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Last Updated:  Friday, 14 February, 2003, 21:56 GMT
Hingis: The rise and fall
By Piers Newbery

Martina Hingis' injury-enforced retirement brings an end to a remarkable career that has been in steady decline for the last three years.

Hingis took over at the top of women's tennis in 1997 when she won three of the four Grand Slams, only missing out at Roland Garros.

Her victory in the Australian Open, aged just 16 years and three months, made her the youngest Grand Slam singles winner in the 20th century.

The only Grand Slam to allude her is the French Open, an event she once described as "torture".

It was in a petulant display in the 1999 final at Roland Garros that Hingis' aura of invincibility began to slip, as she lost to Steffi Graf.

A tearful Hingis was roundly booed by the Paris crowd, and she never fully recovered from that loss.

Hingis first underwent surgery on her right ankle in October 2001. Seven months later she needed a similar operation on her left ankle.

She fought her way back and reached the 2002 Australian Open final but lost to the then world number one Jennifer Capriati.

Hingis has not won a Grand Slam for nearly three years and in October she slipped out of the world top 10 for the first time in six years.

But despite her premature retirement, one of the most talented players the game has known has achieved more than most by the age of 22.


  • Becomes youngest-ever Grand Slam junior champion at the age of 12 with victory at the French Open.


  • Makes her WTA Tour debut on 14 October, beating Patty Fendick in front of 240 journalists and a packed crowd of 4500 spectators at the Swisscom Challenge before going out to Mary Pierce.


  • Takes her first WTA Tour title at the Porsche Grand Prix in Filderstadt, Germany.
  • Makes the semi-finals at the US Open.


  • Youngest woman to win a Grand Slam at the age of 16 with victory at the Australian Open.
  • Becomes the youngest ever world number one on 31 March. Takes the Wimbledon and US Open titles.


  • Becomes the third woman in the open era to hold the number one ranking in singles and doubles simultaneously, and goes on to take the doubles Grand Slam.
  • Retains Australian Open singles title but loses out in the other Grand Slams.


  • Wins her third successive Australian Open title, but loses to Graf in the French Open final when three points from victory. Her petulant display in Paris earns a fine for unsportsmanlike behaviour.
  • Loses to qualifier Jelena Dokic in the first round at Wimbledon.


  • Holds on to top ranking by virtue of nine tournament wins, but best Grand Slam finish is runner-up in Australia.
  • Threatens to lead a women's boycott over the issue of equal prize money with the men's game.


  • Ends coaching relationship with her mother, Melanie Molitor, but has a change of heart two months later.
  • Beats both Serena and Venus Williams at the Australian Open before losing out to Capriati in the final.
  • Loses to little known Virginia Ruano Pascual in the first round at Wimbledon.
  • Reaches 10 consecutive finals and moves into third place on the career prize-money list, surpassing the $16m mark.


  • Wins in Sydney and Tokyo but wastes four match points as she loses in the Australian Open final to Capriati after leading by a set and 4-0.


  • Announces her retirement after losing her battle with severe ankle problems.

    Links to more Tennis stories


    Hingis quits tennis
    07 Feb 03 |  Tennis
    Hingis cleared to return
    19 Jan 03 |  2003
    Hingis faces long lay-off
    10 Dec 02 |  Tennis

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