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'Swiss Miss' so popular with fans

  • Story Highlights
  • Martina Hingis won five grand slams and 43 titles during a glittering career
  • 'Swiss Miss' burst onto the scene in 1997 by winning three grand slams
  • Hingis returned to WTA Tour in 2006 after three-year break
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LONDON, England -- Martina Hingis dominated women's tennis in the period before the power game epitomized by the Williams sisters Venus and Serena took over.


Hingis won the Wimbledon title as she burst onto the scene in 1997.

The 'Swiss Miss' burst onto the scene at the tender age of 16 in 1997, winning three grand slams, including Wimbledon and taking over at world number one, guided by her mother and long-time coach Melanie Molitor.

The youngest-ever player to win a grand slam when she took the Australian Open title at 16 years and three months, she made it a hat-trick of wins Down Under as she topped the world rankings until 2000.

But although popular with tennis fans for her cheerful manner and skilful play, Hingis did court controversy, most notably in the French Open final in 1999, where she lost to Germany's Steffi Graf and infuriated the crowd by arguing line calls and them making a graceless and tearful exit.

Her 1999 Australian Open victory was to prove her last grand slam title although her incredible record at the tournament continued as she made the next three finals in Melbourne, losing to Lindsay Davenport and twice in succession to Jennifer Capriati.

The emergence of a new generation of tennis stars, led by Venus and Serena Williams, coincided with a series of foot and ankle injuries that saw Hingis slip down the rankings and eventually announce her retirement in 2002.

She spent the time looking after her horses and commentating on tennis for Swiss television, but at the end of of 2005 she announced her return to the professional circuit with most players predicting she would fail to make an impact in a faster and more physical game.

But Hingis went some way to proving them wrong by claiming her 41st and 42nd WTA Tour titles and rising to world number seven. She was also a superb doubles player winning 37 titles in her career.

Hingis started 2007 in some style with her 43rd and final singles title in Tokyo, but the remainder of the year has been dogged by further injuries and finally the revelation of a positive test for cocaine at Wimbledon which has brought her glittering career to an end. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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