From text message to trophy: Jamie Murray, Martina Hingis on Wimbledon glory
LONDON -- It began with a simple text message and ended with a Grand Slam trophy.
Having decided to end her partnership with Leander Paes, with whom she was beaten in the final at Wimbledon last year, Martina Hingis contacted Jamie Murray just before this year's mixed doubles event with a simple question.
"It was just like, 'Hi Jamie, want to play with me?'" Hingis said after she and Murray beat defending champions, Henri Kontinen of Finland and another Briton, Heather Watson, 6-4, 6-4 to win the title Sunday.
"For every British player or for any tennis player, you want to win Wimbledon. Whether it's the singles, doubles or mixed. When you come back here, it's just a special thing, a special occasion. I was hoping for a 'yes,' definitely."
Murray, though, did not see the text until the following morning. "He left me hanging overnight," Hingis said, laughing. "I was like 'Oh, my God, did he read it? Did he not?'"
"I'm not used to 'no.' I don't take 'no' as an answer. But I would understand, especially here, it's always tough. I understand in the past guys would have said no because they really want to focus on [men's] doubles, only because it's three-out-of-five [sets]. This is the only tournament that still does it. It is definitely easier to ask somebody on the other three grand slams and not Wimbledon."
As a woman who had already won 17 Grand Slam doubles titles, not to mention singles crowns -- the first of which came at Wimbledon 20 years ago -- Hingis, 36, is a great catch for anyone who wants to win a major title.
Sunday's win took her overall Grand Slam tally to 23 and five of her six mixed wins have come since the beginning of 2015. For Murray, it was a second Wimbledon mixed doubles title, 10 years after his first, and his fourth Slam win overall, to add to his two men's doubles titles with Bruno Soares.
The Scot admitted that, had it been anyone else asking, he probably would have said no. Mixed doubles is very popular at Wimbledon and with a guaranteed British winner, the fans probably would have been happy either way. But it's usually considered a bonus, something extra to play for if the bread and butter -- the men's and women's doubles -- does not go according to plan.
"The [men's] doubles for me is obviously my biggest goal of the year," Murray said. "It's going to take something pretty special to potentially take my eye off the ball with it. But it was a great opportunity. She's won everything, won so many mixed as well. I knew I could do well with her. It was kind of an easy decision."
And it proved to be a good one as a nearly full Centre Court crowd gathered to see them edge out Kontinen and Watson, who tested them more than any other pair had done in the previous rounds.
Kontinen, the men's doubles No. 1, pressured them with his power, and Watson hit some fine returns, but the experience of Hingis, in particular, was crucial. With Andy Murray rushing on to the grounds to see the final stages, the top seeds saved three break points on the Murray serve before a return in the net by Watson handed them victory.