Martina Hingis 1998 Chase Championships Quarterfinal Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

1998 Chase Championships at Madison Square Garden, New York, on Friday, November 20, 1998
Martina Hingis defeated Mary Pierce, 7-6(4), 6-4

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS:

Q. Mary said that since last year she hasn't seen you playing so well, do you agree with that?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, just once in a while, yes. (Laughs) so I had a pretty solid match at the US Open against Monica. Once in a while I put up pretty good match, so I just didn't win the whole tournament since may, since Rome. But I wouldn't say that I didn't play a good match like this before. I was just pretty ready for playing her and because I know lost against her last year and also in San Diego pretty stupid match from my side, I could say. Had some matchpoints. I was definitely ready today.

Q. Were you surprised by the way she played even if she was not feeling so good?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I mean, this is the end of the year, so, you can't really say everybody is feeling, you know, well. I came to this tournament with also a cold, the first press conference I barely could talk. I had a pretty funny voice also. This is the last tournament and everybody is trying to put the last thing into it.

Q. Happy to be playing Spirlea rather than Graf or doesn't it matter?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, Graf was on the other side of the draw, so far anyway.

Q. You might have been there too, though?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, she could have been anywhere, so I could have played her in the first round.

Q. How do you match up against Spirlea?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, definitely because I never lost against her so far and I hope it will stay that way also tomorrow.

Q. Are you playing for pride right now?


Q. Yes.

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, this is the only thing I can play right now for. I can't make it to No. 1 this weekend, so definitely you just go out there and want to finish up well.

Q. Mary said that you are hitting harder than she has ever seen you hit before. She thought maybe you were using a different racket?

MARTINA HINGIS: I am using a different racket since San Diego and there I played her also and actually I was up there 6-3, 4-1 and also had matchpoints in that match, so I played pretty, you know, well there also. But I just didn't make it to the finish. This time I just was more focused. She hits the ball so hard so you just kind of block it away. Sometimes I felt like I am losing the racket especially when it came to my forehand side I just totally missed it sometimes because it was so fast. It just -- no control over the ball, but, you know, it just -- if you lose points like this, it doesn't matter, it is -- just try to go for the next one because you know it is a great shot from the other side, so I think it was a great match for the public, for the crowd.

Q. You said you wanted revenge from last year. Does it feel as good as you thought it would?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, it feels pretty good being in the semis, yeah.

Q. What is the difference in the new racket?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, it is just wider, but it is shorter again so my wrist doesn't bother me anymore. Just has more power, more strength, yeah, in the serve, if I hit it well.

Q. How was the ballboy?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, it was pretty okay, he got the ball over the net sometimes.

Q. Have you done it before?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yes, some tournaments like Filderstadt I have done it. If you are feeling in good shape you don't need to go anywhere, so why not, just keep warm and keep hitting the balls otherwise you get stuck there and you just loosen up to much sometimes between the breaks if it takes like three minutes, just that made me, you know, keep focused and the next game and just be ready.

Q. Your thoughts on playing Irina tomorrow?

MARTINA HINGIS: Pretty good. I feel very confident after this match. I just played a pretty good match, I think tonight and I am looking forward to the next one. I am very positive.

Q. How do you feel physically? Do you think that a match like this one you could have played three sets without any problem?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, today I felt like even if I would lose second set it was very close, well, I don't know if I would lose the tiebreaker if I would still kind of keep motivated in the second set, but you also saw on the other side that Mary was just trying to keep in the match, but didn't expect too much. We just both were keeping -- holding our serve. There was one break, but, you know, I broke her right back. So it just -- if I would lose the second I think I would still be ready and I am trying to get ready for the three set match - maybe on Saturday.

Q. Can you tell me why you think so many of the top women play doubles and so few of the top men do?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think if that is going to continue, you know, being like this that the tournaments, especially in the US indoors is very hard to play back-to-back at night when it starts at 7, so I don't know if -- I haven't played that many doubles actually this year. I just kept winning them, so if Jana - we are a very great team and last two tournaments we didn't win, we lost like semis and here first round. So, give me more time to get ready for the singles actually here now. But in the men, I don't know, it is just because it is just hard. I see it myself now, it is the second year I am pretty good in doubles, and it just gets very hard to being on the top in both. But there are a few -- there are just a few great doubles players and so you always feel like you get to the quarters or semis without having to play like great, you know, so -- always the same like four players like me Jana and Lindsay and Natasha now we lost so now there are more.

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