Martina Hingis 1999 Chase Championships 1st-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )

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1999 Chase Championships at Madison Square Garden, New York, on Tuesday, November 16, 1999
Martina Hingis defeated Sandrine Testud, 7-6(5), 7-6(5)

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS

Q. Was this more difficult than you imagined?

MARTINA HINGIS: No, because I played her three sets in Filderstadt, and she obviously serves very well and it was hard to kind of break her. Once you had like a little tiny chance, you really had to take it. It was like a lot of pressure. I'm happy I came through in the tiebreaker; no third set.

Q. Was it a little disconcerting to have to wait so long to get on the court?

MARTINA HINGIS: It was a pain in the -- it's just that you don't really know what time exactly, you just kind of wait around. 5:15 is the last practice time, and I was here since 5:15. It's tiring, but it's a Garden tournament. It's always like 6:00, 8:00. Unfortunately, Steffi had this thing and it was great for her to be up there. I have great respect for what she achieved, but she could have done it a little earlier. (Laughs).

Q. Why was Sandrine so difficult tonight?

MARTINA HINGIS: She just doesn't miss much. She has easy shots. She goes for it. She's a good runner. The more she runs, the better -- the more angles you give her, the better angles she hits. Basically, you don't want to go through the middle all the time, but you also want to go for the points. If you don't go like deep into the corner, it's hard because she can hit some shots down the line which are pretty -- pretty good.

Q. How would you sum up your year so far? What was the high point? What was the low point?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think my high points are always in Australia, anyway. I played the finals of the French, the finals of the US Open, when I came back to No. 1 in San Diego. Overall, I'm No. 1 at the end of the year. I'm definitely happy about that result.

Q. Where do you feel your game is at the moment, Martina, at this time of year, it's difficult to maintain the momentum?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think I can still improve in a lot of things. But as you see, the game has raised a level. It's gotten so much faster, so much more competitive, and the serve's so much -- serve is so much more important in today's game. I can work on that and I'll have December where I can really improve on those things, and then we'll see in Australia again.

Q. What did you think when you heard that Serena was pulling out today?

MARTINA HINGIS: I heard it after my first practice, around lunchtime. Well, it's definitely disappointing for the tournament, you know, as a player who won the US Open, and played very well over the whole year. But she basically played only like, I don't know, how many tournaments, eight, nine tournaments the whole year? So it's very few. I guess if you want to go a step higher than being No. 4 -- but I think her level right now is very high. She wants to maintain that; so she has to play more, I think.

Q. So now your next opponent is Mary.

MARTINA HINGIS: Yes, I have all the French players on my side.

Q. Is she the kind of player you don't like to play against?

MARTINA HINGIS: No, I think I'm pretty solid against her in the past, especially the last three, four times, I always won. And last year, here, the same court, I won also; so hopefully, again. I always play her, second round; always quarterfinals, three years in a row already. So I think if I beat her last year, I think that was like the best match I played here against her. And hopefully, again.

Q. Did you see her match against Anna?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, I watched it the first set I was here. The rest, I watched on TV. It was a pretty impressive comeback.

Q. How did you prepare for this tournament? Did you go to Bolletieri's?

MARTINA HINGIS: I played in Philly before, Philadelphia. Before that, I was in Saddlebrook. That's where my base is now. It's the same, Bollettieri. It's like home.



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