1997 | The youngest Grand Slam winner

Memorable Moments

The crown for youngest Grand Slam winner, man or woman, belongs to Martina Hingis.

In 1997, at the age of 16-years and 117-days, the Swiss defeated former world No.3 Mary Pierce in the final of the Australian Open.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect to her win was the level of dominance the teenager exerted en route to her first Grand Slam. Hingis did not drop a set during the entire tournament, and an incredible 64 percent of her sets were won either 6-1 or 6-2.

She won the final 6-2 6-2.

Born in the former Czechoslovakia, and later growing up in Switzerland, Hingis wasn’t fluent in English when she was asked to make her maiden Grand Slam winner’s speech. However, when asked what it felt like to make history, the teenager did not disappoint.

“Thanks to my mother. You’ve supported me for fourteen years… when I was two years old she just gave me the racquet and said, ‘play’. Thank you for everything.”

It was the start of Hingis’ love affair with Melbourne Park, which saw her make six consecutive singles finals and win two more titles in 1998 and 1999.

As for the rest of 1997, Hingis made the finals of the other three Grand Slams winning all bar the French Open. 

Unfortunately, the 16 year-old was two years away from being legally allowed to drink a celebratory glass of champagne.

Thanks to my mother. You’ve supported me for fourteen years… when I was two years old she just gave me the racquet and said, ‘play’. Thank you for everything.
Martina Hingis