Switzerland’s most successful tennis player has retired. No, not Roger Federer. Martina Hingis, owner of 25 grand slam trophies, has hung up her racket (for the third time). swissinfo.ch looks back at a colourful career – on and off court.
Hingis has squeezed a lot into 37 years. Born in what is now Slovakia (and named after Martina Navratilova), she came to Switzerland aged seven when her mother married a Swiss man. She had already been playing tennis for five years.
She turned pro at 13, won her first grand slam match at 14, beat the then world No 1 Steffi Graf at 15 and won her first grand slam title – and became No 1 herself – at 16. Hingis still holds the records for the youngest winner of a grand slam singles title and youngest world No 1.
Yet despite her success – she won five grand slam titles in singles, 13 in doubles and seven in mixed doubles – the “Swiss Miss” has never been particularly popular within Switzerland. Admittedly it’s tough to compete with Federer, but being booed for petulanceexternal link in a grand slam final and being banned for cocaine (which she denies taking) are rarely good career moves.
However, in a remarkable doubles-focused comeback in 2013, a permanently smiling Hingis seemed to really enjoy playing tennis. This translated into extraordinary success, winning ten grand slam titles in doubles or mixed doubles.
As she said in a 2015 interviewexternal link, “if there’s one thing I never was, it’s boring”.