Martina Hingis 1999 Chase Championships Quarterfinal Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

1999 Chase Championships at Madison Square Garden, New York, on Thursday, November 18, 1999
Martina Hingis defeated Mary Pierce, 6-1, 6-2

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS

Q. How did you feel tonight?

MARTINA HINGIS: How did I feel? I guess I feel pretty good. I think it was a pretty good match.

Q. Was it easy?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think she played better in the first match against Anna, she moved better, but I always kind of had a better answer to her, what she tried to do. I just served very well. I didn't lose one service game; so you feel better that you can rely on your serve.

Q. How do you work it?

MARTINA HINGIS: I just serve a bit more, I guess, in practice, just keep serving, and so once you get your range, it's easier to get it back and you start believing that you can get it in there. Like that one game was a little bit shaky there; I didn't put that many first serves in. But overall, I think I'm pretty happy about the effort, yeah. Especially indoors, you've got to use it more, it's much bigger than outside.

Q. You play Venus next. Can you talk a little bit your last matches with her, what it's like to play with her in general?

MARTINA HINGIS: It's fun playing her because she is one of the best players on the Tour right now. So it's always motivation and challenging to go out there and try to beat her. But here, it's another semifinal -- the US Open, I won the last two times, I won here last year; so I don't want to get out of there as a loser.

Q. Do you have the advantage this time?

MARTINA HINGIS: I don't know. I've been beating her in the States. She's been beating me in Europe; so, it's kind of funny the way it came out. But, you know, hopefully again, yeah, I'm going to be able -- it's going to be a very interesting match, anyway, I think. She won her matches kind of with overlooking -- I don't think she played like that great, but she always played what she needed to. I just have to take advantage if she's got going to play her best.

Q. Do you think she was overlooking people before she got to you?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, she won easily, I think. It's always like when she needed the points, like today in the tiebreaker, she just walked off, in a way. But I hope I can give her a little harder time, yes, out there. But even like the first match -- actually, it was like three sets -- but, well, she's there in the semis. So I guess it's a little bit like experience, and because we all play very well over the indoor season. So the four of us are there again, you know.

Q. But a lot of players are injured?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, two, and then the next two will be played tomorrow.

Q. It seems that a lot of players are injured, how do you manage to be healthy?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think everybody has -- has little problems here and there. But I have to knock on wood, so far, it's like nothing serious or anything. I haven't played that much doubles in the second part of the year; so maybe that's a little reason. I played a lot of singles matches, but I wasn't like out there for too much, too long before. But I think I've also gotten much better physically, and then kind of control over everything, that we tried to keep it balanced, and that's why I wasn't like -- I think if you get like really, really tired, that you get injured. And I was never in that situation that, like, last year that I sprained my ankle or something. I've been lucky this year, so far.

Q. You mentioned the discrepancy in serve speed, hers is 110; yours is about 79 --?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I don't think it's like 79 all the time.

Q. You made that joke. But how do you -- Barbara Schett also had a tough time defending it today. How do you plan on defending against that serve?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think I can -- my return is a bit better than Barbara's, I think I can say that. I hope everybody agrees with me. She was like in the locker room, Barbara, and, "I can't return her serves." I didn't really have that problem. Pit's just like if she hits the corner, it looks too good, not much you can do about that. But once I have a little chance that she doesn't have the first serve in or something, I have to try to attack.

Q. Why are you changing doubles partners?

MARTINA HINGIS: Why? Well, there are a few reasons, but it's not because of Anna or anything. It's like we haven't played for so long, I think -- well, I just want to try with somebody else. We played last night. We had fun. I mean, not in the beginning, really, because we didn't basically know what to do, and it's hard if you don't play for so long. And well, we were kind of lucky we came out of that. But we try to finish this tournament, and then we'll see. It might change again in a half year, in one year, two years from now. But I think I want to try with somebody else now.

Q. Why did you decide to go with Mary?

MARTINA HINGIS: She asked me to play with her and I said, yeah, why not. She's one of the best, like, singles players right now, and, you know, Anna wasn't the best doubles player or somebody else, and I won the Australian Open with them, so why not Mary? She has a good serve, good return. So I, you know, try to do something out of that. She's tall, she can reach, she can help me.

Q. How do you like living in America?

MARTINA HINGIS: I like it pretty good. I think with tennis, it's -- it gives me a lot of opportunities to travel, in general, so I think that's great. I couldn't stay in Florida all my year, all my life.

Q. I'd love to see you play for our country, your namesake?

MARTINA HINGIS: Martina? I still -- I know where I came from, and I like playing for my country, too. So I'm not considering that, no.

Q. How do you prepare for the crowd in the semifinal against Venus?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think the New York crowd has always been great to me, whether at the US Open, or last year, here at this tournament. I'm just going to go in there and try to do my job, basically, and if I play well, they have always been very fair to me. So I love it.

Q. Do you have any plans for the off-season? Have you set any goals for next year's season?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, it's hard to set goals. It depends on how the other players do, too. Like Serena got injured all of the sudden, or I might get injured or something might happen. But I'd always try to, you know, give my best. I will have enough time in December to get ready for Australia. And I guess we'll see, I guess.

Q. Do you have any memories of ten years ago when the Berlin Wall fell ?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I remember when the wall fell. I remember that. That was like a big thing. I know my mom cried and we watched it on TV, the wall falling, like Berlin. And it's been a big moment. But I think at that time I was still too young to realize what it was, because we moved the year before to Switzerland, and it didn't really attach me that much at that time anymore. I had a great childhood and I always had a great life. So I didn't real realize -- maybe now, I know a little bit more how it affected people, but I think that's more of a political thing, and I'm doing sports, so I don't really want to talk about that.

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