Martina Hingis and Jim Courier cemented their place in tennis history, and gave a little display of their French language skills as they were inducted into the Rogers Cup Hall of Fame last night.
Hingins and Courier were honoured with the membership into the elite Hall of Fame during the renowned Legends Night of the Rogers Cup tournament taking place in Montreal. Both Hingis, who is the winner of five Grand Slam titles two of which were consecutively won in Canada, and four time Grand Slam winner Courier both did their best to address the gathered crowds in the Canadian mother tongue.
31-year-old Hingis, who hails from Switzerland, spoke to fans at the Uniprix Stadium entirely in French, attributing her improvement in the language to husband and world class Showjumper Thibault Hutin. Giving thanks for the honour, Hingis told the crowd “I was able to win here at least once in Montreal and always had really good results”. The US’s Courier attempted some conversational French before asking to switch back to more familiar language territory to say “It’s really an honour for me…Being in a hall of fame is rare. It’s a good feeling to know that I have achieved a few things in sport so it’s special.”
The two Grand Slam champions have been recognised as players who have supported and encouraged professional tennis throughout Canada, participating in Rogers Cup singles and doubles events throughout their careers. In addition to receiving their unique honours, Hingis and Courier were able to show their appreciation by participating in a mixed doubles match against fellow Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova and the legendary Michael Chang (who stepped in at the last minute to replace an injured Andre Agassi).
The surprises and honours didn’t end there. Hingis, who is an accomplished equestrienne, was presented with a horse blanket delivered onto the court by top Canadian trainer Roger Deslauriers. Music lover Courier was also given a unique gift, a guitar from Montreal-based Simple Plan, which was signed and presented to him by members of the band.