PICTURES

Tennis: Martina Hingis inducted into Hall of Fame

Tennis great Martina Hingis of Switzerland looks at a display dedicated to her career at the International Hall of Fame Museum in Newport, R.I. on Friday, July 12, 2013. Hingis will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Tennis great Martina Hingis of Switzerland looks at a display dedicated to her career at the International Hall of Fame Museum in Newport, R.I. on Friday, July 12, 2013. Hingis will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday. -- PHOTO: AP
Tennis great Martina Hingis of Switzerland poses next to a display dedicated to her career at the International Hall of Fame Museum in Newport, R.I. on Friday, July 12, 2013. Hingis will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Satur
Tennis great Martina Hingis of Switzerland poses next to a display dedicated to her career at the International Hall of Fame Museum in Newport, R.I. on Friday, July 12, 2013. Hingis will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday. -- PHOTO: AP
Tennis great Martina Hingis of Switzerland gestures at a display dedicated to her career at the International Hall of Fame Museum in Newport, R.I. on Friday, July 12, 2013. Hingis will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturda
Tennis great Martina Hingis of Switzerland gestures at a display dedicated to her career at the International Hall of Fame Museum in Newport, R.I. on Friday, July 12, 2013. Hingis will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday. -- PHOTO: AP
(From left) Charlie Pasarell, Martina Hingis and Ion Tiriac laugh together as they finish an autograph session at the International Tennis Hall of Fame Museum in Newport, R.I. on Friday, July 12, 2013. All three will be inducted into the Internationa
(From left) Charlie Pasarell, Martina Hingis and Ion Tiriac laugh together as they finish an autograph session at the International Tennis Hall of Fame Museum in Newport, R.I. on Friday, July 12, 2013. All three will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday. -- PHOTO: AP
Martina Hingis speaks at a news conference before being inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island on July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Martina Hingis speaks at a news conference before being inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island on July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Martina Hingis smiles as she addresses the crowd gathered for the Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island on July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Martina Hingis smiles as she addresses the crowd gathered for the Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island on July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Tennis great Martina Hingis, of Switzerland, poses with her certificate during her enshrinement into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. on Saturday, July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Tennis great Martina Hingis, of Switzerland, poses with her certificate during her enshrinement into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. on Saturday, July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Tennis great Martina Hingis, of Switzerland, speaks during her enshrinement into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. on Saturday, July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Tennis great Martina Hingis, of Switzerland, speaks during her enshrinement into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. on Saturday, July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Martina Hingis is given her Tennis Hall of Fame jacket by fellow Hall of Famer Stan Smith (right) as she is inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island on July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Martina Hingis is given her Tennis Hall of Fame jacket by fellow Hall of Famer Stan Smith (right) as she is inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island on July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Martina Hingis reacts as she addresses the crowd gathered for the Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island on July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Martina Hingis reacts as she addresses the crowd gathered for the Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island on July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Martina Hingis takes shelter under an umbrella as rain falls during the Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island on July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Martina Hingis takes shelter under an umbrella as rain falls during the Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island on July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
(Left to right) Tennis Hall of Fame inductees Ion Tiriac, Martina Hingis and Cliff Drysdale parade with their plaques following the Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island on July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
(Left to right) Tennis Hall of Fame inductees Ion Tiriac, Martina Hingis and Cliff Drysdale parade with their plaques following the Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island on July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Tennis great Martina Hingis, of Switzerland, is joined at the podium by Hall of Famer Stan Smith during her enshrinement into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. on Saturday, July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Tennis great Martina Hingis, of Switzerland, is joined at the podium by Hall of Famer Stan Smith during her enshrinement into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. on Saturday, July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
(Left to right) Newly inducted members of the Tennis Hall of Fame Ion Tiriac, Martina Hingis, Charlie Pasarell, and Cliff Drysdale pose for a group photo following the Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island on July 13, 2013.
(Left to right) Newly inducted members of the Tennis Hall of Fame Ion Tiriac, Martina Hingis, Charlie Pasarell, and Cliff Drysdale pose for a group photo following the Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island on July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Tennis great Martina Hingis, of Switzerland, laughs with Hall of Famer Rod Laver, of Australia, during her enshrinement into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. on Saturday, July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Tennis great Martina Hingis, of Switzerland, laughs with Hall of Famer Rod Laver, of Australia, during her enshrinement into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. on Saturday, July 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP

(REUTERS) - Martina Hingis was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday, becoming one of the youngest members to be enshrined in one of the sport's most elite clubs.

The 32-year-old from Switzerland was among a distinguished class of inductees who were formally inducted at Newport, Rhode Island.

Hingis, who was seemingly born to play tennis and succeeded in fulfilling her destiny, told the crowd she was humbled by the honour.

"Thank you, tennis. You gave me the world," she said. "And now I honestly am out of words, because there are no words to explain what I feel. "You chose to give me a place here for eternity."

Hingis became the fourth youngest player to be inducted, following Tracy Austin (30), Bjorn Borg (31) and Hana Mandlikova (32).

Born in Czechoslovakia and named after Martina Navratilova, Hingis announced her arrival on the world stage when she won the 1993 French Open junior title at just 12 years of age.

She turned professional two weeks before her 14th birthday and went on to achieve a series of youngest-ever records.

Hingis won five grand slam singles titles - the 1997, 1998 and 1999 Australian Opens, 1997 Wimbledon and 1997 US Open - and held the number one ranking for 209 weeks.

She also won nine grand slam doubles titles and a mixed doubles title before injuries forced her into early retirement at the age of 22.

Hingis made a comeback four years later but retired after testing positive for cocaine. She denied using the drug but retired without fighting the ban.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame president Stan Smith said Hingis was a worthy recipient.

"Having achieved world number one status in both singles and doubles and having won an incredible 15 grand slam tournament titles, Martina Hingis is undoubtedly one of the world's elite tennis players, and we are glad to pay tribute to her among the legends of the sport," Smith said.

Also enshrined were 94-year-old Australian great Thelma Coyne Long, who was inducted in the master player category, and Ion Tiriac, Cliff Drysdale and Charlie Pasarell, who were inducted for their contributions to tennis.