Chan Yung-jan and Martina Hingis have been the best doubles pairing in the world recently after all their success in 2017, with the Taiwanese claiming her first Major trophy while the Swiss added one more to her list of accolades. Chan and Hingis, best friends off-court, dominated the rest of the tour throughout the year and ended the year as the co-world number ones. However, Hingis had recently announced her retirement from professional tennis during the WTA Finals.
Chan and Hingis own an incredible and jaw-dropping 53-7 (.883) win-loss record throughout 2017, and both have returned to the world number one position later in the year with their stellar results. They only paired up in the middle of February and took some time to get things going. Little did anyone expect to achieve what they did: claim an impressive nine WTA titles, including a Grand Slam triumph, and also return to the top spot in the rankings.
Chan and Hingis’ first title of the year was a big one — the BNP Paribas Open. Their run in Indian Wells was extremely impressive and no words could be used to describe it. Looking in red-hot form throughout the week, defeating quality pairings like Andreja Klepac/Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, Sania Mirza/Barbora Strycova, and world number one pairing Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Lucie Safarova before easily ousting Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova in a one-sided final to claim the title. Chan and Hingis did not lose a set en route to clinching their first title as well.
Their good run continued at the Miami Open, where they prevailed in rematches against Hradecka/Siniakova and Klepac/Martinez Sanchez and reached their second straight semifinal. However, they surprisingly fell to Mirza and Strycova in a tight three-setter despite winning the first set, ending their hopes for a “Sunshine Double”.
Chan and Hingis also excelled on clay, starting their clay-court season with an impressive triumph at the Mutua Madrid Open, defeating the in-form Timea Babos and Andrea Hlavackova 6-4, 6-3 in the final. This win also propelled them to their second title of the year. The star pairing extended their run at the Internazionali BNL D’Italia, storming their way to an eighth straight win with an incredible performance against top seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the final, triumphing 7-5, 7-6 in an extremely tight affair.
Participating in their first Grand Slam together, Chan and Hingis faced no problems at the French Open as they strolled to the semifinals losing no more than three games in a match. Looking in their best form, Chan and Hingis’ run unexpectedly came to a sudden halt as they fell to eventual champions and number one pairing Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova in straight sets.
Chan and Hingis participated in their first International tournament together at the Mallorca Open, and they faced no competition at all despite some tricky wins against teams of a lower ranking. Another winning streak soon ensued as they claimed yet another title in Eastbourne, defeating Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua in a repeat of the Roland Garros final.
The Western and Southern Open was yet another amazing tournament for Chan and Hingis. There, they defeated Timea Babos and Andrea Hlavackova before ousting Olympics Bronze Medalists Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova for their sixth title of the season. It only just gets better for the pair as they finally clinched a Grand Slam trophy on their third attempt, strolling to their maiden Major triumph together without losing a set in the process. Their toughest match came in the third round against Kristina Mladenovic and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and they also outclassed several quality pairings like Sania Mirza/Peng Shuai and Lucie Hradecka/Katerina Siniakova to claim glory, solidifying their top spot in the team rankings.
It did not just stop there, though. Chan and Hingis’ impressive form carried into the Asian Swing, where they started off with a title at the Wuhan Open. Their winning streak was extended to a jaw-dropping 21 after clinching their fourth consecutive title at the Premier Mandatory event in Beijing. This meant that Chan and Hingis alone won 66 percent of the Premier 5 and Premier Mandatory tournaments in 2017, reflecting their dominance.
Yung-jan split from sister Hao-ching after a disappointing start to the year which saw them endure through a three-match losing streak before finally finding their form when they triumphed at the Taiwan Open. Whereas, Hingis called a halt to her partnership with Coco Vandeweghe, with the American seemingly focusing on singles competition. Both of them clicked together at the Australian Open and decided to pair up for the rest of the year.
Their first tournament together was a disappointment, though. Thought to be a star pairing with both players achieving a whole list of impressive results respectively, Chan and Hingis started their partnership with a semifinal run at the Qatar Total Open, where they fell to a shock loss to the unseeded pairing of Olga Savchuk and Yaroslava Shvedova. Chan and Hingis followed up with yet another poor performance, being ousted by Australian Open finalists Peng Shuai and Andrea Hlavackova in straight sets at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, a day after beating Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke 14-12 in the Champions tie-break.
Incredible results followed, and they were tipped to claim their first Grand Slam crown together at the Wimbledon Championships. Chan and Hingis strolled to the quarterfinals without losing more than four games in a set and looked like a strong contender for the title. However, they fell to a shock loss to 12th seeds Groenefeld and Peschke in a thrilling three-setter on Centre Court, failing to convert a 4-1 lead in the final set.
After getting off to a solid start to the Rogers Cup with a good win over fellow Singapore qualifiers Andreja Klepac and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in the opening round, Chan and Hingis were upset by Groenefeld and Peschke for the second consecutive time, this time falling in straight sets.
That loss, ironically, marked the start of an incredible 21-match winning streak which eventually ended at the WTA Finals. Being the last tournament of Hingis’ career, Chan and the Swiss would have liked to end the year on a high note by triumphing in Singapore. However, they were shocked by eventual champions Timea Babos and Andrea Hlavackova in straight sets, crashing out of the WTA Finals in the semifinals.
Season Grade: A+
It was a season full of impressive results for Chan and Hingis, but unfortunately, we also witnessed the last match of the Swiss legend’s career. Nonetheless, the Taiwanese did some great job in their partnership which allowed Hingis to end her career as the world number one, and Chan has also been incredible in her play, labeling herself as the best doubles player in the world. Therefore, the “Changis” pairing definitely deserves a season grade of A+.