Martina Hingis 2002 Australian Open
final post-match press conference interview.
Hingis was defeated by Jennifer Capriati 6-4, 6(7)-7, 2-6, on Saturday, January 26, 2002:
Q. Martina, I'll ask you the same question I asked Jennifer as a first question: have you ever played in conditions that bad before, that tough?
Martina Hingis: Not a Grand Slam final, I could say. When I was in Florida, I think in July, that was when we also sometimes played each other, and just like in practice, but that was damn hot too. But I don't know if it was like this - maybe 46 on the court, the hottest? So I'm not sure, maybe that's right, but it felt pretty hot. But it was the same for both, so whoever is stronger.
Q. Did you fear at any stage real physical damage you might do yourself?
Martina Hingis: Not like physical damage that anything could happen, like, that I would pull anything, because I just couldn't move any more, so I wasn't going for the shots. But I just tried to finish the match, that's all. I wouldn't want to just walk away and give it up, you know.
Q. Did you feel faint? Did you feel you might pass out or anything?
Martina Hingis: I just felt like my head was kind of all over the place, but she was just - after I lost the second set, she had the momentum. I didn't really believe in it any more also, even when I was up 2-1 still, but I knew I probably wouldn't last if I really needed to, so I just tried to walk through it, yes. But I was like, I had goose bumps all over my body, so it was just dehydration, but, yes.
Q. Martina, at 4-0 in the second, you looked as though you had it wrapped up? What happened?
Martina Hingis: Yes, that's the time when I should have made it. Later on, yes, I had match points, but at set and 4-0 you shouldn't give it away any more. But I think in the last few matches I have had this problem to close it out. When I was in Sydney I was up 5-0 and Estelle was 5-3 or whatever; against Kim, and also against Monica in the first set, at 5-1 and 5-4, it got close and there she missed it but today Jennifer was just steady until the last point, so that was the difference.
Q. Did you ever lose a match on four match points?
Martina Hingis: I think when I was a junior, I don't remember. I know there was also some other time, but no, not lately, no.
Q. Martina, do you think you lost against Jennifer or you lost against the conditions?
Martina Hingis: Oh, it was just, like I said, the conditions is the same for both, so you have just got to take the best of it. I think at first it helped me that the conditions were so tough, but later on, as the match went on, it was turning around and, like I said, I lost the momentum. So it didn't really matter at that point, it was just not the greatest game from both of us. I think if the weather conditions would have been a little cooler or something, we could have had a better match. But it pretty well went all my way at first, so I have nothing to take out on the weather or anything. It's no excuse, no.
Q. During that 10-minute break at the end of the second set there, Martina, what were the trainers trying to do to help you get through the third?
Martina Hingis: They brought out new clothes and I was just - we both were lying there and just packed with ice, and it would have been a perfect sight, I guess.
Q. Martina, you've definitely played a lot more tennis, having the Doubles, the Singles, the consistency over the past six years; what do you chalk that up to, that stamina?
Martina Hingis: I think today I paid for it, that I had to play the Doubles after my semi-finals against Stubbs and Raymond. That was kind of the key Doubles, I would say, and yesterday, to go out there in very warm conditions. So today I didn't really have the stamina to close it out, which maybe you can always think back, if I hadn't played that. But I'm a competitor so I don't want to just give up anything, I want to go all the way, and today was just too much. But she is a great champion; that's all I can say.
Q. But over six years, the consistency in Singles and Doubles, what's that for, down here in Australia?
Martina Hingis: I think it's just the surface and the circumstances and everything. I love it down here, so I always play good tennis because I feel comfortable, and the fans and everybody is just amazing. I think the surface, it kind of suits me too.
Q. Martina, at the end, as the end was becoming obvious, were your thoughts of just wanting to get out of that heat, to just get it over and done with? It was running away with you, those lost two or three games?
Martina Hingis: Yes, I just wanted to have it behind me, no matter what. I didn't care at that point - you should always care, but it was just impossible, no matter win or lose, just have it behind me. After that second set I was like - in the 10-minute break, I was like, "No way, I've got to go out there again". I wish I could just stop it at that point, but I have to still do it, and it was just too much for me this time.
Q. Did you think at a set and a half you have played the best tennis you have played for a long time?
Martina Hingis: Good, but not good enough. So I know I have to look positive into the future. I really play great tennis and now I've got to build on that to even get it better and be able to close it out next time.
Q. Martina, if you had the four match points again would you play them differently?
Martina Hingis: I wish I had the 4-0 lead again. I think I was even on serve for the win in the sun, so at that point I shouldn't have done the things I did. It was 30-30 or something, I shouldn't let it slip away at that point. If I had hold serve there or just broke her or something at that point - you know, you've got to fight on and fight through it at that point, you just can't let the player get back into the match, and that was a mistake I did. And later on with the match points, you can always get lucky, but Monica missed that shot when I played it and she missed it at the end, but Jennifer didn't; that makes her the No. 1 player at this point.
Q. Have you been surprised how aggressive she was to save the match points?
Martina Hingis: She just went for it. Sometimes you can't be passive at those points, but I was. I was; I was like, "Okay, hopefully she's going to make the mistake", and next time I probably should take charge of it and just try to do something myself. But it was just mentally and physically I wasn't up to it.
Q. Martina, when you lay down on the court at 6-5, that was something new; what was that all about?
Martina Hingis: I did that in the past. I just tried to lift my legs up, so I wasn't like hanging down or whatever, and just try to generate the last energy I had, and - well, I didn't make it. She was up 6-5 or was I?
Q. You were.
Martina Hingis: I was - oh, I don't even remember.
Q. Have you ever been foot-faulted twice in succession? Ever?
Martina Hingis: Well, it was just like I couldn't jump off my left leg any more, so I tried to kind of step over.
Q. That was exhaustion more than anything, was it?
Martina Hingis: Yes, I wouldn't think - I never know my foot-fault, but at these stages it just happens.
Q. How are you feeling now, more than an hour after the match?
Martina Hingis: I'm disappointed, that's for sure. I wish things were different, but like I said there's next week, next tournament, next Grand Slams, next - not even Grand Slams, but next big tournaments in the States as well, like Indian Wells, Key Biscayne. I know one time Jennifer lost four match points against Venus at Key Biscayne last year, and she had eight match points, and in tennis anything can happen. So I have to work through it and, like I said in the past, I exceeded my expectations at this tournament. I think I proved myself again that I can play really good tennis and I can have the chance to beat anybody out there, so I've got to keep my head up and go for it.
Q. How do you feel physically?
Martina Hingis: It's fine. I will have two days off - two, three days - go to Japan, and it's indoors so it's nice. It won't be that hot.
Q. Would you think you rather gave it away than she won it?
Martina Hingis: Well, at this point it's like I think I lost the match, yes, I did lose it, but it's not like she would give it to me, so I still - I think today until the set and 4-0 I was the better player out there. But because she had the experience winning here last year, I think I gave her a much better fight than last year, so I can look up to that. Sometimes - I was like in my locker room telling my Mum, "I wish she just kind of beat me 6-2 6-2, and I didn't have those match points", and she was like, "Well, you had the chance to win it this time", so I think it's a big step from last year, and hopefully next time we will meet again.
Q. Does the fact that you're feeling better now, you have recovered, you are fit, you have actually got to a Grand Slam final, does that give you added reassurance for the future months?
Martina Hingis: Well, sure, I feel healthy, I lost weight - definitely today, some more - so I was trying to eat something already, like have a nice Australian mango for the last time, and I have some chocolate, now that you can. No, I feel good. Today was just dehydration, that's all it was, it just too hot, and I think I will feel better tomorrow.
Q. Martina, with this bad luck in the Doubles yesterday and the heat and everything, do you start feeling that you are very unlucky, that the tennis gods right now are not being too kind to you?
Martina Hingis: Sometimes it takes a little longer. You can't expect everything happening right away. It is not like you snap your fingers and you are going to win a Grand Slam. So I think I have to work even harder now and just continue what I've been doing. Jennifer, it took her three years to come back and win a Grand Slam, so I think it took me like, right now, probably a year, or since the injury maybe three months, to get to the level where I am right now. It's not like I dropped to ranking 100 or something where I have to kind of step it up, but it is only $, and I think I'm going back up again.
Q. Would you consider not playing the Doubles in future Grand Slams?
Martina Hingis: Well, I was playing Doubles, and I think it helped me a lot playing here and getting the confidence back and playing in aggressive Doubles and just have fun out there again. It's great, I feel very good being back on court and playing a lot of tennis. I had fun, and sometimes it is hard to tell what's going to happen in the future, it's just I've got to take it day by day and see how I feel in the next tournaments.
Q. After the tournament in Tokyo, are you going to take a long break?
Martina Hingis: I will have three weeks off and I'll go to the States probably, or home - I don't know yet, to Scottsdale, or Florida - hot weather, some more - or maybe cool down in the snow; I don't know. Just jump in the snow - what was it, like minus 15 before I came here? So that's nice, just a nice cool down.
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