After an almost six-year retirement, the nine-time doubles Grand Slam winner played five events last summer with Daniela Hantuchova. They failed to win consecutive matches in any of them, but they also went up against elite teams in most of their losses.
"She asked me last week if I would like to play," Hingis said. "She wanted to play a doubles match before her singles. I said, 'Why not?' We already talked about it last year after Wimbledon. Now it became reality. We're grateful to the tournament director for giving us a wildcard."
Unfortunately for Hingis and Lisicki, they were dealt a tough draw in the form of three-time Grand Slam runners-up Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua. They accounted themselves well, though, overcoming four match points in the second set before eventually losing, 64 67(0) 106.
"It was a great match against a team who recently played three Grand Slam finals. It was a lot of fun," Hingis said. "Obviously we both would have liked to win it. Coming back from all the match points and winning the tie-break, 7-0, you also want to win the whole match and have more matches in the tournament. I hadn't played in many years until last year a little bit. Then I didn't play an event for six months. I was almost a little bit surprised that I could compete with this good of a doubles team. We'll see what happens in the coming tournaments.
"I'm happy Sabine asked me to play. I was maybe waiting more for the clay court season. I thought on the slower surfaces I'd have more time. But she asked me here, where I found it okay to play because the court itself is slow. It was a good start. I wish we had a better draw. I haven't been that lucky with the draws. But if you want to win the tournament, you have to beat everybody."
Hingis also talked about the origins of her doubles return.
"I was thinking for the last seven years that I'd want to maybe play some doubles," Hingis said. "It's always the time after TeamTennis when I've played some doubles and mixed doubles and I'm at my fittest. Then last year I played WTA in the summer and lately I've been playing quite a bit at home."
Hingis believes her game style can still work on the WTA.
"Li Na, Agnieszka Radwanska, they are pretty much creative players," Hingis said. "Simona Halep, the last six months she has done really well. She's not a power hitter. She uses the speed of the other players. That style is coming back. You have players who are more creative on court."
Lisicki expressed optimism about her partnership with Hingis.
"It's working really well. I enjoy it a lot," Lisicki said. "She was my idol when I was growing up. I always wanted to play with her, and it was a lot of fun. We played well. I think if we had more matches and more time to learn what the other is doing, it would have worked better. We were maybe just a touch too nervous. I'd love to play some more with her."