|Turned Pro:||Oct. 14 1994|
She was the bright young star who spent a total of 209 weeks as World Number One and won 5 Grand Slam Singles. Now she is the disgraced tennis player who last year finished a two-year ban for testing positive for cocaine at the 2007 Wimbledon Championships.
Martina Hingis was born on 30th September 1980 and she set a series of youngest ever records before injuries to both ankles forced her to withdraw from tennis in 2002 at the age of 22. In 1996 she became the youngest Grand Slam Champion of all time when she teamed up with Helena Sukova to win her first Grand Slam Doubles Title at the age of 15 years and 9 months, the same year she also won her first Professional Singles Title at Filderstadt, Germany.
In 1997 she became World Number One and the only Grand Slam singles title she failed to win that year was the French Open when she lost in the final to Iva Majoli. The following year she won all four Grand Slam womens' doubles titles becoming only the fourth woman in history to do so and the third to be ranked World Number One in singles and doubles simultaneously.
She was at the peak of her career when everything started to go wrong and it was the beginning of her downwards spiral. Injuries to both ankles forced her to withdraw from tennis in 2002 at the age of 22 and she was not able to return to the WTA tour until four years later after several operations. Everyone was glad to see her back and she rapidly climbed up the rankings to finish the year as Number Six in the world.
There were high hopes for her in 2007 but things took a dramatic turn when she was tested positive for using cocaine after she lost her third round match at the Wimbledon Championships in June that year. She denied the charge saying, "I have tested positive but I have never taken drugs and I feel 100% innocent. I would personally be terrified of taking drugs and when I was informed about the test I was shocked and appalled."
Following a two-day hearing in December 2007 an independent Anti-Doping Tribunal declared " Both urine samples A and B provided by Miss Hingis on 29th June 2007 at Wimbledon has tested positive for a metabolite of cocaine. The Tribunal rejected the suggestion on behalf of Miss Hingis that they were doubts about the identity and/or the integrity of the sample attributed to her.
"The International Tennis Federation has given her a two year ban backdated to October 2007 resulting in her forfeiting the ranking points from that date and the repayment of prize money totalling $129,481 (nearly £80,000) from these events. The results from Wimbledon and subsequent events are disqualified." Hingis decided not to fight it saying it would take too long and although she tried to make a come-back two years later she has announced she won't be returning to the tour.
Her private life has been as disastrous as her professional career. She dated Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia and footballer Sol Campbell before she announced her engagement to Czech player Radek Stepanek but he broke off the engagement in August 2007 when she tested positive for cocaine. In March 2010 she again announced her engagement, this time to her Swiss attorney boyfriend Andreas Bieri but she has subsequently said that engagement is off too.
Martina Hingis Tennis Career Highlights
Martina Hingis started playing tennis at age of two and entered tournaments at the age of four. From this early start, Martina Hingis turned pro at fourteen finishing the year with a world ranking of 87 in 1994. Hingis's first major breakthrough was at the 1996 US Open at just twenty-five days from her sixteenth birthday, Martina Hingis became the third youngest semi-finalist there following Jaeger in 1980 and Capriati in 1991. She consequently moved up the tennis world rankings in unstoppable form to a ranking of four ending the year 1996.
Martina Hingis broke the record for the youngest female tennis player to rank at Number one on March the 30th 1997 at sixteen years and six months. Hingis career highlight was in the 1997 tennis season, where she won three out of the four Grand Slam finals.
Following this success Martina Hingis dominated tennis. In; 1997 she achieved a ranking of one, 1998 at two, 1999 one, 2000 one, 2001 four. In her tennis career, she earned over $18 million and the third all-time highest career prize money behind Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova. She won 40 WTA Tour Singles titles, 36 Doubles titles, fourteen times Grand Slam Champion including five in singles and nine in women’s doubles.
Martina Hingis won four hundred and seventy one singles matches lost one hundred and one. Doubles wins equaled two hundred and seventy three and fifty losses, her significant and well-known doubles pairing was with Anna Kournikova (Martina Hingis Final Doubles match was at the Australian Open Sydney in 2002 with Anna Kournikova).
The final Singles tennis match Martina Hingis played was in 2002 at Filderstadt where she lost to Elena Dementieva 6-3, 6-1. After this, she withdrew from all remaining Championships due to continued pain in her left ankle and required surgery on the injury.