Born September 30, 1980 in Kosice, Slovakia
, Martina Hingis is the on-again, off-again #1 women's tennis player in the world. Named after Martina Navratilova
began playing tennis at age 2, and was competing in tournaments at age 4. After becoming the youngest ever
junior Grand Slam titlist, Hingis turned pro on October 14, 1994 (shortly after her 14th birthday), and quickly became the youngest #1 in the history of the WTA
. Rather than overpower her opponents like the Williams sisters do, the 5' 7", 130 pound Hingis simply finesses opposing players off the court with smart tennis
and wicked two-handed backhands down the line.
To date the "Swiss Miss" has won 29 singles titles, including five majors. She has also won 27 doubles titles, becoming in 1998 only the fourth woman to win the doubles Grand Slam. In 1999 she became the first women's player to earn more than $3 million in prize money three years in a row, and became the first player to win the singles and doubles titles of a major three years consecutively with three different doubles partners.
Ironically, she would rather be riding horses. Hingis owns three horses and claims to enjoy riding them more than playing tennis. Rather apathetic-looking on the court at times, there might be some truth to that - Hingis rarely does more than bounce rackets off the court - but Pete Sampras shows the same casual on-court demeanor, so who knows? She superstitiously refuses to walk on tennis lines between points, enjoys musicals, and has her likeness molded at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in Paris. She is coached by her mother, Melanie Molitor.
Grand Slam Singles Championships:
- 1999 Australian Open
- 1998 Australian Open
- 1997 Australian Open
- 1997 Wimbledon
- 1997 U.S. Open
Grand Slam Doubles Championships: