Martina Hingis
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Martina Hingis waits on Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka to decide on Olympic mixed doubles

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NEW YORK — Martina Hingis is arguably the best doubles player in the world, and with two elite Swiss on the men’s singles side, she could be favored for Olympic mixed doubles gold next year.

This year, the 34-year-old Hingis won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open mixed doubles with Indian Leander Paes. She’s the first woman to win three Grand Slam mixed doubles titles in one year since Martina Navratilova in 1985.

Of course, Hingis can’t play with Paes at the Olympics. She must play with a countryman. Will it be Roger Federer or Stan Wawrinka?

“You ask the men,” Hingis said, laughing, after capturing her 19th Grand Slam title combining singles, doubles and mixed doubles at the U.S. Open on Friday (she goes for No. 20 in the women’s doubles final Sunday). “I would be very happy to play the Olympics, and I asked Roger. I asked Stan. I think we still have time, but I feel like I’m in a very luxury position to have that opportunity to play with either Roger or Stan Wawrinka.

“If it’s going to happen, great. The answer, sooner or later. Eventually, it’s going to happen, but I think they have bigger things to do right now,” Hingis finished, laughing.

Federer and Wawrinka, who won 2008 Olympic doubles gold, were to be on opposite sides of the net in a U.S. Open singles semifinal later Friday night.

In March, Federer said Hingis had approached him about playing together in Rio:

“I said I’d give it some thought,” Federer said then. “The problem is, I don’t know how I play singles, doubles, mixed [doubles] within an eight-day period [at the Olympics]. To try to win them all, it’s like 15 matches in eight days [15 in nine days in London 2012]. You tell me how that works. I don’t [know]. I have to figure out things and what my priority is at the end of the day.”

In April, Wawrinka had this to say, according to Tennis.com:

“Well, Hingis asked Roger first. Roger took some time to answer, so she asked me. I want to … see what Roger says since she asked Roger first. I don’t want to say yes now.”

So that’s where it stands.

The top challenger to a Swiss Olympic mixed doubles pair could come from Hingis’ mixed doubles and doubles partners on tour — the Indians Paes and Sania Mirza, who lost in the 2012 Olympic quarterfinals to eventual gold medalists Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi of Belarus.

If Hingis competes in Rio, she will have gone 20 years between Olympic appearances.

She was the second-youngest singles player at the Atlanta 1996 Games, behind Anna Kournikova, according to sports-reference.com. Hingis, then 15, lost in the second round in singles in Atlanta but hoped to continue farther in doubles with Patty Schnyder so she could watch equestrian events.

“I have seen the dressage, but I would also like to see the jumping so I hope we can stay one more day,” the Slovakian-born Hingis said in 1996, according to the Independent. “If we lose, I go home.”

She and Schnyder lost in the quarterfinals in Atlanta.

The next year, she rattled off her first three of five Grand Slam singles titles in the 1990s — the Australian Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open. She skipped the Sydney 2000 Olympics to avoid injury risk and was inactive in 2004 and 2008.

Hingis has exclusively played doubles the last two years and no singles on the WTA Tour since 2007.

In 2011, Hingis, then retired from WTA Tour play, was asked by Federer’s team to consider a comeback. She and Federer discussed playing mixed doubles at the London 2012 Olympics but decided against it. Mixed doubles rejoined the Olympic program in 2012.

Switzerland did not enter a mixed doubles team in London. Federer and Wawrinka lost in the second round of men’s doubles, after winning gold at Beijing 2008. Federer lost to Andy Murray in the singles final, an Olympic singles gold medal still eluding him.

MORE TENNIS: Photos: Lindsey Vonn, Roger Federer play tennis in the Alps

Morgan Hurd left off U.S. gymnastics team for world championships

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Simone Biles is joined on the U.S. team for the world gymnastics championships by five women bidding to make their first Olympic team next year.

Sunisa LeeKara EakerJade Carey, Grace McCallum and MyKayla Skinner were named to the team at the conclusion of selection camp competition Monday in Sarasota, Fla. Biles locked up the first spot by winning an all-around competition on Sunday.

A notable omission was Morgan Hurd, the 2017 World all-around champion in Biles’ absence who was fourth in the all-around at the U.S. Championships in August and ninth at the selection camp on Sunday. Hurd, who came back from December elbow surgery, was named a non-traveling alternate along with Leanne Wong.

Had Hurd made the team, she could have bid to join Biles as the only women to earn all-around medals at three straight world championships. Instead, her absence is a testament to the U.S. women’s depth.

The Americans won every Olympic or world team title dating to 2011, the longest reign of dominance since Soviet teams of the 1970s. Last year, their margin of victory — 8.766 points — was the largest in history at an Olympics or worlds.

A look at the six women on this year’s team, one of which will be designated an on-site alternate at worlds in Stuttgart, Germany:

Simone Biles
Undefeated in all-around competitions for six years, Biles will break more records in Stuttgart. The biggest one is career world championships medals. Biles is at 20, tied with Svetlana Khorkina for the female record. The overall record is 23, held by retired Belarusian Vitaly Scherbo. Last year, Biles became the first gymnast to earn medals in every event at worlds in 31 years and won the all-around by a record margin despite two falls and a kidney stone.

Sunisa Lee
The revelation of this summer. Lee went from third in the junior division at last year’s nationals to second to Biles both at nationals in August and in Sunday’s selection competition. At the latter, Lee was only .35 of a point behind Biles, closer than any of Biles’ last five margins of victory at nationals. She is the national champion on uneven bars and the youngest woman on the team at 16.

Kara Eaker
Eaker solidified her spot by placing third at the selection camp with a score that would have been runner-up to Biles on either day at nationals. Eaker was 10th at nationals with scores more than two points lower than what she did on Sunday. She is a medal contender on balance beam. Eaker had the second-highest beam score in qualifying at worlds last year but fell off the apparatus in the final, placing sixth.

Jade Carey
The 2017 World silver medalist on floor and vault. Carey decided last year to try to make the Olympic team on her own individually — a new wrinkle in Olympic qualifying this cycle — which precluded her from competing at the 2018 Worlds. She’s well on her way to clinching an Olympic spot before June’s trials, but first she will be an asset to this team as its second-ranked floor and vault gymnast behind Biles.

MyKayla Skinner
The 2016 Olympic alternate pulled off the rare feat of making a world team while being an NCAA gymnast (at Utah). Skinner returned to elite gymnastics this season for the first time since Rio and impressed Sunday, placing fourth in the all-around. Like Carey, she specializes on floor and vault.

Grace McCallum
McCallum was third in the all-around at nationals and sixth at the selection camp. The 2018 World team member is best known for her floor, too. She was seventh in qualifying at 2018 Worlds on the event but missed the final due to the two-per-country rule.

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MORE: U.S. men’s team named for gymnastics worlds

Tommie Smith, John Carlos part of U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame class

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Tommie Smith and John Carlos are part of the 2019 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame class that will be inducted later this year.

The sprinters were sent home from the 1968 Mexico City Games after staging a protest by raising their gloved fists on the medals stand. They were long left on the sidelines at the USOPC, but the federation has worked to bring them back inside the family in recent years.

“It sends the message that maybe we had to go back in time and make some conscious decisions about whether we were right or wrong,” Carlos said, according to USA Today. “They’ve come to the conclusion that, ‘Hey man, we were wrong. We were off-base in terms of humanity relative to the human rights era.'”

The class will be inducted at a ceremony in Colorado Springs on Nov. 1. It will be the first class inducted since 2012.

The rest of the class: Candace Cable, Erin Popovich, Chris Waddell (Paralympics), Lisa Leslie (basketball), Nastia Liukin (gymnastics), Misty May-Treanor (beach volleyball), Apolo Anton Ohno (short track speedskating), Dara Torres (swimming), the 1998 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team), Ron O’Brien (diving coach) and Tim Nugent (special contributor).

After the Hall of Fame essentially stalled out, USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland pushed to revive it as part of a federation effort to focus more on athletes.

“We thank them for their impact on sport and society, and for continuing to inspire the next generation of athletes and fans,” Hirshland said.

The induction of Smith and Carlos is long overdue. After being kicked out of the 1968 Olympics for their iconic raised-fist protest on the medals stand, the sprinters were left on the sideline of the official U.S. Olympic movement. Their 2016 visit to the White House, along with USOPC leaders, marked the first official event they’d been part of since their ouster in 1968.

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