Jordan Spieth became the second youngest golfer to win a Masters title, when he clinched the Augusta Masters on the 12thof April this year. Sport is replete with the stories of precocious athletes such as Spieth.Such athletes, who forsook the joys of young age in order to pursue their dream with steadfastness, have added to the glory of sport and its history is that much more glorious owing to their presence.Let us now take a look at ten young champions in the history of sport.
#1 Martina Hingis (15 years, 9 months and 7 days)
At Wimbledon in 1996, Martina Hingis, paired up with Helena Sukova of Czech Republic, scripted a new page in the annals of tennis history. Aged 15 years, nine months and seven days, the Swiss had become the youngest ever champion of a Grand Slam event.
Three years prior to her awe-inspiring win at Wimbledon, Hingis had already secured her name in the record books, by becoming the youngest player to win a junior Grand Slam title. She accomplished this feat when she won the French Open junior title in 1993, at the tender age of 12, overcoming a 17-year old Laurence Courtois in the final.
Following her victory in the doubles’ event at Wimbledon, Hingis set her sights upon glory in the singles’ circuit and went on to script a series of ‘youngest ever’ records. 1997 was a watershed year for Hingis. At the Australian Open that year, she became the youngest singles’ Grand Slam Champion in the 20th century, winning the crown aged 16 years, three months and 26 days. In March that year, she would go on to become the youngest World Number one in tennis history before becoming the youngest singles’ Wimbledon champion since Lottie Dod in 1887.
In all, Martina Hingis won five singles’ Grand Slam titles. Although she failed to win the French Open singles’ title, she won the doubles crown at the event twice. After having made the world gasp at her accomplishments as a teenager in the mid-1990s, Hingis called time on her career unexpectedly in 2003, aged just 22.
She has since gone on to make two comebacks to active tennis. She returned for the first time in 2005 before eventually announcing her retirement for the second time in 2007. She then came back in 2010 and has enjoyed a great deal of success on the doubles’ circuit since.