Martina Hingis reported to be engaged to Radek
Martina Hingis' ace of hearts
December 28, 2006 12:00am
TRIPLE Australian Open tennis champion Martina Hingis has won her biggest love match, becoming engaged to Czech player Radek Stepanek.
A happy Hingis arrived in Queensland yesterday to launch her 2007 campaign as top seed of the Mondial Australian Women's Hardcourt championships, which start at the Gold Coast on Sunday.
Stepanek, 28, is ranked No. 19 in the world and seeded fourth for Adelaide's Next Generation International next week.
Hingis, who made a valiant comeback this year to reach a world ranking of seven after three full years off the world tour, remained silent yesterday.
But the 26-year-old Swiss miss wore a diamond ring while practising at Royal Pines yesterday and chatted happily to tour regulars about her engagement.
Hingis showed off the ring to countrywoman Emmanuelle Gagliardi with a beaming smile when they crossed paths on the practice court.
Hingis and Stepanek will be reunited next month when both play at the Australian Open, the tournament Hingis won three times in 1997-99, becoming the youngest Grand Slam singles champion of the 20th century when she broke through in 1997.
Hingis accompanied Stepanek to the Madrid Masters tournament in November, publicly teasing the Czech player over the tournament's use of male models as ballboys, saying "he won't let me watch the ballboys".
Tennis websites were buzzing in June about Stepanek becoming the latest in a sequence of tennis-playing boyfriends of Hingis.
Hingis had public relationships with Magnus Norman and Ivo Heuberger and also was linked to American Justin Gimelstob and Julian Alonso before she left the tour in 2002 with foot injuries and waning motivation.
Czech-born Hingis and Stepanek were reportedly childhood sweethearts before going their separate ways as teenagers.
WOW!! Didn't see that one coming... congrats to both of them if it is true!
Proud to be one of Jen's hells angels
Team USA: Lindsay Davenport - Venus Williams - Serena Williams- Chanda Rubin
The Return of the Smilin' Assassin - MARTINA HINGIS