Welcome to Wimbledon Flashbacks, where wtatennis.com will take a look back at some of the most memorable narratives from the grass-court Grand Slam event over the past 20 editions. After recapping Birmingham's best battles and excellent Eastbourne encounters, our retrospective heads to the lawns of SW19 -- first up is qualifier Jelena Dokic's thunderous upset of former champion Martina Hingis in the 1999 first round.
THE MOMENT: As 1999 Wimbledon kicked off, top seed Martina Hingis came into the event with decidedly mixed emotions.
The Swiss star was still firmly ranked World No.1, and she had started off the season in stellar fashion, claiming her fifth Grand Slam singles title by three-peating at the Australian Open. A run to the final of Roland Garros meant she held an astounding 13-1 record in that year's major events coming into the grass-court Grand Slam.
That one loss, though, was heavy with import. In the 1999 Roland Garros final, Hingis led by a set and a break, and served for the one major singles title which eluded her. However, a dip in form, a boisterous crowd cheering on an opponent in an unfamiliar underdog role, and Stefanie Graf's indefatigable tenacity combined to pull the German legend to a massive comeback victory.
Hingis did not play a match between that emotional loss and Wimbledon. Moreover, the 18-year-old elected to play Wimbledon without her the guidance of her mother and long-time coach, Melanie Molitor, for the very first time at a Grand Slam event.
Nevertheless, Hingis entered the event hoping to add to her growing Grand Slam collection by retaining the Wimbledon title she had won at age 16 in 1997. Her first-round draw seemed comfortable -- a qualifier to start the fortnight.
And then, the qualifiers were placed in the draw.
The 1998 season had ended with 15-year-old Australian up-and-comer Jelena Dokic at the top of the ITF junior singles rankings, having won the US Open girls' singles title in the process.
In 1999, the powerful phenom made a solid transition to the pros right away, reaching the third round in her Grand Slam debut in front of partisan Australian Open crowds. Dokic's Melbourne run finally ended at the hands of the eventual champion -- Hingis. The Swiss was impressed enough by Dokic to invite the rising star to Switzerland as a practice partner prior to the clay season.
After posting quarterfinal showings at WTA-level in Cairo and Warsaw during the spring, Dokic came into the Wimbledon qualifying event ranked World No.129 and still rising. She swiftly won her three rounds at Roehampton without dropping a set to book her place in the main draw.
As it turned out, Dokic's reward was a rematch of her Australian Open loss to Hingis. The 16-year-old was determined to make a statement in her Wimbledon debut, which would take place on the first Tuesday on Court 1.
From the outset of the encounter, Dokic dominated the scoreline. After Hingis went up 2-1, Dokic steamrolled the Swiss star for the remainder of the first set, as the top seed's deft dropshots were often overwhelmed by the screaming winners coming off the Australian's racquet from all sectors of the court.
After reeling off five straight games to take the one-set lead, Dokic continued to flatten groundstrokes for winners in the second set as well, and Hingis was never able to get her foot in the door. The Australian cruised through the second set, with her go-for-broke game finding deep pockets in the corners as she took game after game from the World No.1.
Dokic would eventually win 11 straight games to wrap up the match, after a Hingis service return floated long on match point. The qualifier claimed a 6-2, 6-0 victory in just under an hour, to shock the Wimbledon grounds and clinch her career-defining victory.
"I guess I can't believe I've beaten her," said Dokic, following her signature win, which broke open the draw on just the second day of the event.
"[Hingis has] all the shots in the book," the Aussie added. "She's No.1 in the world, but once I got going, I played very well. Everything worked today. I knew I had to keep it deep, play to her forehand, hit winners. I don't think there was any pressure at all, because she's the one who was supposed to win."
THE MEANING: Hingis's shock loss was just the third time in tournament history that the No.1 seed had fallen in their opening match at Wimbledon -- the only other instances were Margaret Court's loss to Billie Jean King in 1962, and Graf being upset by Lori McNeil in 1994.
"[Dokic] played a great match," Hingis admitted, after the clash ended.
It was an atypical early exit for Hingis: prior to this defeat, the Swiss had reached the semifinals or better of every Grand Slam event dating all the way back to the 1996 US Open. "It happens to everybody sometimes," said the world's top-ranked player. "I'm not that disappointed."
Still, the Swiss star did recover from her back-to-back stunners at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Hingis finished 1999 at World No.1 after winning seven WTA singles titles during the season. In 2000, she again finished as year-end World No.1, winning nine singles titles that season.
However, after another final loss at a Grand Slam at the end of 1999, to first-time major champion Serena Williams at the US Open, Hingis was no longer able to cross the finish line with the champion's trophy at a Grand Slam singles event.
Hingis would make three more finals at the Australian Open over the next three years, but despite continual success at WTA events, the 1999 Australian Open would in fact prove to be her last major singles title.
Dokic, meanwhile, ended 1999 as a sensation. After her upset of Hingis, the 16-year-old powered all the way to the Wimbledon quarterfinals, and had a chance to become the first female qualifier to reach a Wimbledon semifinal in the Open Era.
However, her breakthrough fortnight came to a close at the hands of another scintillating story, as Alexandra Stevenson claimed that bit of trivia for herself when she became the historic qualifier-turned-Wimbledon semifinalist after outlasting Dokic in an all-qualifier quarterfinal tussle.
Despite that loss, Dokic ended 1999 inside the Top 50 after starting the year ranked outside the Top 300. The victory over Hingis confirmed her junior success and propelled her into the upper echelon of women's tennis at the start of the new century.
Wimbledon would prove to be where Dokic did her best work for a couple of seasons, as she went one round further the very next year, reaching the 2000 semifinals before falling to defending champion Lindsay Davenport. By 2001, Dokic was a fixture in the Top 10 of the WTA rankings for the next couple of years.