Martina Hingis

Born 30/9/1980
Australian Open 1997,1998,1999
Wimbledon 1997
US Open 1997

Martina Hingis was born in Czechoslovakia and moved to Switzerland when she was young. She was named after the great Martina Navratilova and seemed destined to follow her namesake in becoming a champion from early on. Still only 16, she won her first Grand Slam title at the 1997 Australian, where she overcame Mary Pierce in a one sided final. At the French she beat great champions Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Monica Seles but surprisingly lost to Iva Majoli in the final. At Wimbledon she beat Jana Novotna in the final. At the US Open Hingis beat Sanchez Vicario, Lindsay Davenport and Venus Williams to win her third Grand Slam title of the year. At the 1998 Australian Hingis beat Pierce, Anke Huber and Conchita Martinez to take her second title. However, she failed to win the other three Grand Slams, coming closest at the US, where she lost the final to Davenport. Hingis won a hat trick of Australian titles in 1999, beating Pierce, Monica Seles and Amelie Mauresmo. At the French Hingis beat defending champion Sanchez Vicario in the semis and in the final faced Steffi Graf, who hadn't won a Grand Slam title for nearly three years. Hingis won the first set and seemed on course for victory, but the partisan French crowd rooted for the veteran Graf and Hingis let this get under her skin. Hingis crumbled and Graf won. Hingis left the court in tears. At the US Open Hingis managed to beat Venus Williams in a tough semi final but then lost to her sister Serena in the final. At the 2000 Australian Hingis beat Sanchez Vicario and Martinez before losing to Davenport in the final. In the 2001 Australian Hingis overcame Serena Williams in a titanic struggle in the quarters and then thrashed her sister Venus in the semis but lost in the final to Jennifer Capriati. In the 2002 Australian final Hingis led by a set and 4-0 and had four match points before losing an epic to Capriati. This was Hingis' last big chance of winning a Grand Slam. Hingis declined and as the Williams sisters' power game dominated, Hingis' game seemed lightweight in comparison. She retired and attempted a comeback and retired again.