May 16, 2024

Open Court


Martina Hingis knitting (pink) baby booties

No, we don’t mean actually knitting the booties.

You leave that stuff to the future grandmothers, right?

But Martina Hingis celebrated her 38th birthday by announcing that, just two months after her wedding to physician Harry Leemann, the couple is expecting their first child.

From the baby gear Hingis posted on social media, it’s got to be a girl!

Clearly, she didn’t let any early-stage morning sickness stop her a the US Open.

Hingis practiced with old doubles partner Daniela Hantuchova and hit the social circuit looking healthy and hearty.

And she’s not going to be nesting any time soon. Hingis is due to play in a seniors event in Palma de Mallorca this week.


Hingis’s career – in three acts

The first phase of Hingis’s career ended when she was just 2 with ligament damage to both ankles hampering her, and the prospect of multiple surgeries looming.

She was, according to Forbes, the highest-paid female athlete in the world every year from 1997 through 2001. She was ranked No. 1 in both singles and doubles for 29 weeks, and No. 1 in singles for 209 weeks overall. She won her first Grand Slam title at age 16.

Hingis resurfaced briefly at a small WTA event in Thailand in early 2005, losing in the first round. Comeback over, right? 

Not a chance.

That summer, she played all three disciplines during the World Team Tennis summer season. And in November of that year, announced she’d come back to the WTA Tour in 2006.

She climbed back as high as No. 6 in singles, even though the proliferation of hard-hitting opponents made her task much more difficult the second time around.

In Oct. 2007, she announced another retirement in the wake of a positive test for a metabolite of cocaine. 

The concentration of metabolite found was extremely low – barely one quarter, for example, of the threshold that would result in a positive test by the programs used by the US Army. Hingis argued it could have come from contamination rather than “intentional ingestion“. But with a two-year suspension issued, she didn’t have the stomach to wait it out.

In the interim, she coached Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Sabine Lisicki.

Ill-fated first wedding

Hingis also married for the first time, to a French equestrian named Thibault Lutin who was six years her junior. (She met him about a month after announcing an engagement to a Swiss attorney, Andreas Bieri. Hingis also had been engaged to fellow Czech player Radek Stepanek in 2007).

The married lasted just over two years.

After that, she dated Spanish player agent David Tosas Ros.

But by July 2013, aged 32, Hingis was back in doubles. She won four Grand Slams in women’s doubles, six in mixed. And when she retired for the third time – this time, no doubt, for good – in Oct. 2017, she was ranked No. 1 in the world.

There literally was nothing left to prove.

In the meantime, she had met Leemann, who was the physician when she played Fed Cup in 2016.

They married July 22. Having sown all her wild oats (and then some!), and two years short of 40, they’re wasting no time in starting to build their family.

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