Martina Hingis gave back to Australian Open fans in spades as the tournament was a fruitful hunting ground for her, as she made six finals there, won three consecutive titles there between 1997 and 1999, and played in a thrilling final in 2002.
Hingis was born on September 30, 1980 in Kosice, Slovakia. She was named after the great Martina Navratilova of tennis.
While making her debut at the AO in 1995, the Swiss Miss set a record for the youngest player to win a round at a Grand Slam tournament. She made it to the quarterfinals when she was 15 years old in 1996 and then returned the following year as the fourth seed, ready to dominate.
The five youngest women to win the Australian Open are as follows.
- Steffi Graf is one of tennis’s all-time greats and the only athlete in history to win the Golden Slam (the four Grand Slam tournaments plus the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year). For an unprecedented 377 consecutive weeks, Graf topped the WTA rankings, and she also won 22 Grand Slam tournaments. Only she has won all four Grand Slam singles titles. In 1988, at the ripe old age of 19 years, 223 days, she won the Australian Open for the first time.
- Hana Mandlikova has won the Fed Cup and the four Grand Slam singles titles. Vilem Mandlik, the Czechoslovak Republic’s most celebrated Olympian, is her father. As the first player ever, she achieved the status of Junior World No. 1. At 18 years, 318 days of age, she triumphed at the 1980 Australian Open. She famously stopped Chris Evert’s 72-game winning streak and Martina Navratilova’s 54-game winning streak in the French Open in 1981 and 1983, respectively.
- Margaret Court, the best female tennis player ever, is the only player of either gender to have won all four Grand Slam Singles and all four Grand Slam Mixed Doubles titles in the same year. Only two other women have accomplished this feat, therefore she is in elite company. She has a record 192 singles titles to her name, including 22 grand slams, 19 doubles slams, 21 mixed slams, 2 WTA finals, and 4 Fed Cups. She also set a record by winning 21 WTA tournaments in a single year. On eleven separate occasions, beginning when she was just 17 years and 199 days old in 1960, she took home the Australian Open trophy.
- Maria Sharapova, Before she turned 20, Monica Seles had already won eight Grand Slam titles. She also has two WTA Finals championships and a bronze medal from the 2000 Olympics to her name. It was in 1991, when she was just 17 years and 55 days old, that she won the Australian Open for the first time.
- Martina Hingis is the youngest woman to win the Australian Open in the women’s division, the youngest player to win a Grand Slam in the Open era, and the youngest player to ever reach No. 1 in the WTA Rankings. Only 16 years and 117 days old when she won the competition in 1997, she set a new record. She swept the Grand Slams in 1997, with the exception of the French Open. She has won five Grand Slams, thirteen doubles trophies, and seven mixed doubles titles.