Thứ Hai, 23 tháng 6, 2014

Martina Hingis"s Travelling Life

The most remote place you’ve played tennis?

Hopefully it’s going to be on Richard Branson’s Necker Island. I’ve been

invited to go there to play the Pro-Am event a couple of times but I

couldn’t make it. So I’m hoping to make it this year. I’ve heard so many

great players have been there before, including Rafael Nadal and Novak

Djokovic. My friends Ana Ivanovic and Daniela Hantuchova, who have also

played there, have said, “It’s a dream; it’s paradise.” I’ve played tennis

with Branson a couple of times and he’s a very unique character and a pretty

decent tennis player.

Most memorable encounter on your travels?

Muhammad Ali on a trip to Orlando. Once a year adidas hosts an event there,

which various athletes, including soccer players, basketball players and

tennis players, are invited to attend. One year Muhammad Ali and his

daughter were the guests of honour. I stood right next to him and I was like

“wow”, as he’s one of my all-time heroes.

The most beautiful place you’ve been?

The Maldives, which were pretty amazing. Everybody should go there before they

disappear due to rising water levels. The water is so clear and we were able

to swim with whale sharks and dolphins and go fishing. I’m not a snorkeller

but I swim all right for a tennis player.

Aerial view of an island in the Maldives (Fotolia/AP)

What do you need for a perfect holiday?

I’m a pretty active traveller and I don’t like to sit still for too long. In

the Maldives after five or six days I was like, “I’ve got to move, I’ve got

to go somewhere,” but you can’t really go anywhere, as you’re stranded on a

desert island. I always like to explore the area, wherever I am.

Your worst travel experience?

I played an exhibition match with Andre Agassi, Jim Courier and Ashley

Harkleroad in Venezuela once. But when we got there, a Mexican diplomat was

kidnapped and 150 prisoners had also apparently escaped. Security was so

strict on all floors of the hotel but we were never in direct danger. But

anything could have happened and we were not allowed to go out and explore

during that period, so that was a close call.

Favourite hotel?

The seven-star Burj Al Arab in Dubai. I stayed in a duplex suite where

everything was yellow and blue, with amazing attention to detail. You only

had to tell them what you were having for breakfast on the first day and for

the rest of your stay, they’d tailor your breakfast accordingly. I love

lychees, so I picked out lychees from the fruit bowl. The following day, I

was given this huge bowl of lychees.

The Burj Al Arab in Dubai (Fotolia/AP)

Favourite airline?

Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific are amazing and these days I fly long

haul with Emirates, which is a cut above the others. I try to avoid flying

with the budget airlines. There’s a reason why cheaper airlines are cheaper.

I’d rather pay a bit more and play it safe and not have any hassle with my

luggage or tennis rackets.

Best piece of travel advice?

On a long-haul flight make sure you have a flat bed. I can’t sleep sitting

down, as my legs go all tingly. As long as I can lie down I’m happy.

What do you hate about holidays?

Delays. I had to land in Muscat once because we couldn’t land in Abu Dhabi. We

were delayed there for four or five hours until a sand storm had passed. I’m

not good at waiting.

What has travelling taught you?

It’s taught me to be a world citizen. I’ve learnt to communicate with my body

language wherever I am, so I feel confident of my social skills wherever I

am in the world.

Where next?

I’ll be in London for the Wimbledon tournament. After that I’ll be playing

some team tennis in America, in Dallas, Washington, New York and Boston.

Later in the year there has been some talk about an Asian tennis league, so

if that happens I’ll be in Tokyo and Beijing.

Martina Hingis is an ambassador for Nelsons Arnicare Arnica Cooling Gel.

For information, see

She will be playing in the 2014 Wimbledon Championships which begins today.


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