The young champion
The 17-year-long silence has been broken, following the enthralling and breathtaking games as Martina Hingis won two Wimbledon titles in doubles last month.
Despite starting off as the great teenage champion, her career journey hasn’t been completely free from setbacks and disappointments. But her resilience, strength and determination has re-established her name as the tennis legend over the years.
“I wasn’t prepared for it at all and was a bit scared of how it would turn out.” (From Express)
Born in Slovakia in 1980 to Melanie Molitorová and Karol Hingis (who were also top tennis players in former Czechoslovakia) and brought up in Switzerland, Martina Hingis first encountered tennis at the age of two. And just two years after that, she entered her first tournament.
In 1996, Martina Hingis was only 15 years and 9 months old when she won the 1997 Wimbledon doubles title with Helena Sukova, which made her the youngest Grand Slam champion of all time. But in the same year, she also won her first professional singles in Germany.
The subsequent year, Hingis became the ‘undisputed’ female tennis player in history.‘She became the youngest singles Grand Slam tournament winner of the 20th century after her victory in the Australian Open, and the youngest-ever world No. 1 when she replaced the injured Steffi Graf.’
A tennis legend
While her astonishing achievement in her young age laid the foundation for her fame, it was her successful comebacks that built her as a tennis legend for many enthusiastic fans.
Hingis’ ankle injury in 2003, however, led to her first career predicament. She was only 22 years old when she was forced to retire from the tennis world which meant everything to her.
She made a remarkable comeback in 2006 to the competitive world of tennis and eventually won the Australian Open doubles title with Mahesh Bhupathi and the Italian Open. Her return that year also gave her the Laureus World Sports award.
However, young Hingis faced another obstacle just one year after her successful comeback. But this time, it was a drug allegation. Although she was proven innocent, the investigation led to another retirement in her career.
Despite all the obstacles she had to face, she made her second comeback to the game once again in 2013, strictly as a doubles player. Following her astonishing accomplishments over the next couple of years, she finally won her first Wimbledon titles this year in 17 years.
“I wouldn’t have thought that I’d be back playing the finals here.’’ (From BBC Sport)
The Hingis’ lifestyle
‘I love Japanese food, a good curry or a steak. I try to have red meat once or twice a week. I also like chocolate fudge cake with a good vanilla ice cream’ (via Express.)
So what helped her successful comebacks after the severe injury and the two-year ban from the games?
She once said that one of the secrets of her success was ‘maintaining the fitness she’s built up from childhood and having a healthy lifestyle which meant she could pick up maybe not quite where she left off but still considerably higher up the ladder than many of her competitors.’
From fish, meat to chocolates, she is determined to her own diet, which is ‘enjoy bread and pasta while strictly abiding to the rules’. No carbs after midnight and stay active. Her lifestyle reveals the importance of having the right balance that really works.
Her pursuit for comfort and beauty
Her passion for health and wellness extends beyond the tennis court. She now collaborates with an ethical activewear startup based in Canada to innovate comfortable and stylish tennis activewear.
“Fashion is very important when you’re playing tennis. I remember when I was on tour, everyone would always be looking at everyone else to see what they were wearing. You want to look good on court as then you’re going to feel better about your tennis.”, as she once revealed to Tonic Tennis.
Powerful, resilient and versatile – we think they’re the three secret ingredients that make Hingis beautiful and likable.
And of course, she always adds ‘fun’ in that golden formula.