Washington Kastles sign Martina Hingis to replace Serena Williams in 2013

Julie Jacobson/AP - In this Aug. 30, 2007 file photo, Swiss tennnis player Martina Hingis celebrates after defeating Pauline Parmentier of France at the US Open tennis tournament in New York. Five-time Grand Slam singles champion Hingis heads the 2013 class for the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

With Serena Williams not competing in World TeamTennis this summer, the four-time defending champion Washington Kastles acquired the services of former world No. 1 Martina Hingis on Tuesday.

Hingis, 32, joins a team that returns the nucleus of its roster: Venus Williams, Leander Paes, Bobby Reynolds, Anastasia Rodionova and Coach Murphy Jensen.

A five-time Grand Slam singles champion, Hingis, who reached the world No. 1 ranking at age 16, will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 13. She’s scheduled to join the Kastles for their final nine matches — including home matches at Kastles Stadium on the Wharf July 17, 20, 22 and 24 — and will remain with the team if it advances to the playoffs.

Hingis spent 209 weeks at No. 1 during her pro career, which was cut short by injury. Over the past six seasons she has become a popular and powerful force in World TeamTennis. Competing for the New York Sportimes, Hingis finished the last two seasons as the league’s highest ranked female singles player.

The Kastles open their season July 8 at home against the Sportimes. On July 11, they host former No. 1 Andy Roddick and the Springfield Lasers.

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