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When QNET Brand Ambassador Martina Hingis began yet another comeback on the WTA Tour, she wasn’t just returning to play tennis again — she was returning to win again.

The youngest Grand Slam singles champion, the youngest ever player to become World No.1…Martina Hingis had records in abundance back in the 90s. She took the tennis world by storm with her phenomenal success as a teenager. All her 5 majors, she won before turning 20. Her achievements made tennis pundits predict she could replace Steffi Graf one day. Contrary to all expectations, she had to bid adieu to tennis at a young age of 22, thanks to injuries. A player whom the world thought would conquer the game, soon disappeared from the tennis scene even before reaching her full potential.

Although she had a confident demeanor, she was very much like any other young teenager – emotional and frustrated. The fact that she skyrocketed to fame at such a young age made it difficult for her to deal with success. When she retired at 22, she said tennis wasn’t her only passion in life, and that she had to explore many other things.

The former teenage prodigy first walked away from the game in 2002 and returned a couple of years later before retiring again in 2007, having won a few tournaments in her comeback but falling short of the success she enjoyed the first time around. 

“Nothing comes easy, no matter if you’ve been a champion or not. You still have to fight for each point. … Names don’t win you matches”, she remarked at the time.

In an unlikely career twist in 2015, she teamed up with India’s Sania Mirza and won the Indian Wells Women’s Doubles Title. This, after winning the mixed doubles title with Leander Paes at the Australian Open and the women’s doubles title in Brisbane playing with Sabine Lisicki. Martina Hingis now stands at No. 5 in the WTA Tour’s doubles ranking.

Coming back was not easy. Martina had to work her way back up, spending almost two seasons trying to get back in the business of winning big titles.

How does someone so accustomed to success – a junior Grand Slam champion at the age of 12, the youngest-ever world number one at 17 – deal with frustrating failures? In this, Martina hopes to draw on her hard-fought maturity rising from the tough experience.

“Everybody has setbacks,” Martina remarks. “If you can learn from things I think it can help you. I’ve learned a lot, and have gone out there and played better.”

Switzerland's Martina Hingis (L) and India's Sania Mirza pose with the trophy after winning their doubles final match at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 29, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Switzerland’s Martina Hingis (L) and India’s Sania Mirza pose with the trophy after winning their doubles final match at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 29, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato

On her successful year-long partnership with Sania Mirza, she says, “When we started, we were playing as individual tennis players who were good and trying to understand each other. Now we play together as a team, and as a unit we play well, which is why we had such great success. We had to grow as a team. We know our strength and weaknesses better now. In this year’s time, we are much better right now, right here. “

5 Lessons for QNET IRs from QNET Brand Ambassador Martina Hingis’ Story

  1. Success is not permanent. You have to keep working at it.
  2. Never give up. Never give in.
  3. Failure is a part of your on-going journey to success.
  4. If you fall down, get up. If you fall again, get up again.
  5. Find a great partner and learn to work together to achieve your goal.
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