agents, confirmed via email to SI.com after reports surfaced of the potential pairing.
Though de Picciotto said it’s “premature for Martina to think about the Olympics,” Swiss Tennis president René Stammbach told SI.com that he
will be sitting down in August and “having conversations with the parties involved on that potential subject,” indicating the possible
Federer-Hingis pairing is being taken seriously at the highest levels of the federation. Additionally, the Swiss Olympic Association — which
said that it, too, had heard the chatter — will be meeting with Federer’s team early next week to discuss in detail the 16-time Grand
Slam champion’s Olympic plans, including the “question about Martina Hingis.”
Federer will certainly need the official Swiss blessing if he hopes to form his duo. ITF Olympic eligibility criteria state that all players
must have made themselves available for national team play — either Davis Cup or Fed Cup — in at least two of the Olympic cycle’s four
years, including one of its final two. Though Hingis has not appeared in a Fed Cup tie since 1998, the rules are vague regarding what
constitutes “making oneself available,” leaving open the possibility that with Swiss Tennis’ support, Hingis could clear that hurdle.
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