Martina Hingis 2002 Australian Open
4th-round post-match press conference interview.
Hingis defeated Amanda Coetzer 6-1, 6-0, on Sunday, January 20, 2002:
Q. Martina, is this the best you have been feeling on a Grand Slam tournament for a while?
Martina Hingis: Yes, I think I do. I play very well today. I mean, every game I played I feel better, more secure in my shots, and also taking my chances. Also today, you know, I think the players, they are
- each time they are a little better, and also I have to play better game. And, you know, at first I kind of try to see how she's playing and I made more errors. But against her you have to try to dictate the game, because otherwise you run right and left. So I play well.
Q. And were you expecting such an easy week, an easy first week?
Martina Hingis: No. I think I - it's hard to say. I mean, I know that I was feeling well coming into this tournament, and with winning Sydney last week, I think I played - I did better than I expected for myself when I came here after, you know, the operation and everything. But now I really have the belief I can go all the way, and that's a nice thing to have.
Q. Martina, when you come through a week like this, especially against someone like Amanda who is obviously, you know, a former No. 3 and been in the Semis here a couple of years, do you ever get disappointed that you're not, or feel like you've missed something when you haven't gotten pushed at all in any of your matches?
Martina Hingis: No, not at all. I have been pushed in the past enough. It's nice to have matches like this, you know. Your confidence, it's raising, and now I've got another match to think of against Serra Zanetti. I've never played her, only when I was nine years old, my first International Junior tournament; I remember that. Because since then we've met, and so I just, you know, take it one at a time and it's still going to, the players are going to improve.
Q. Have you caught up with Marcelo Rios' comments from yesterday?
Martina Hingis: Of course I did. I mean you can't escape that.
Q. What are your thoughts?
Martina Hingis: I mean, it's definitely - it's tough, the men's game. It's, you know, very close, and I think this time in the Grand Slam you wouldn't expect at first when you go to into the tournament that so many seeds are going to fall. But I think the depth in women's tennis has also gotten so much better. I mean, you can see right now, I mean, there are so many girls who can play, and you can always have a hard time. But if you don't take it serious enough, they can always beat you. So I think it just depends on how you are prepared at a tournament.
Q. How do you measure that, Martina? It's always a bit hard to quantify, isn't it, like the depth in men's tennis, how do you quantify - - -
Martina Hingis: He's had matches in the past he just beat the people down, so I mean it's - in the men's tennis sometimes, because they have the big serve so they just, you know, concentrate on that more. In our tennis it's just a little different. But I think we've raised our level a lot.
Q. Martina, Monica was saying today that you have to be very careful about ankle and knee injuries on these courts. Have you found movement more difficult than other years here?
Martina Hingis: Well, I think it's just slower this year. I don't know the reason for it. But, you know, they resurface it every year, so it obviously can't always be the same thing. I mean, sometimes they put a little layer extra. I don't know what they do with the surface. But I think it's a very nice court. I'm always going to say that because I have two of them at home, so I love to play on it. And, I mean, you've just got to be ready. I mean, it's the first Grand Slam of the season and, you know, things happen because you are not prepared, and I think it's just - you just, you know, have to go out there and play once you step on the court, and if you are not ready, I mean, sometimes you step in your own trap. So you have just got to know your limits.
Q. Can you understand why the pace varies from year to year?
Martina Hingis: Can I what?
Q. Understand why the speed of the court is - - -
Martina Hingis: Well, I just said, I don't know. You know, sometimes there's a layer extra. You have to ask the special person who builds these courts, so I don't know.
Q. But you've got Rebound Ace at home, have you?
Martina Hingis: Yeah, but it's like every year it's - it's rougher, that's why it's slower. I mean the balls, you know, they lose the fill - how do you call it - the fluff.
Q. You come here every year. I mean, should there be a reasonable expectation that the court is, there's a certain consistency in the court from one year to the next? Should you be able to come here and expect it to play pretty much as it did the year before and the year before?
Martina Hingis: You've got to play on whatever is out there. It's the same for both players, and like I said, this year I'm prepared very well. I don't like people complaining all the time either. I mean, it's just, play the game, you know.
Q. Martina, just on that previous comment from Rios, I'm just wondering, do you understand or do you have any reasons as to why the men are so critical of the women's game?
Martina Hingis: Well, you talk to him. I have no answer on that because, I mean I always - sometimes I've been practising with men in, and then they are really surprised sometimes, like, 'Wow, women can hit the ball actually'. I mean, you know, I think it depends on what player you are. I mean, the one year you had Kafelnikov at the US Open practice with Venus because he just wanted to know and to find out how hard she hits the ball, and he was surprised also. So I think it's just attitude sometimes people have toward women, women's tennis. I think if I played with him one time he'd change his mind.
Q. One other: Monica was saying that she wears slightly worn shoes because she felt that the court was more sticky, especially with the heat this morning. Do you adopt similar strategies with your shoes?
Martina Hingis: Well, I started off with new shoes in this tournament; but I always wear them in, in practice, first, during the first week, so is little bit more worn out, yeah. I was in for Doubles so, you know, the matches, the better matches, they are already little walked in, yes. But I more like - normally, I like newer shoes in general.
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