TORONTO, Canada - While at the second tournament of Martina Hingis' WTA doubles comeback in Toronto, Hingis and partner Daniela Hantuchova spoke to the press about a variety of subjects, such as the origins of their partnership and their future plans.
Hingis said Hantuchova was responsible for her return to the doubles court after six years away.
"When I was coaching Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, that's when Daniela approached me and said, 'Don't you think it would be great to play doubles? You've still got it.' And she encouraged me," Hingis said after she and Hantuchova's first round win over Angelique Kerber and Petra Kvitova in the Rogers Cup. "I needed some time to think about. But then I was closer to the game again with Anastasia. It helped me definitely to play, practice with her and see the game, see the matches. That helped a lot to gain confidence to be able to play against players like we did today."
Hantuchova commented on why she encouraged Hingis to come back.
"After Hingis had retired, I said so many times that tennis is missing somebody like her and her game and the style she plays," Hantuchova said. "You can see the fans love her everywhere she goes. I just thought it would be a shame to not have her around, and I'm really glad and honored that she's back."
Hantuchova said she had no doubt Hingis would be able to compete with today's stars.
"I have been on the tour since she left, so I knew exactly what her level is and what I see in today's tennis, and I wouldn't say or suggest it if I wasn't sure of it," Hantuchova said. "I'm really glad she's able to show it, because I always said, 'Once you are a champion inside, you are always going to have it in you forever.' "
"I think the goal is to produce the best tennis that we can," Hingis said. "We did really well in the last tournament. Last week, I think if we had beaten Kops-Jones and Spears that there was opportunity. Who knows what would have happened, but I think we definitely will always be competitive."
Hingis said she is relishing merely being on court again.
"Even today in the match, even if not everything was perfect, there were some great rallies, some great points that people enjoyed, and so did we," Hingis said. "It's a pleasure to be out there on the court with Daniela. I think we both have the qualities that we can feed off each other. It's hopefully going to get better and better."
After this week, Hantuchova and Hingis are committed to Cincinnati and the US Open, and their plans after that are undecided.
"It's almost the end of the season, but we're looking forward to probably playing beyond that," Hingis said. "It also depends on the results. That all has to come together and we have to feel comfortable with each other. I think that's the most important thing. Then we will decide what we'll do."