Martina Hingis 2000 Ericsson Open 2nd-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

2000 Ericsson Open (Tennis Masters Series) at Miami, Florida, on Friday, March 24, 2000
Martina Hingis defeated Maureen Drake, 6-1, 6-4

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS

Q. What did you make of the dress across the net from you?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, I saw her in the locker room. I'm like, "I like your dress." After the match, I was told all the people loved it. I think it's nice sometimes to just have something different, something special. Especially like this one, it's the fashion right now, the animal colors. Why not in tennis (laughter)?

Q. When are you going to wear one? Three stripes, of course.

MARTINA HINGIS: With a zebra or something.

Q. Do you think the tendency to wear something that flamboyant may be that players have an eye towards attracting attention for endorsement?

MARTINA HINGIS: That's her own line. I asked her like, "Who does it for you?" She said it's like Mo Magic (phonetic). It's her line. I thought it was quite nice, well, different, as I said. It just stands out. I mean, tennis has gotten so much more color in the last few years, last 10 years, 10 or 15 anyway.

Q. Which is your favorite color and favorite suit? Which do you like the most?

MARTINA HINGIS: I like what I'm wearing now. I think it's a nice combination of like white and the purple. I like this better than the other way around with the white top and purple skirt. I also like some of the dresses which people are wearing, for example like Anna's dress, also Mary's. If you can wear something like that, it's real nice. The colors for tennis, whatever is in the fashion, I think you should put on the market. It will be an idea. I don't know, maybe one day it's going to be like that. Still has to fit your personality and you have to be able to run with it, too. You have to be able to play. Plus, if you look good in it, it's two in one.

Q. What do you think about the Kournikova dress at the WTA awards?

MARTINA HINGIS: I wasn't there. I don't know.

Q. Did you see the photos?

MARTINA HINGIS: No, I didn't see it.

Q. Since you lost in the Indian Wells final, have you been doing much thinking about it at all? How are you going to keep Lindsay at bay over the next few days?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I'll see. I'm one round ahead, one down. I'll see what I can do. Hopefully I'll get again into the finals. If I can play her again, it will be great.

Q. There's been a lot of talk about the ranking, a lot has been written that Lindsay is No. 2, you're No. 1, she's been beating you, et cetera, because of the 12-month ranking system that you have. Now the men have this champions race, which is backed up by a system which is like the old ranking system, but they're trying to promote a year-long race where the results count at the end of it. Do you think that would be a good idea for the women to follow that?

MARTINA HINGIS: I don't think it's a good idea to have that ranking. The men, they're not quite happy with it either. I mean, you don't see that they're satisfied with that ranking, the race that they have, because anybody pretty much could be No. 1 in the beginning of the year who even is a pretty much unknown player. Right now, like Agassi is the No. 1 because he's won the tournaments, he won the Australian Open, so he's on top. Anybody else could have won that, too. In the women's side, it's pretty much me and Lindsay right now at the top. Anyway, I think just year-round results, it's much more consistent, the rankings, rather than putting up a race in the beginning of the year.

Q. This tournament is very crucial to the rankings because if either you or Lindsay goes furthest, you would take over as No. 1. Have you been doing anything in practice or preparation to get ready for this tournament, maybe playing men or bigger hitters?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I don't think that's the problem. I was able to, you know, play very well against Lindsay last week. I was not far away from victory. It's different here, different courts. The weather I think is very important part in this role. It's been so windy, even today, yesterday, the rain and everything. I just hope I get another chance. I think I was very close last time, so.

Q. Do you have an alligator in your backyard in Tampa?

MARTINA HINGIS: There is one. It's my buddy.

Q. Do you ask any questions around the locker room about what's going on with Venus?


Q. You're not curious to see when she's going to come back?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I can't make that decision. I don't know what's going on. You always see wrist injury, wrist tendonitis. I can't tell. I don't speak to her on the phone, whether it's true or not, what's going on.

Q. In your mind, you are surprised about Davenport is so strong now? In your mind was Venus your opponent?

MARTINA HINGIS: No. My opponent was never Venus or Serena. I always said they are very tough to beat when they're a hundred percent. I always said about Lindsay, even before. Of course, the two were very tough. But Lindsay was always the most consistent from all of them. I said she's definitely going to stay at the top and maybe, you know, we're going to have a kind of rivalry, which is right now.

Q. Is there any training that you do that's specific to beating Lindsay?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think I've gotten much better in the last half year or one year. There still needs something to be improved. I think I'm working on that. But I want to keep it as a secret. I don't want to tell everybody (laughter). I think I had a very good match against her last week. I've been able to play a very solid match until the end. Just one more thing missing, I guess. I'll work on it.

Q. Just two service games away from the title last week.

MARTINA HINGIS: That's true, yeah.

Q. Confidence drained away?

MARTINA HINGIS: It's not the confidence. It's just been a long tournament. What I didn't do this time, I don't play doubles. I think I had quite a tough schedule, too, with playing the singles and doubles. The same in Scottsdale. Just playing back-to-back at noon, it's just not very easy. I try not to make the same mistakes, that's why I'm not playing the doubles right now here.

Q. How important is it for you to break her sequence of victories, five in a row now? Is it crucial to break it now?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, sooner or later, hopefully I can do it, yeah.

Q. How do you prepare for some of the bigger servers that you're going to face?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I played them last week. I played them before. Especially Lindsay, she is definitely the biggest server right now, or the best placement she's got, the most consistent serve. She really believes in her game very much right now. That's probably also that mental thing. When she really needs her serve, she can hit it where she wants. That's what's been missing maybe with some of the other players like Mary or Monica, which are not at the top right now. They might be No. 4, 5, 6 in the world, but that's why they're not up there.

Q. Are you reading her toss? Are you anticipating where the ball is going to go?

MARTINA HINGIS: With most of the players I can do it. But with her, I have a little hard time doing it, yeah.

Q. Are you changing your grip as the ball is coming to you? Take me through that process.

MARTINA HINGIS: I think I've gotten better. Especially last time I played her, I returned quite well. Sometimes it's just too good. Not much you can do if she hits the lines and corners. But I've been able to read her serve much better last time, just play her better, smarter. Most of the players, you kind of anticipate where they might go because that's their safer serve, that's what they like to do better when they're in danger. With Lindsay, because she's got this big serve pretty much in all four corners, it's hard to tell.

Q. Two or three years ago, when Lindsay was younger, probably bigger actually, we used to often say when we were writing about her that, yes, she's got a lot of things going for her - big shots, big serve - but she may lack mobility on the court. Do you think she's been able to improve that or do you think it was a mistake for people to think that she did lack mobility at that time?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, she's got a lot of reach. I mean, once she gets to the ball, she can do pretty much anything with it. She's so tall, she's got great angles. She's very far at the baseline. She hits the balls very deep. It's hard to do something and move her around.

Q. You look to have an easier draw. Are you happy with the draw, the way it's panned out this tournament?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think I had very good matches even last week. Sometimes you prefer having tough matches so you get used to it. Like last time, I just had to face every round a better, tougher opponent, pretty much get ready what Lindsay's going to do, how she's going to play. There was maybe one, two points. I don't think I was even two service games away; I think there were like one, two points which made the turnaround.

Q. Does losing stay with you? Do you put it immediately behind you? Does it bother you when you try to sleep? When you're done with a loss, is it over?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, maybe that day, you still think about it, and the next days. When you don't have to face the next tournament right away, like here I got a few days off, I had my mind on other things that I had to do with adidas and WHO yesterday. I had to prepare for other things. I could practice, work on my game. I saw the draw, saw who I might face in the next round. Lindsay is always like in the finals right now, so there's still a few more days I can work on a few things, try to get better. Maybe like one, two days you think about it. You think about it during the tournament once in a while, but not that you get down. I try just to think positive after a loss like last time because I know I was close. Just maybe another half year that I can get everything together.

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