Martina Hingis 2002 Indian Wells Quarterfinal Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )

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2002 Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells, California on Wednesday, March 13, 2002
3rd-ranked Martina Hingis defeated 17th-ranked Amanda Coetzer, 6-1, 6-2

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS

MODERATOR: Questions for Martina.

Q. Talk about the conditions, how bad was it?

MARTINA HINGIS: I mean, I think I played well anyway, despite the wind. It was difficult conditions. But it's the same for both of us. I watched Monica/Arantxa match just before. I learned from that. I was trying to use that in my game. It worked very well. Being from Switzerland, in the valley, where it's always windy, it's no problem for me.

Q. How about the sand?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, that was only that one time when it came across the court. Other than that, I was fine. I'm wearing contacts. Usually, you know, they're like stuck or something, like the sand. Like the other day, like a week ago, that's when I gave up practicing on the outside courts. In the stadium, it's fine.

Q. When you say you learned from watching Monica and Arantxa, what did you adjust?

MARTINA HINGIS: Just to be very patient, not go for shots too soon, just wait for the right moment to come.

Q. You sound a little hoarse. Monica, too. I'm just imagining or you're okay?

MARTINA HINGIS: It's probably the mic. I think it's like the mic for singing, helps you to sing.

Q. Can you talk about playing Monica again.

MARTINA HINGIS: We played each other twice this year already. Hopefully the outcome will be the same as in the previous matches. But any time you have to be ready against her. She's always a tough opponent.

Q. What does it come down to, just a matter of endurance in the third set with her?

MARTINA HINGIS: In a way, yes, a little bit. Just whoever, you know, has more concentration at the end, who is still willing to give more, I guess, still has more stamina.

Q. Were you expecting it to be a little tougher today than it turned out to be?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think she played one of her best matches in a long time. She had a great tournament so far. I really had to play well. That's what I did. I'm very pleased with that. She definitely lifted her level since we last time played in Australia. But me, too.

Q. Can you handicap the other semifinal match?

MARTINA HINGIS: Hantuchova and Gagliardi. Well, both of them had a great tournament so far. Either of them, they have nothing to lose. Hantuchova is very young, up-coming player. I mean, you've had that in the past here at this tournament. Dementieva made the semis. Bovina. They're pretty much the same, all of them. They at one stage all had a good tournament during the season. This is Hantuchova's time. Gagliardi, she started on the tour at the same time as I did, actually pretty much, in like '94, '95. This is her biggest event so far. It's great for both.

Q. Gagliardi said that you and your mom had been very supportive of her.

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, you can see quite a lot similarities in her and my game. I mean, yeah, she was a few times in my home and also in Saddle Brook. We practiced together. We worked out together. Yeah, she has a very nice game, you know, solid groundstrokes, good all-around game. She's not afraid of coming in. She's a solid player, yeah. This time it kind of worked for her.

Q. Do you see yourself somewhere down the line doing another Fed Cup?

MARTINA HINGIS: Now they're having conversations. But sometimes it's difficult to adjust to the tournament schedule because it's so much. I try to avoid injuries as much as I can. Any event which is extra, it's always not easy to kind of fit in in the schedule. But, you know, everything works out well, I'm always free for, you know, doing whatever and playing for the country. I mean, I did it in the past and I loved it. I think I'm a competitor. I love the team challenges. Who knows, yeah.

Q. When you came on the tour together with Gagliardi, did you think she would climb and keep a little closer, be ranked higher? What was your assessment of her?

MARTINA HINGIS: I knew she had the game, but sometimes it also needs a little bit more than just the game. She's a very smart girl. She went to school for very long. I think she was like 18 when she kind of stopped. Sometimes it's late. She missed kind of the junior stage. Then you have to get over this. It's like coming out of college, you know, trying to be professional like Raymond. It was maybe easier in the past like Mary Joe, also Lindsay, they studied. They all played Juniors. I think if you miss out on that, it takes a little longer, if ever. You know, she just got to take it one at a time. This is great for her, you know.

Q. Talk about the size of the girls coming up in tennis.

MARTINA HINGIS: I think it will be very difficult. You see everywhere, you know, people just grow. They're taller, they're stronger - especially in sports where it requires to be, you know, powerful and strong. Especially athleticism, it's already there. In tennis, because it's kind of still a game where you can use your mind a little bit, just be effective with other things than just being strong and fast. It's still possible. Like you see Henin. It's more having the perfect technique if you want to survive at the top, otherwise you're going to always be injured. It's going to be difficult for little girls in the future.

Q. Will that mean kind of the end of the finesse game?

MARTINA HINGIS: I don't think so. You see Hantuchova and the other young girls, they do still have finesse in the game. It's just a matter of the first two, three balls, getting those back, then you can start doing something. I mean, even like the Williams sister, they have finesse in the game. Venus, she can come in and do pretty much any shot. The same as Serena and Jennifer. When you practice with one of them, they can -- you can do any drill, any type of thing you want out there. They know the game.

Q. How about the age border, lots of elderly players are coming back? Any thoughts if that's because they refuse to go or if tennis is a game that allows them to come back.

MARTINA HINGIS: I don't understand the question.

Q. Martina Navratilova, Agassi on the men's side, Pete, still playing incredible game at a certain age.

MARTINA HINGIS: You have it in the women's side, as well. Now it's slowly changing, I'd say. The experience is also very important in the game. You still see like they have great matches, still are able to play great tennis at the Grand Slams and other tournaments.

Q. Can you talk about, you had Monica's number, and a week here in California last year she beat you twice, can you talk about what happened last year and what you did to turn it around this year?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, in California she played very well. I wasn't probably at the peak of my game. I was trying to adjust, you know, come back stronger after the injury. That paid off. But she had lost a lot of weight at that one stage. She was just faster, hitting the ball better, getting to more balls. I have to give her a lot of credit. She really worked hard for playing well at those tournaments.

Q. You have a pretty good relationship with Monica?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah. We played doubles last year at that one stage in the beginning of the year. Then it just became too much for both of us. Playing in Sydney, first round the Williams sisters, then Davenport/Morariu. Please, come on, we had no ranking (laughter). You know, it was one too many. We probably both paid for it a little bit in the Grand Slam, also in that event. That's why it was like a little too much. But we do have a great relationship, yeah. I mean, I like her a lot as a person.



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