Martina Hingis to Leander Paes: We should have played 10 years ago

Melbourne: When Martina Hingis came out of retirement for the second time in her career two years ago, she set some ground rules for herself.

She would only play doubles, no singles. And she only wanted partners who would help her win trophies.

Leander Paes and Martina Hingis

It took a little time, but the 34-year-old Hingis is becoming a fixture in Grand Slam finals again. The Swiss star and her partner Leander Paes of India will play for the mixed doubles title at the Australian Open today against the team of Kristina Mladenovic of France and Daniel Nestor of Canada.

“I think definitely when I go on court I want to win every time,” Hingis said this week.

She has more than a good chance to win with the 41-year-old Paes, a veteran doubles specialist with 14 Grand Slam titles — all in doubles and mixed doubles.

Hingis wishes it hadn’t taken them so long to join forces. “I was saying even on the court, ‘Hey, we maybe should have played 10 years ago,’” she said with a laugh.

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