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

Olympian Derrick Mein ends U.S. men’s trap drought at shotgun worlds

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Tokyo Olympian Derrick Mein became the first U.S. male shooter to win a world title in the trap event since 1966, prevailing at the world shotgun championships in Osijek, Croatia, on Wednesday.

Mein, who grew up on a small farm in Southeast Kansas, hunting deer and quail, nearly squandered a place in the final when he missed his last three shots in the semifinal round after hitting his first 22. He rallied in a sudden-death shoot-off for the last spot in the final by hitting all five of his targets.

He hit 33 of 34 targets in the final to win by two over Brit Nathan Hales with one round to spare.

The last U.S. man to win an Olympic trap title was Donald Haldeman in 1976.

Mein, 37, was 24th in his Olympic debut in Tokyo (and placed 13th with Kayle Browning in the mixed-gender team event).

The U.S. swept the Tokyo golds in the other shotgun event — skeet — with Vincent Hancock and Amber English. Browning took silver in women’s trap.

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Mo Farah withdraws before London Marathon

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British track legend Mo Farah withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon, citing a right hip injury before what would have been his first 26.2-mile race in nearly two years.

Farah, who swept the 2012 and 2016 Olympic track titles at 5000m and 10,000m, said he hoped “to be back out there” next April, when the London Marathon returns to its traditional month after COVID moved it to the fall for three consecutive years. Farah turns 40 on March 23.

“I’ve been training really hard over the past few months and I’d got myself back into good shape and was feeling pretty optimistic about being able to put in a good performance,” in London, Farah said in a press release. “However, over the past 10 days I’ve been feeling pain and tightness in my right hip. I’ve had extensive physio and treatment and done everything I can to be on the start line, but it hasn’t improved enough to compete on Sunday.”

Farah switched from the track to the marathon after the 2017 World Championships and won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a then-European record time of 2:05:11. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi now holds the record at 2:03:36.

Farah returned to the track in a failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then shifted back to the roads.

Sunday’s London Marathon men’s race is headlined by Ethiopians Kenenisa Bekele and Birhanu Legese, the second- and third-fastest marathoners in history.

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