Switzerland’s Martina Hingis made a remarkable return to Grand Slam tennis action after more than three years absence by winning the Australian Open mixed doubles with Mahesh Bhupathi in Melbourne in January 2006 – her 15th Grand Slam title.
Hingis and India's Bhupathi, who entered the tournament as wild cards, beat sixth seeded pair Daniel Nestor and Elena Likhovtseva 6-3 6-3 in the final. She also reached the quarter-finals of the women's singles, losing a tough three-setter to Belgium’s Kim Clijsters to climb 232 places in the world rankings.
Hingis’ previous appearance in a Grand Slam singles event had been at the US Open in September 2002.
In January 1997, Hingis had become the youngest Grand Slam singles winner in the 20th Century by winning the Australian Open aged 16 years and 3 months and in March that year she became the youngest-ever player to attain the World No.1 ranking. In a golden period of three years, she won the Australian Open three times and Wimbledon and the US Open once each.
Then in 2003, at the age of 22, Hingis announced her retirement from tennis after losing her battle with severe ankle ligament damage, despite two operations in seven months. During the first phase of her career, she had won 40 singles titles and 36 doubles events and held the World No.1 singles ranking for a total of 209 weeks.