Martina Hingis, known as the "Swiss Miss" during her tennis playing days when she won five Grand Slam events, should be enjoying a stellar week as she prepares to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday in Newport, R.I. But her estranged husband has put the spotlight on their personal life.
Thibault Hutin, a 26-year-old Frenchman who is an equestrian show jumper, says that he knows of at least two times that Hingis, 32, cheated during their marriage, according to the Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick. Hutin said he expects it's more, calling Hingis a serial cheater.
“Martina has a very personal conception of morality," said Hutin, who says he learned that Hingis had announced their separation on Monday when she released a statement to the Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrierte. "She has always been like that; I think she has always been unfaithful to her boyfriends."
Hingis was ranked No. 1 in women's tennis for 209 weeks during her career, which began when she was 15, peaked when she appeared in all four Grand Slam finals in 1997 -- winning three -- and was interrupted in 2002 by recurring ankle injuries and back pain that led to an early retirement at 22. She didn't win another major after returning to full-time play in 2005.
"I want to play tennis only for fun and concentrate more on horse riding and finishing my studies," she said in 2002.
Hingis retired in November 2007 after she was told that there was an investigation into alleged cocaine use after she tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of the drug, during Wimbledon. Although she maintained her innocence, she was banned from play for two years.
"I have tested positive but I have never taken drugs and I feel 100% innocent," she said at the time.
Hingis, who currently plays for the New York Sportimes in World Team Tennis, will join Cliff Drysdale, Charlie Pasarell, Ion Tiriac and Australian great Thelma Coyne Long for enshrinement on Saturday.
"Being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame is a tremendous honor," Hingis said at the time of the class announcement. "It is truly a privilege to be part of such an exclusive group of tennis icons. I am looking forward to the enshrinement weekend in Newport and to being welcomed in by the other Hall of Famers."