Steffi Graf and Martina Hingis played out a thrilling final at the 1999 French Open, with the former winning 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. It was Graf’s final Grand Slam singles title as she retired later that year.Andre Agassi and Graf spoke about the 1999 French Open in a 2009 documentary, where the German spoke about her mammoth clash with Hingis in Paris. The German said that instead of being nervous, she was happy to be on the court for the final.
“The first picture is just of me standing there, almost having a little smile on my face , being super happy and looking at the crowd, Graf said. “In the match, usually you’re tensed you’re nervous, you go through all these emotions and I was just happy being on the court. It was weird, you know, you’re in the final, you’re supposed to be nervous.”
Hingis did well to win the first set of the final and she was serving for the championship at 5-4. However, Graf broke her and the Swiss gradually started to lose control of the match mentally. She used quite a few underarm serves, much to the annoyance of the crowd, while her opponent wasn’t too pleased with it either.Graf said that while Hingis did something crazy, she understood the reason behind it.
“I can understand it from her point, I mean, she didn’t know at this point what to do and she just did something crazy,” the 22-time Grand Slam champion said.
The French Open crowd was hostile towards Hingis during the last set of the match and the hostility took its toll on the Swiss as she was reduced to tears following the end of the final. Graf said that it was a cruel moment for Hingis and that she felt for her.
“Such a cruel moment in the sense and you know, as a tennis player you go through all of these moments in a different way and you always feel for your opponent, there’s no question, you don’t wish that for anybody,” the German said.
The 1999 French Open final was the last of the nine meetings between Steffi Graf and Martina Hingis, and the only time they locked horns in a Grand Slam final.The German leads the head-to-head 7-2 and has won all three matches against the Swiss at Majors.