SHENZHEN, CHINA – With 40 days to go until the inaugural edition of the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen, the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) today announced 25-time Grand Slam champion and former World No.1 Martina Hingis as a Legend Ambassador to the WTA's season-ending event.

Over the course of her illustrious two-decade career Hingis amassed 43 singles titles, including five Grand Slam crowns as a teenager – her triumph at the 1997 Australian Open, aged 16 years 3 months, made her the youngest Grand Slam winner of the Open Era. Shortly after, she ascended to No.1 on the WTA Rankings and she remains the youngest to ever achieve the feat, tallying 209 weeks at the top. Hingis also won 64 doubles titles (including 13 Slams) as well as five mixed doubles majors. In total she spent 89 weeks as Doubles No.1 and is one of just six women to reign in both the singles and doubles disciplines simultaneously.

Among Hingis's haul of trophies were two singles titles at the WTA Finals: in 1998 she defeated Lindsay Davenport in the championship match, while in 2000 she prevailed over Monica Seles. In addition, she won the doubles title three times – in 1999 and 2000 (both with Anna Kournikova) and 2015 (partnering Sania Mirza). She announced her retirement from the Tour at the 2017 WTA Finals in Singapore, when she was still co-ranked World No.1, with Latisha Chan.

Martina Hingis at her retirement ceremony at the 2017 WTA Finals Singapore with Latisha Chan, Iva Majoli and Mary Pierce (Getty)

Having given birth to a daughter, Lia in February 2019, Hingis returns to the WTA's season finale in a new role, which will see her participate in community and fan engagement activities, host tennis clinics and interact with fans and guests.

"This is an exciting time for the WTA in China and I am thrilled to be part of the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen as the tournament arrives at its new home. I have had such great memories playing in front of my Chinese fans and I have always enjoyed competing in China, so I look forward to new experiences and meeting new fans in Shenzhen. Of course, I cannot wait to see our sport's elite singles and doubles players in action on court," said Hingis.

The WTA Legend Ambassador program is an integral initiative by the WTA and Gemdale Sports to bring fans greater opportunities to interact with some of the greatest names in women’s tennis during the eight-day tournament from October 27 – November 3, 2019.

Fabrice Chouquet, Managing Director of WTA Asia-Pacific and Co-Tournament Director of the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen said, "Martina Hingis is one of the all-time greats of our sport and we are thrilled to have her on board as we embark on our decade-long tenure in Shenzhen. The Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen is going to be an amazing showcase of the best in women's tennis – Martina’s involvement will only enhance the stature of the WTA's pinnacle event."

Eddy Liu, CEO of Gemdale Sports and Co-Tournament Director of the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen, added, "The Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen will tie together exhilarating tennis action with unforgettable experiences for the players, fans and guests. It is an honor for Gemdale to invite Martina Hingis to Shenzhen and it will be a treat for the fans to be able to meet with such a well-respected and outstanding global sporting icon. We look forward to welcoming Martina to Shenzhen and know she will have a memorable time here."

Tickets to the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen are on sale at where fans can also visit for latest updates on the event. The current Porsche Race to Shenzhen Leaderboard as of Monday, September 16, stands at:

1 AUS Ashleigh Barty (Q)
2 CZE Karolina Pliskova (Q)
3 ROU Simona Halep
4 CAN Bianca Andreescu
5 USA Serena Williams
6 CZE Petra Kvitova
7 JPN Naomi Osaka
8 SUI Belinda Bencic

1 CZE/TPE Barbora Strycova / Su-Wei Hsieh (Q)
2 BEL/BLR Elise Mertens / Aryna Sabalenka (Q)
3 FRA/HUN Kristina Mladenovic / Timea Babos
4 CHN/CAN Yifan Xu / Gabriela Dabrowski
5 TPE/TPE Latisha Chan / Hao-Ching Chan
6 CZE/CZE Barbora Krejcikova / Katerina Siniakova
7 AUS/CHN Samantha Stosur / Shuai Zhang
8 GER/NED Anna-Lena Groenefeld / Demi Schuurs