Martina Hingis 2000 Chase Championships Final Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )

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2000 Chase Championships at Madison Square Garden, New York, on Sunday, November 19, 2000
Martina Hingis defeated Monica Seles, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS

Q. Is it the most tiring match that you have ever played?

MARTINA HINGIS: For a while. But I think, also, the one match we played against Lindsay in Zurich, that was also a great match, and I think it was a little different level, I think. Today, I was very defensive, in a way, and it was just -- she had so much power, she took her chances, and she also served very well. I think it was a long season, especially the indoor tournaments where I kept on playing doubles to still try to qualify for the CHAMPIONSHIP. So it is nice to have a little double duty.

Q. How rewarding is this title for you, considering it has been a year without a Grand Slam crown?

MARTINA HINGIS: This tournament, I think that's why I wanted to do so well here. And I think it has been very important for me to do well at the indoor tournaments to really show that I almost -- this is like the fifth Grand Slam, and to be able to win it and to come through with great tournaments, and winning here. I think I deserve now, the respect of being No. 1.

Q. We often talk about the turning point in a match, and you had to come back after losing the first set and yet the tennis seemed to be so even. Was there some point or some game that you recall a turning point where it came into your mind that you won this game and now you were going to win the match?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, it's hard to tell. I mean because I was down 2-Love in the second and she was serving for being up 3-Love, and also, just constantly, it was going back and forth. You just have to -- I just try to hang in there, basically, and not to give up, and even sometimes, it was hard to still continue to go on. I think she was up 4-2, also in the second, and it was just like, "Come on, please, I need that break." And I just needed to, you know, believe in what I was doing out there and keep the faith, basically, just to somehow -- to break her. I felt like I was tired, so I was like, you know, "Come on, she can't play like this all the time." But even she would throughout the whole match. It was not too many up-and-downs in the whole match.

Q. Can you talk about how emotional you were after the whole match?

MARTINA HINGIS: I was just so tired. I was just -- you know it has been a long few weeks now, playing singles and doubles all the time, as I said. And I was just so, you know, happy, everything was done. And even like after the first set, I was like, "No, please, no, I don't want to lose this match," and that's why I still kept on going and felt like I really wanted to win.

Q. What did your mom say to you when she came over to you after the match?

MARTINA HINGIS: It was funny. I don't want to say it. (Laughs). She was like, "Don't be a baby." (Laughs).

Q. When did you start cramping; you were stretching your leg?

MARTINA HINGIS: To keep it loose a little bit, and tried to keep stretching on the one changeover because it's hard to sit back again.

Q. Were you surprised by how strong she came out in the first set; you've been able to pretty much dominate her in the first sets you've played, but today, it was different?

MARTINA HINGIS: I don't know, it was very hard. This surface, I think, also suits her quite well, because she's a very aggressive player. And it doesn't give me too much time to look for angles, to look for the shots I want to do, because she keeps pounding on you and she keeps pressuring, and it's just hard to find a solution to get out of it. And that's why I think it was very difficult for me to be aggressive, because she was the one, sometimes. I was sometimes just waiting for her to miss or just get short, but she wouldn't. It was hard to find, really, angles and make her -- and she was running so well. I was so surprised. Sometimes in the other matches she would get tired or something. Not today. She played very well.

Q. Was that a great match in your mind?

MARTINA HINGIS: I'm happy it's done. It's behind me, yes. But it was definitely a very good match. I mean, high level. It was a long one, too, I think 2:21. So, definitely, I lost some weight out there so I don't have to worry about that. I can have a good dinner tonight.

Q. You said now you deserve the respect for the No. 1 ranking. Did you feel that you didn't have that because of not winning a Grand Slam?

MARTINA HINGIS: You could keep reading in the papers, "She didn't win the Grand Slam this year"; this and that. But I definitely had a very good season overall, and without winning a Grand Slam. I mean, sometimes it shows that the Grand Slams are not as, you know, important compared to some other tournaments. Like, I won Key Biscayne this year, which is also a big tournament, I mean, some great finals. I won the big Tier I tournaments this year. I think that I had a very steady season. It is not about winning, two, three tournaments, but being steady throughout the whole season.

Q. So given that, was your reaction to the possibility of the number of tournaments being minimized, lower the number of the threshold for the rankings?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, it's only one tournament, so I don't think it's going to be a big change. But, for me, it doesn't really matter. I think as long as I play and continue to play at this level and be healthy, that's the most important thing to me. I don't think that's going to be a big change from only that one tournament.

Q. How would you feel if it went to 14 or 12?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, then that's a little different, yeah, because I like playing a lot of tournaments. For me, tennis is to be able to play matches, it's very important, because I'm a player. I'm not a fitness guru. So I can't go out there and play 12 tournaments a year, no.

Q. You had to know how much this meant to Monica, given everything that she has talked about all week the move to Germany and she won't be there. Is there any kind of compassion from your side that she was six points away from this match?

MARTINA HINGIS: Six points? I think she was serving -- 30-All, something -- yeah. It happens. Sometimes you're one point away and you don't win and sometimes you're six points away. I was three points away at the French Open. I mean, it just happens, and it's never over until last point has been played. I felt like, you know, I have played Monica so many times already, and I'm 11-2 overall. So, I think, like, you know, I have to beat her at the end. That's why I never gave up. Sometimes you have those players like Lindsay or the Williams, where you feel like, okay, if they play their best, sometimes it's very difficult. But not against Monica. Not in my case, no.

Q. You looked like you were swallowing hard at end; was your throat bothering you toward the end of the match?

MARTINA HINGIS: No. I was tired. No, I was just -- my voice is not as normal -- it's kind of deeper -- sexy. (Laughter).

Q. How long do you put everything to one side, and then when do you start working again for Sydney and Melbourne?

MARTINA HINGIS: I'll play two exhibitions, one in Sau Paulo on a Friday or Saturday, and the other on I think Monday in Santiago, Chile, with Anna Kournikova. And after that, I will just go on holidays and I'll be back training, probably 5th December in Tampa. That's where I'm going to be for the three weeks and workout before I leave and play at Hopman Cup and Sydney, Melbourne.



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