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Swiss great Hingis announces retirement

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Swiss great Hingis announces retirement

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By John O’Brien SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Swiss great Martina Hingis has announced she will retire from tennis at the end of this week’s WTA Finals, where the 37-year-old multi grand slam champion is playing in the doubles tournament alongside Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan. “Looking back now, it’s hard to believe that almost exactly 23 years ago I made my professional debut,” Hingis said on her Facebook page on Thursday. “The years that followed have been some of the most rewarding years of my life, both personally and professionally, but I believe the time has come for me to retire, which I will be doing after my last match here in Singapore.” The retirement will be Hingis’s third in a long and illustrious career during which she claimed 25 grand slam titles since her WTA Tour debut in 1994, five in singles, seven in mixed doubles and 13 in women’s doubles. Hingis first decided to end her career as a 22-year-old in 2003 due to persistent injuries after picking up all five of her singles crowns as a teenager, comprising three Australian Opens, as well as lone Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles from 1997-99. The Swiss returned to the tour in 2006 and although she found more success in doubles than singles, she retired for a second time a year later after being handed a two-year ban for testing positive for cocaine. Hingis returned to the sport for a third time in 2013 and has enjoyed another successful spell of doubles tennis in the latest comeback, winning four women’s and six mixed doubles grand slam titles from 2015-17. The Swiss also spent 209 weeks as world number one and has won the season-ending WTA Finals twice in singles, three times in doubles and claimed a 2016 Olympic silver medal in women’s doubles with compatriot Timea Bacsinszky. “I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to play this wonderful sport for so many years,” she added. “Tennis has always been my passion and I am extremely thankful for all the challenges, opportunities, partnerships and friendships it’s given me.”

(Reporting by John O’Brien, editing by Ed Osmond)
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