Roger Federer-Martina Hingis and the Top 10 Mixed Doubles Teams in History

Delores Smith-JohnsonCorrespondent IIIOctober 21, 2011

Roger Federer-Martina Hingis and the Top 10 Mixed Doubles Teams in History

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    By now, odds are you have heard that Roger Federer (through his team) has asked Martina Hingis to play mixed doubles with him at the 2012 Olympics. Mixed doubles was added to the Olympics as the fifth tennis event in 2009.

    Ben Rothenberg of SB Nation basically broke the story by accident. According to Rothenberg, impressed by how well Hingis was playing and his love for mixed doubles, he posed the hypothetical question about the possibility of playing with Federer at the Olympics. Over the course of their conversation, Hingis alluded to the fact that she had already been approached by Federer's team.

    What a match that would be if Hingis decides to play? If you recall, it would basically be a repeat of the 2001 Hopman Cup when these two tennis greats teamed up and won. The only difference is the world should be in for an even better match (if that's possible) as these two have gotten older, and their games have matured.

    This potential pairing has also encouraged the Hopman Cup tournament director, Paul McNamee to approach Federer again about playing in next year's tournament. McNamee shares comments that Hingis is a definite. He's hoping that the possibility of Federer and Hingis teaming up at the 2012 London Olympics may encourage Federer to reconsider his decision to decline the invite given earlier in the year.

    In light of this highly-anticipated potential match at the Olympics, we will take a look at the top 10 mixed doubles teams in tennis history.

    As the research was done for this project, it became obvious that this event showed more consistency of the same teams winning pre-Open Era. Therefore, there's more players from the pre-Open Era based upon their winning records. Also, the team rankings were completed based upon stats.

    Please enjoy this historical review...

Betty Stove and Frew Donald McMillan

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    Betty Stove, a Dutch player, was born June 24, 1945. Over the course of her career, she won 75 titles in doubles and mixed doubles. Of those titles, she won 10 Grand Slam doubles and mixed doubles titles, six were in mixed doubles. Her highest ranking in singles was No. 5 while her highest ranking for doubles was No. 1.  

    Following her retirement, Stove used coaching as a way to keep close to the game. Two of her students were Hana Mandlikova and Kristie Boogert.

    Frew Donald McMillan, a South African player, was born May 20, 1942. Over the course of his career, he played in 11 mixed doubles finals, winning five of them. McMillan's signature skills on the court were his two-handed backhand and forehand. McMillan was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1992. Following retirement, McMillan has worked as a tennis commentator.

    Mixed Doubles Team Wins:

    Wimbledon: 1978 and 1981

    US Open: 1977 and 1978

     

    Note: Highest ranking is referring to world ranking

Margaret Osborne DuPont and William Franklin "Billy" Talbert

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    Margaret Osborne DuPont, an American player, was born on March 4, 1918.  Over the course of her career, she won a total of 37 Grand Slam titles. Broken down, she won six singles titles, 21 doubles titles and 10 mixed doubles titles.

    She holds the record for most mixed doubles titles at the US Open.

    DuPont was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1967.

    William Franklin "Billy" Talbert, an American player, was born Sept. 4, 1918. Over the course of his career he won 9 Grand Slam doubles titles. Talbert was a role model of sorts back in his day as he was diabetic. He worked, along with others, to show the world that one's ability did not have to be diminished simply because of the need to manage a chronic illness.

    Another very notable fact about Talbert was he served as tournament director for the US Open. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame along with DuPont in 1967.

    Mixed Doubles Team Wins:

    US Championships: 1943-46

    Note: This team holds the record for most US Open mixed doubles titles

Margaret Osbourne DuPont and Neale Fraser

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    Margaret Osborne DuPont ( see Slide No. 2)

    Neale Fraser, an Australian player, was born Oct. 3, 1933. Fraser had the distinction of reaching No. 1 in both singles and doubles. Over the course of his career, he won three Grand Slam singles titles, 11 Grand Slam doubles titles and five Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.

    He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1984.

    Mixed Doubles Team Wins:

    Wimbledon: 1962

    US Championships: 1958-60

Nancye Wynne Bolton and Colin Long

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    Nancye Wynne Bolton, an Australian player, was born Dec. 2, 1916. Over the course of her career, she won 20 Grand Slam titles, of those, four were in mixed doubles.

    Her highest ranking was No. 4, and she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006.

    Colin Long, an Australian player, was born March 3, 1918. Colin's love for the game of tennis was quite evident when while serving in the military (enlisted in 1939 for five-and-a-half years), during a leave in Egypt, he played in their national tennis tournament.

    Mixed Doubles Team Wins:

    Australian Championships: 1940, 1946, 1947 and 1948

Eleanor "Nell" Mary Hall Hopman and Harry Hopman

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    Eleanor "Nell" Mary Hall Hopman, an Australian player, was born March 19, 1909. She was the first wife of Harry Hopman. Though she reached a couple of finals at the Australian Open, Hopman's strength was in playing doubles and mixed doubles.

    She loved the sport of tennis and was a huge advocate, especially on behalf of women. She was quite instrumental in getting the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to support the Fed Cup—the women's equivalent to the men's Davis Cup.

    Harry Hopman, an Australian player, was born Aug.12, 1906. Similar to his wife, Hopman also reached the Australian Open singles final, not once, not twice, but three times. However, his passion was in doubles. Over the course of his career, he won seven Grand Slam doubles titles, of which, five were in mixed doubles.

    Hopman immigrated to the United States in 1969 and continued to expound on his love for the sport. One of his most prominent achievements was opening the Hopman Tennis Academy, in Florida, with his second wife, Lucy. One of his most famous students was John McEnroe.  Hopman was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1978.

    Each year, Lucy Hopman returns to the Hopman Cup (she was present this year) in honor of her husband and their shared love for tennis.

    Mixed Doubles Team Wins:

    Australian Open: 1930, 1936, 1937 and 1939

Doris Hart and Elias "Vic" Victor Seixas Jr.

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    Doris Hart, an American player, was born June 20, 1925. Over the course of her career, she won 35 Grand Slam titles. Broken down, she won six singles titles, 14 doubles titles and 15 mixed doubles titles.

    Hart actually won singles, doubles and mixed doubles on the same day for Wimbledon 1951. She also won all three titles at the 1952 French Championships and the 1954 US Championships.

    Her highest ranking was No. 1.

    Based on her career, there is no doubt as to why she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1969.

    Elias "Vic" Victor Seixas Jr., an American player, was born Aug. 30, 1923. Over the course of his career, his greatest achievement had to have been winning four consecutive Wimbledon mixed doubles titles. His highest ranking was No. 3, and he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1971.

    And though he had an active tennis career, he still found time to be loyal patriot to his country as he served in the United States military for three years during World War II.

    Mixed Doubles Team Wins:

    French Championships: 1953

    Wimbledon: 1953-55

    US Championships: 1953-55

Doris Hart and Frank Arthur Sedgman

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    Doris Hart (see Slide No. 6)

    Frank Arthur Sedgman, an Australian player, was born Oct. 29, 1927. One of the most interesting stories surrounding Sedgman involved a fellow mixed-doubles player, Harry Hopman.

    Sedgman was a huge figure in amateur play in 1951 and 1952. However, he had a notion to move on to professional play. But Hopman, being a huge opponent of professional play, actually made it a goal to raise enough money to prevent that move, keeping Sedgman in the amateurs.

    It worked. Hopman raised the necessary funds to purchase a gas station in the name of his future wife. But it was a merely a simple delay, as Sedgman turned professional in 1953.

    His highest ranking was No. 1 in 1952.

    Mixed Doubles Team Wins:

    Australian Champions: 1949 and 1950

    French Championships: 1951 and 1952

    Wimbledon: 1951 and 1952

    US Championships: 1951 and 1952

Billie Jean King and Owen Davidsion

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    Billie Jean King, an American player, was born Nov. 22, 1943. Easily recognized as one of the top players to ever take to the tennis court, King won 39 Grand Slam titles over the course of her career. Broken down, she won 12 singles titles, 16 doubles titles and 11 mixed doubles titles.

    Her highest ranking was No. 1. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.

    Owen Davidson, an Australian player, was born Oct. 4, 1943. His greatest tennis feat was winning the calendar year slam in mixed doubles back in 1967. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2010.

    Mixed Doubles Team Wins:

    French Championships: 1967

    Wimbledon: 1967,1971,1973 and 1974

    US Championships: 1967, 1971 and 1973

Margaret Smith-Court and Marty Riessen

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    Margaret Smith-Court, an Australian player, was born July 16, 1942. Over the course of her career, she won 62 Grand Slam titles. Broken down, she won 24 singles titles, 19 doubles titles and 19 mixed doubles titles.

    She shares the incredible honor of being one of three women to have accomplished the career boxed set (winning every title at every Grand Slam). The other two women are Doris Hart and Martina Navratilova.

    Her career-high ranking was No. 1, and she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1979.

    Marty Riessen, an American player, was born Dec. 4, 1941. Over the course of his career, he won seven mixed doubles titles. Six of those titles were won with Smith-Court. In fact, he achieved his career Grand Slam partnering with her. His highest ranking was No. 11 in singles and No. 3 in doubles.

    Mixed Doubles Team Wins:

    Australian Championships: 1969

    French Championships: 1969

    Wimbledon: 1975

    US Championships: 1969, 1970 and 1972

Margeret Smith-Court and Ken Fletcher

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    Margaret Smith-Court (see Slide No. 9)

    Kenneth "Ken" Norman Fletcher, an Australian player, was born June 15, 1940. One of the most distinguished honors over Fletcher's career had to have been the only man to have won a calendar year Grand Slam in mixed doubles back in 1963. Fletcher was known as a larrikin because of his on-court behavior.

    Mixed Doubles Team Wins:

    Australian Championships: 1963 and 1964

    French Championships: 1963-65

    Wimbledon: 1963, 1965, 1966 and 1968

    US Championships: 1963

Wrap Up

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    And so as this look at 10 of the best mixed doubles teams in history comes to a close, the waiting continues for the official word as to whether or not Roger Federer and Martina Hingis will rekindle their winning partnership at the 2012 London Olympics. And will there also be another tennis partnership at the 2012 Hopman Cup?

    It certainly would be great.

    I Hope that you have enjoyed this piece. Please feel free to leave comments below.

    Photo above:

    Martina Navratilova actually ended her career with a mixed doubles match on September 1, 2006 at the US Open. Her partner was none other than Bob Bryan. Their opponents were Martin Damm and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic.

    And in true Martina Navratilova style and a very fitting end to a historic, record-setting career, they won in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3. This was Martina's 10th mixed doubles title.

    What a career. And let's not forget, she was 49 years old!