Wimbledon has a special place in many hearts of tennis lovers around the world. It remains the oldest grand slam tournament and one, where many great matches have been played over the years. The green lawns of Wimbledon continue to be at the centre of many epic performances.
During childhood, I spent most of my time post school engaging in some sport or the other. Mostly, it was cricket and hand tennis, other times, it was badminton, football or our own version of hockey. And once, the dusk set in, it was time to continue watching sports on television when any live telecast was on. Barring cricket tournaments and series, one of the first tournaments outside cricket to make an impact was the Wimbledon.
Wimbledon Championships was one such tournament that coincided with the beginning of a new term at school. While we were adapting to new subjects, teachers, uniforms and lots of other things, Wimbledon matches were a constant topic we discussed every year.
Twenty years ago, our about-to-be-teenage life got even better, when a certain teenager won the hearts of many like me. It was the beginning of an era, the era which saw Martina Hingis flourish and she was on the verge of becoming the youngest grand slam winner at the Wimbledon.
At the 1996 Wimbledon Championships, Martina Hingis, aged 15, out smarted opponents elder to her to reach the fourth round in the singles. Steffi Graf was too hot to handle for the Swiss Miss as the German won comfortably in two sets. The defeat was not the end for Hingis; with Helena Suková, the duo progressed defeating the top seeded Arantxa Sánchez Vicario and Jana Novotná in the quarterfinals.
The semifinals and finals were a 3-set contest, and at the end of it all, Wimbledon witnessed yet another youngster claiming a grand slam trophy. Hingis was 15 years 282 days old when she lifted her Wimbledon Ladies Doubles title, the youngest, thus far to have won a Grand Slam trophy.
Apart from Michael Chang’s impressive victory at the clay courts of French Open in 1989, every other record for the youngest winner has been achieved in the ‘home of tennis’.
|Category||Player Name||Grand Slam||Age|
|Gentlemen Singles||Michael Chang||French Open – 1989||17 years 110 days|
|Ladies Singles||Lottie Dod||Wimbledon – 1887||15 years 285 days|
|Gentlemen Doubles||R.D. Ralston||Wimbledon – 1960||17 years 341 days|
|Ladies Doubles||Martina Hingis||Wimbledon – 1996||15 years 282 days|
|Gentleman – Mixed Doubles||Rod Laver||Wimbledon – 1959||20 years 328 days|
|Lady – Mixed Doubles||Serena Williams||Wimbledon – 1998||16 years 282 days|