Four days after Martina Hingis was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, she showed she still has game as her wins in singles and mixed doubles helped lift the Washington Kastles to a 21-15 World Team Tennis victory Wednesday night over the Springfield Lasers.
Though the Lasers (5-3) won in men’s doubles and women’s doubles, Hingis carried the night for the Kastles (6-2), earning wins in two of her three matches at Kastles Stadium at the Wharf.
“It was a great honor to be inducted. It was a great weekend [in Newport, R.I.], but I just tried to come back on court and play hard,” said Hingis, 32. “Every night’s an important night, and you can’t think the other team is going to give it to you.”
The Kastles already were in a celebratory mood on Bobby Reynolds’s 31st birthday. He also didn’t disappoint in his match-opening singles set, a 5-1 win over Rik de Voest.
In the third game, de Voest struggled with his first serve. Reynolds, the 2012 WTT male MVP, took advantage by breaking de Voest before taking control of the set.
Hingis had a tougher path in her singles match against Vania King. She broke serve in the first game, but holding proved more challenging for the Swiss great.
After King hit two straight backhands that were called in, she was within 3-2. Hingis politely explained her perspective to the chair umpire. While she couldn’t persuade him, she recovered emphatically with back-to-back aces to win the game.
As the set went on, Hingis showed the form that made her a Hall of Famer. She handcuffed King on several occasions with a dominating serve to take a 4-1 lead and force the Lasers to sub in Alisa Kleybanova to try to muster a return.
She did that and more, breaking Hingis before giving her all she could handle on serve in the next game. But Hingis was just too much, winning that seventh game and taking a 5-2 win.
In men’s doubles, Reynolds and partner Leander Paes struggled at the net on serve and allowed the Lasers to break. The Kastles lost to de Voest and Jean-Julien Rojer, 5-3.
Hingis and Anastasia Rodionova didn’t fare any better in their doubles set. King and Kleybanova pushed the Kastles’ pair through some spectacular points before winning, 5-3, for the Missouri-based Lasers.
That left the match in the hands of Hingis and Paes in mixed doubles. The veteran pair came through. With lots of post-point smiles and nods in each other’s direction, Hingis and Paes held serve and then broke Kleybanova and Rojer in the fourth game to grab a 4-1 lead.
Fittingly, a Hingis ace closed out the 5-2 set win and the match.
“She has every shot, literally every single shot,” Reynolds said. “There’s nothing that she doesn’t have, and that’s amazing.”