Retirement from women’s professional tennis at age 27 isn’t unusual. The current Top 20 is comprised of teenagers and twentysomethings with young legs. Those girls are tough to compete against when your body is constantly breaking down, as Hingis has experienced recently with lower back and hip injuries, which ultimately led to her retirement.
Martina Hingis will be known for many “firsts” and notable accomplishments during her tennis career:
- Youngest Grand Slam junior champion at age 12.
- Youngest Wimbledon champion (doubles) at age 15.
- Youngest Grand Slam champion (singles) – won Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open at age 16.
- Youngest to reach world No. 1 at age 16 years 6 months.
- Ranked No. 1 for 179 consecutive weeks.
- Named “Female Rookie of the Year” in 1995 and “Comeback Player of the Year” in 2007.
- Named after Martina Navratilova.
Enjoying wins over top players Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams in 2006, and over Elena Dementieva and Ana Ivanovic in 2007, it looked as though Martina Hingis was back on track to continue making tennis history. She rose in the rankings to No. 6 in the world and started off 2007 with a win in Tokyo. Unfortunately injuries took their toll and Hingis was forced to withdraw from six tournaments in as many months. And the results she’d come to expect weren’t there.
The End…and more
During a press conference in her native Switzerland, Martina Hingis announced her retirement from the game of tennis. She cited health problems and age which keep her from being as competitive on tour as she once was.
The retirement announcement was not unexpected, but what came next left the tennis world in shock and disbelief. Hingis revealed that she had tested positive for cocaine use several months earlier during the 2007 Wimbledon Championships. She emphatically denies the allegations and intends to fight to clear her name, but the accusation was obviously a consideration in her retirement decision.
An Accomplished Career
Martina Hingis was a great student of the game. With a slight build and weak serve, Hingis learned to use her mind to beat bigger and stronger opponents. She constructed points with a variety of spins and shot selection with unique angles using the entire court, more often than not frustrating her opponents. A career as world No. 1 with 5 Grand Slam singles titles and 10 Grand Slam doubles titles is indeed an accomplishment.
We wish you well Martina. You will be missed.
Have fun on the courts!