The exploits of Martina Hingis have been enshrined in stone as the Swiss former tennis star was inducted into the sport’s International Hall of Fame in the United States on Saturday.
Hingis, 32, became the fourth-youngest person to receive the honour, having won five grand slam singles tournaments and nine other doubles and mixed titles during an illustrious career. She was ranked the number one women’s player for 209 weeks.
“Thank you, tennis. You gave me the world,” she said at the ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island. “And now I honestly am out of words, because there are no words to explain what I feel. You chose to give me a place here for eternity.”
Born in what was then Czechoslovakia and named after tennis champion player Martina Navratilova, Hingis won the 1993 French Open junior title at the tender age of 12, turning professional just before she turned 14.
She won the 1997, 1998 and 1999 editions of the Australian Open, Wimbledon in 1997 and the US Open in the same year before retiring with injury at the age of 22.
Hingis attempted a comeback four years later but retired for good in 2007 after testing positive for cocaine – a charge that she has always denied.
swissinfo.ch and agencies