Coco Vandeweghe of the USA reacts during her match against Eugenie Bouchard of Canada.
Coco Vandeweghe of the USA reacts during her match against Eugenie Bouchard of Canada. MADE NAGI

Coco's cheeky Hingis comments have fans in stitches

TENNIS: American Coco Vandeweghe beat Canadian Eugenie Bouchard on Friday and shortly after won a legion of new fans.

The animated Vandeweghe, known to let her emotions out on the court, was interviewed on court after beating Bouchard in a superb three-set battle but is also playing doubles with one-time ruler of women's tennis, Martina Hingis.

And the world No.35 gave some insight as to how the pairing came about, and why Hingis, the owner of five grand slam singles titles, was eager for Vandeweghe's singles clash against Bouchard to wrap up quickly.

"Martina is kind of p***ed," Vandeweghe said to laughter from the Rod Laver Arena crowd.

"I have doubles with her later. I will have to be fresh for that."

The pairing with Hingis came about after the "Swiss Miss" gave Vandeweghe a call, asking her to play.

And the American, with Hingis in the crowd watching, cheekily told of how she was tempted to give the call a miss.

"I got this call from a random number. I did not know who it was," she said.

"I could have sent her straight to my voicemail. That would have been a highlight of my career.

"She asked if I was available (to play at) Cincinnati and the US Open last year.

"I told her that I could not do it. I was committed to two people already. Then I told my coach, 'Craig, guess what? Martina just called me.'

"He was like, 'which Martina?' because he used to coach Martina Navratilova.

"I told him that she asked me to play doubles and I said 'no' and he thought I was kidding.

"Then I called the other people and told them I had the opportunity to play with someone for the rest of the year ... I think I made the right choice."

Doubles for Vandeweghe, whose mother was an Olympian and grandfather played basketball for the New York Knicks, has been a source of consternation between her and coach Craig Kardon.

Her mentor is of the view that if his charge wins a doubles title, she can retire and play singles only.

Vandeweghe and Hingis - who is ranked No.4 in the world in doubles and has 55 WTA doubles titles to her name - beat Jelena Jankovic and Yanina Wickmayer in the opening round at Melbourne Park.

With doubles set to take up Vandeweghe's attention, the unseeded star was asked how she would have time to study her next opponent - world No.1 Angelique Kerber, who eased her way into the fourth round following a speedy 6-0, 6-4 win over Kristyna Pliskova.

"That is my coach's job! That is what I tell myself," she said.

News Corp Australia


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