Tennis: Place in history for Hingis

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The Independent Online
Martina Hingis yesterday became the youngest Wimbledon champion in history - aged 15 years and 282 days - after she and her partner Helena Sukova quickly completed a rain-delayed women's doubles victory.

The Swiss girl and Sukova celebrated after their victory over Meredith McGrath and Larisa Nieland by 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 as Wimbledon went into its third week.

"It's great to win at Wimbledon. For every tennis player it's a big goal to win Wimbledon, even the doubles," said Hingis, who is three days younger than the previous youngest, Lottie Dod, who took the singles title in 1887.

Hingis, beaten by the seven-times champion Steffi Graf in the singles, added: "Hopefully one day I'll do it in the singles, too." The final had been held over from yesterday because of persistent rain interruptions, but Centre Court was packed as fans took advantage of free admission.

The resumption was held up for 15 minutes to allow hundreds of late arrivals the chance to take their seats - then the action lasted just three minutes.

Hingis and Sukova, from the Czech Republic, had been a set and 5-2 down but had turned the match around to lead overnight 4-1 in the third set.

Sukova held her serve to 15 and she and Hingis gained their first match points at 15-40 with McGrath serving.

Sukova squandered the first with a forehand over the baseline. But Hingis clinched their victory with a backhand down the line at Nieland's feet when the Latvian's backhand failed to get the ball back over the net.

Sukova also carried off the mixed doubles with her brother, Cyril Suk, after a marathon stint. Sukova played three matches in the mixed yesterday, winning her quarter-final against the Americans Luke Jensen and Nicole Arendt 6-3, 2-6, 10-8; her semi-final against the Canadian Grant Connell and the American Lindsay Davenport 6-4 6-2; and the final against the Australian Mark Woodforde and the unfortunate Neiland 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.