Oct/17

29

Martina Hingis Tribute

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By Scoop Malinowski

Tennis will never be the same. One of the all time great and most unique champions has decided to move on. Martina Hingis has announced her retirement, while at pinnacle of her game. “I want to stop on top,” said Hingis who is the reigning Wimbledon (mixed) and US Open doubles champion (and mixed) and ranked no. 1 in doubles right now.

She battled the best from the 90s to today, won with everyone from Anna Kournikova to Mary Pierce, to Roger Federer and Leander Paes. Hingis won 25 major titles.

By retiring as world no. 1 in WTA doubles, the recently turned 37 year old Hingis has plotted quite possibly the greatest departure in tennis history. I can’t think of another player who actually left the sport at the very top. When Pete Sampras won his final major at the 2002 US Open he did not immediately retire after that conquest – he waited months before finalizing and then announcing he was retiring.

Hingis was so unique in so many ways. She was small-statured and hardly physically imposing yet she somehow managed to become world No. 1 in singles at the age of sixteen. Which illustrates how supremely extraordinary her court intelligence, touch, feel, creativity and mental fortitude were at such a very young age. We may never again see a sixteen year old become the best player in the world, we may never see anyone ever do it again under the age of 20.

Hingis was the youngest no. in singles and also, to the best of my knowledge, the oldest no. 1 in doubles.

There were so many unforgettable highlights. 43 career singles titles, 64 career doubles titles. Seven career mixed doubles major titles.

Hingis made her debut at the Zurich Open just after turning fourteen in October 1994. By the end of the year she was ranked 87 in the world.

In 1996 she became the youngest Grand Slam champion of all time, at Wimbledon winning the doubles with Helena Sukova. She was fifteen years and nine months. Hingis won her first singles title in Filderstadt, Germany.

Her first major title came at age sixteen year and three months in Australia, besting Mary Pierce. In March Hingis achieved the no. 1 ranking – the youngest player in history to do it. In July she won her first Wimbledon against Jana Novotna- the youngest player to do it since Lottie Dod in 1887.

Overall, Hingis recorded W/L records of: 548-135 in singles; 489-109 in doubles; 54-13 in mixed.

Her career earnings are over $24 million.

Martina Hingis was the best. And she is still the best. She will always be, Simply the best.

***

Awards and accoldaes
1992: Swiss Champion together with the tennisclub TC Schützenwiese (from Winterthur) in the Interclub-Championships.
1994: ITF Junior Girls Singles World Champion.
1995: WTA Newcomer of the Year.
1995: Named “Female Rookie of the Year” by Tennis magazine.
1996: WTA Most Improved Player of the Year.
1997: Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year.
1997: WTA Player of the Year.
1997: ITF World Champion – Women’s Singles.
1997: BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year.
1998: First female athlete to be on the cover of the American men’s magazine GQ in June 1998.
1998: WTA Doubles Team of the Year (with Jana Novotná).
1999: WTA Doubles Team of the Year (with Anna Kournikova).
1999: ITF World Champion – Women’s Singles.
1999: ITF World Champion – Women’s Doubles (with Anna Kournikova).
2000: ITF World Champion – Women’s Singles.
2000: One of five female tennis players named to the 2000 Forbes magazine Power 100 in Fame and Fortune list at No. 51.
2000: WTA Diamond Aces Award.
2002: Elected to Tour Players’ Council.
2006: Laureus World Sports Award for Comeback of the Year.
2007: Surpassed US$20 million in career earnings at the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, the fourth female player to do so (after Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, and Lindsay Davenport). She was fourth in the all-time money list at $20,033,600 after the tournament.
2007: Meredith Inspiration Award for inspiring women around the world – Family Circle Cup/Family Circle magazine
2013: Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on 13 July 2013
2015: First Global Ambassador for the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
2015: WTA Doubles Team of the Year with Sania Mirza.
2015: ITF World Champion – Women’s Doubles (with Sania Mirza).

Notable accolades
Except for the French Open, has won every major WTA Tour singles title at least once during her career (Grand Slam tournaments, WTA Tour Championships, and Tier I tournaments).

Except for Berlin, has won every major WTA Tour doubles title at least once during her career (Grand Slam tournaments, WTA Tour Championships, and Tier I tournaments).

1999 French Open final (Graf d. Hingis 4–6, 7–5, 6–2) was voted by worldwide fans as the Greatest Match in 30-Year History of the Tour (online voting spanned two months and included a ballot of 16 memorable matches).

By reaching the 2016 French Open mixed doubles finals, Hingis joined an elite group of players who have reached the finals in all 4 Grand Slams across singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.

3 comments

  • GameSetAndMath · November 4, 2017 at 2:15 am

    Too bad that the dream swiss team never materialized in Olympic mixed doubles.

  • shawnbm · November 10, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    One of my favorite players—so smart and sassy.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 11, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    shawnbm; Hingis was one of those players you couldn't help but like to watch. We knew we were looking at greatness.

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