Martina Hingis retires from professional tennis as World No.1 in doubles

Martina Hingis announced her retirement from professional tennis on social media on Friday, after reaching the semifinals with Taiwanese partner Chan Yung-Jan at the WTA Finals.

Martina Hingis announced her retirement from professional tennis on social media on Friday.

Martina Hingis announced her retirement from professional tennis on social media on Friday. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)--Martina Hingis announced her retirement from professional tennis on social media on Friday, after reaching the semifinals with Taiwanese partner Chan Yung-Jan (詹詠然) at the WTA Finals.

Hingis and her partner Chan Yung-Jan at the WTA Finals (Photo by CNA).

“Now that the cat is out of the bag, here we are for the third, and final time,” Hingis wrote on Facebook, referring to previous two retirements. “Looking back now, it's hard to believe that almost exactly 23 years ago I made my professional debut. 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.”

This is the third time that Hingis has left the sport. She first quit in 2003, at the age of 22, citing injuries, and her second career came to end in 2007, when she was 27 years old, after she tested positive for a metabolite of cocaine at that year's Wimbledon.

In the announcement, she thanked many people, including her mom, who Hingis said “has taught me this beautiful game,” and her fans. “And of course thank you to all my fans - you were there to support and lift me up in hard times and celebrated alongside me in days of triumph. You, and the love for the game, is what kept me coming back all those years!” she wrote.

Hingis is undoubtedly one of the tennis greats, winning five Grand Slam singles titles, including three at the Australian Open, and 13 Slam doubles titles.

Her most glorious year appeared early in her career. In 1997 at the young age of 16, she won three majors in singles, reaching the final of the other (the French Open), and becoming the youngest WTA No.1 in history.

At the age of 37, Hingis is stepping away as the World No.1 in doubles at the end of a season in which she has taken three Grand Slam titles, with a couple in mixed doubles and one in women's doubles with Chan.

(Photo by CNA)

The Swiss star played 16 tournaments with Chan, including this week as the top seeds at the WTA Finals. They have won nine doubles titles as a team.

At her final match as a professional at the WTA Finals in Singapore Saturday, Hingis and Chan were defeated 4-6, 6(5)-7 by Timea Babos of Hungary and Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic.