Hingis Withdraws From Pan Pacific
This is from TennisWeek
Martina Hingis’ withdrawal from tournaments she won in the past, casts a cloud of uncertainty over her future. The five-time Grand Slam champion announced today she has pulled out of Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, which begins on January 28th, as she continues to rehab her right ankle.
The four-time Pan Pacific Open champion announced her withdrawal from the Australian Open earlier this month.
Pan Pacific Open officials had held out hope Hingis would return to Tokyo to defend the title she claimed with a 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 6-3 triumph over Monica Seles in January, but her departure appeared inevitable after she pulled out of the Australian Open. Jennifer Capriati, three-time champion Lindsay Davenport and Seles are all scheduled to compete in Tokyo.
As a result of her withdrawals from Tokyo and Melbourne, the 10th-ranked Swiss will likely drop outside the top 30 by the first week of February as she stands to lose nearly 1,400 of her 2,348 ranking points for failing to defend her Australian Open final appearance and Tokyo title.
The dramatic drop in the rankings could put Hingis at her lowest-ranked position since shortly after she turned pro in 1994 at the age of 14. She reached the quarterfinals of two WTA Tour tournaments that year and concluded the season ranked No. 87.
The 22-year-old Hingis made a promotional appearance at the WTA Tour’s season-ending Home Depot Championships in Los Angeles last month. At the time, Hingis told reporters she was not seriously training for a comeback, spent most of her time horseback riding and skiing and occasionally hit with friends. The former No. 1 was noncommittal when asked if she had targeted a specific date for her comeback.
“Every now and then I could not not play for a half a year or something,” said Hingis said in the interview last month. “There’s a few days, and then I have to go back on the court at least to hold the racquet. I think tennis is always going to be a part of my life, no matter what I do, whether it’s for passion or work.”
On October 11th, Hingis announced she was taking an indefinite leave from tennis after a series of disappointing defeats, including a humbling first-round loss to 109th-ranked Nadia Petrova at the Kremlin Cup.
"I am not playing at the level I would like to play and I don't want to play in from of my fans like this," said Hingis, who admitted she probably rushed back to tennis too soon after undergoing ankle surgery in May.
"Maybe I came back too early after my surgery," Hingis said. "I'll take some time off and also talk to my mum, (manager) Mario (Widmer) and get some advice from my doctor. I have not decided on a definite comeback. That remains to be seen as I have set myself no dates at this point."
An immensely proud player, Hingis has suggested in the last six months that she would not be content with a to continue as a non-title contender existing outside the top 10. For now, it appears Hingis may be re-evaluating the state of her game and her place in the sport.