Hingis Returns To Competition By Tennis Week
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Martina Hingis has spent some of her time away from tennis going downhill fast. Next week the five-time Grand Slam champion returns to competition that could see her driving a dune buggy, walk across wood logs suspended in mid-air and drop a pea into a bottle.
The former World No. 1 is not auditioning for a role as a stunt double. Hingis has signed on to participate in the British reality TV show "Beat The Star" in which a member of the public challenges a celebrity head to head in a series of physical and mental games designed to push both the star and the challenger to their limits.
The episode starring Hingis is set to air on ITV1 on Sunday, April 26 from 6:45 to 8 p.m.
The 28-year-old Hingis has kept busy playing some exhibitions and riding horses and skiing in Switzerland since her retirement from tournament tennis.
"I try to keep fit by doing different things, I have my horses and skiing definitely keeps you fit," Hingis said.
While she once confronted top 10 opponents, Hingis will be facing Laura Beardsmore, a 22-year-old dental student from Leeds.
If the challenger wins they leave with £50,000 if they lose they leave with nothing. If the star wins, they leave with their reputation intact and the money rolls over to the final show of the series which will see host Vernon take on a surprise star with the prize money going to charity.
Beardsmore is a part time waitress as she prepares to finish her degree in dentistry. She represents Leeds 1st xi hockey team and Great Britain for Aikido.
Hingis, who was seldom lacking confidence during her days of dominance on the WTA Tour, will face a highly-confident challenger in Beardsmore.
Asked whether she feels as though she can beat Hingis, Beardsmore replied "Definitely. I am very confident; I think I have everything I need to win."
The games could include brand new strategy game "Broken Ladder" which will test them physically and mentally. Contestants have to climb a six metre ladder with three removable rungs to fit in as they go along. Grime Trial; three chances to get the fastest time in the dirt buggy and round the tricky track. Wood Walk is a frightening test of nerve, agility and speed. 8 meters in the air are a series of logs attached to chains that they must cross to ring the bell and win the challenge. Martina and Laura will go head to head in the hang bar, a test to see who can hold on the longest. They could also face each other in the high jump where the winner who records the highest jump takes the points. The final game the pair could play is "Bottle It." Both contestants will have to drop a pea into a bottle from a height that is at least a meter high.