BERNE (Reuters) - Switzerland’s two greatest tennis players will join forces at next year’s Rio Olympics when Roger Federer and Martina Hingis play together in the mixed doubles.
“Roll back the years with @mhingis. Really excited to be playing mixed doubles with you 15 years later at the Rio games,” the 34-year-old Federer said on Twitter.
He last played alongside his fellow Swiss at the Hopman Cup in 2001.
Seventeen-times grand slam champion Federer, a year younger than Hingis who came out of retirement for a second time in 2013 and won the women’s doubles at this year’s Wimbledon and U.S. Open, claimed Olympic gold for his country in 2008 when he partnered Stanislas Wawrinka in Beijing.
Hingis, winner of five grand slam singles titles but never an Olympic medal, and India’s Sania Mirza are currently the top-ranked women’s doubles pairing.
“I looked up to her when I was younger, I thought she was the most unbelievable talent,” Federer told the BBC.
“She’s almost my age and she was winning grand slams while I was still at the national tennis center and I couldn’t believe how good she was.”
World number three Federer will try to juggle his schedule next year to give himself a shot at winning the Olympic singles gold, the one notable title missing in his illustrious career.
He reached the final in London in 2012 but was beaten by Briton Andy Murray.
“I’ve always said the Olympics is very important to me,” Federer added. “Every Olympic Games has been a super-amazing experience, an eye-opener, a great learning curve for me.
“Seeing other athletes, getting inspired and motivated, carrying the flag is such a proud moment in my career and my life as a person. To have done that twice for Switzerland, in Athens and Beijing, was incredible.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Tony Jimenez