Martina Hingis, the Swiss, is back as No.1 in tennis, but on the doubles side.
The 37-year-old has found another niche for herself on the tennis circuit which has led to her being named No.1 with doubles partner, Yung-Jan Chan.
Hingis and Chan beat the unseeded pair of Zhaoxuan Yang and Shuko Aoyama 7-6 3-6 10-4 to win the Wuhan Open title.
With 18 Grand Slam titles – five in singles and 13 in doubles, Hingis has had to weather many storms to become No. 1 again.
Hingis turned professional in 1994 and then partnered Helena Sukova in 1996, at 15 years and 9 months, to become the youngest Grand Slam champion by winning the Wimbledon women’s doubles title.
The then golden girl of tennis had to retire abruptly at 22 because of debilitating ankle injuries. She returned to the sport in 2006 but had to retire again in 2007 after a Cocaine positive test, which led to a two-year ban.
She again re-entered the circuit to play only doubles in 2013 by teaming up with Daniela Hantuchova, Sabine Lisicki and Flavia Pennetta.
Her most successful spell then followed with the alliance with Sania Mirza in 2015. That partnership delivered the 2015 Wimbledon and US Open titles, which was followed by the 2016 Australian Open title.
The pair popularly called ‘Santina’ on tour decided to go their separate ways three days before the commencement of the 2016 Rio Olympics because, “We both felt we were missing that magic we had for that year and a half,” Mirza told the Times of India.
Hingis wrote on her Facebook page: “After three Grand Slam victories and eleven WTA doubles titles together, we have mutually agreed that we would each be open to playing with other players for the remainder of the season. Perhaps, because of our great past results, we have had very high expectations from our partnership and unfortunately did not get the results we desired recently. We would like to clarify that it was a totally professional decision based purely on our recent results.”
When Hingis found Chan, she had just split from her sister, Hao-ching Chan though Hingis also had to end another partnership with Coco Vandeweghe, which had taken flight at the 2016 US Open, at which they reached the final.
Hingis has also won two mixed doubles titles this year with Andy Murray’s brother, Jamie, at Wimbledon and the US Open.
She became No.1 in doubles in 1998 and her rise back to the top adds credence to the maxim that age is nothing but a number!