For the love of the game; meeting Martina Hingis

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Martina Hingis is a Swiss professional tennis player who is currently ranked world No. 1 in doubles by the WTA. She spent a total of 209 weeks as the singles world No. 1 and has won five Grand Slam singles titles (three at the Australian Open, one at Wimbledon, and one at the US Open), twelve Grand Slam women’s doubles titles, winning a calendar-year doubles Grand Slam in 1998, and five Grand Slam mixed doubles titles; for a combined total of twenty-two major titles.

Hingis set a series of “youngest ever” records, including youngest ever Grand Slam champion and youngest ever world No. 1, before ligament injuries in both ankles forced her to withdraw temporarily from professional tennis in 2002, at the age of 22. She had won 40 singles titles and 36 doubles titles up until that point, and, according to had been the highest-paid female athlete in the world for five consecutive years, 1997 to 2001.

Meeting Martina at the Australian Open in January 2016 was an amazing experience. I met Martina on the practice courts where she was warming up with Mirza. The banterful yet serious atmosphere in the practice session was evident, both players hitting the ball so clean and hard and were truly amazing to see. It showed that almost twenty years since domineering the singles tour that her love for the game was still paramount after so many years at the highest level and with the ankle injury stopping her singles career. Jokingly Mirza and Hingis were playing so hard against each other and the loser had to buy dinner that evening.

The Mirza Hingis partnership truly allows both players to grow together in their matches and exemplifies how fun, yet competitive Tennis should be. The ladies continue their Wimbledon run after winning their third round match.

 


 

Emma WellsFCN Tennis Coordinator: Emma is a LTA Level 3 Coach, who has coached in 7 countries across 4 different continents in the last 12 years, including Australia, the USA, Egypt, Tenerife and the U.K.  Emma’s speciality is engaging people back in to tennis. She is also a big driver of social tennis, including heading up over 10 Nike Tennis Tuesdays women’s social sessions across London. For this reason Emma is a particular fan of Serena Williams, whose passion and dedication for tennis has inspired countless women to get involved.  Outside of coaching Emma plays on the touchtennis international tour (www.touchtennis.com). She is currently the World Women’s No2 and is sponsored by the tennis brand Babolat.  Apart from Tennis, Emma is passionate about fitness and holds a REPS Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification. On weekends she also masquerades as an avid Arsenal fan.

 

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