WHAT HAPPENED: Twenty years after winning her first US Open title, Martina Hingis took home her fifth in Queens, teaming with partner Jamie Murray to win the mixed doubles title by defeating Hao-Ching Chan and Michael Venus, 6-1, 4-6, [10-8].
Murray and Hingis commanded the first set, the top seeds dominating with Murray making light work at the net, getting everything in his long reach. Hingis’ quick hands kept to pace with Michael Venus, who continued to blast 130 mph serves her way.
But while down, Venus and Chan were not out. They came back in the second set, posting 23 winners and converting a break at 4-4 to claim the set.
Murray and Hingis, while failing to drop a set in Wimbledon earlier this summer where they were crowned champions, had a harder time in Flushing Meadows. Two out of their four matches leading up to the title match went to a match tiebreak, and they continued the trend in the championship.
Both teams held to open the deciding tiebreak, changing over at 3-3 and again at 6-6. Hingis and Murray finally took control late, with Murray besting Venus and Chan with a cross-court volley to end the match, bringing the crowd to its feet, claps and cheers celebrating a tight match and impressive display of tennis.
“Thank you for all your support over these years,” Hingis said to the crowd after the match. “I keep coming out because of my love for the game, to get out and challenge myself.”
The champions will split $150,000, while Venus and Chan will earn $70,000.
WHAT IT MEANS: Hingis has spread her five titles over all three disciplines. Her singles title came in 1997, with women's doubles titles won in 1998 and 2015, and now mixed doubles in 2015 and 2017.
Hingis and Murray, meantime, first debuted together earlier this summer on the London lawns at Wimbledon, where they won the title.
Hingis, at 36 years old, is one of a few players who is pushing the limits on the age of tennis champions. Venus Williams made it to the semifinals at the US Open and the finals at both Australia and Wimbledon at 37, and Roger Federer, also 36, claimed the Australian Open and Wimbledon crowns and advanced to the quarterfinals at the US Open.
The win Saturday was also especially exciting for Murray, who became the first British man to be crowned mixed doubles champion since Peter Curtis in 1968.
MATCH POINT: While Hingis and Murray only began playing together this past year, they make a strong team. With Hingis’ strong baseline defense and Murray’s aggressive net play, the pair easily cover the court and claim control of the ball.
Post-match, when asked how he felt playing with Hingis, Murray replied, “I tried to find the best player, and I hope we can play together again.”
Should they continue, can the Swiss and Scotsman continue to dominate and pick up an Australian and French title as well?