2000 Ericsson Open (Tennis Masters Series) at Miami, Florida, on Monday, March 27, 2000
Martina Hingis defeated Kim Clijsters, 6-0, 6-4
An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS
Q. What is your evaluation of Clijsters? She had some great shots, but some youthful errors.
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think I played very well, as the other matches. From the beginning on, I was right there; didn't make any mistakes, made her nervous, I guess. She knew she's going to step out on the court and has to do something, has to take a little bit more risk maybe than usual. That's pretty much also her game. I watched her a little bit before when she also played Juniors and also the past few matches. I know she's played very well against Serena at the US Open. She's a very talented young player. I was watching. I watched out for her. I just could figure out the game strategy against her, and played very well.
Q. Were you getting a little worried at the end?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, I guess I have a little problem there to make the last point, the last two (laughter). No, she played a great game at 5-3. There's not much I could do about that. Maybe the one when I had the match point, hit a solid return, then she hit on the line and I missed it by this much (indicating about an inch). I get a little frustrated, maybe too much, because I knew I had to go two more points again instead of it being over already. Then I was thinking about the past matches. But, you know, I'm happy I was so far able to close it up. At 5-4 she didn't make a point even, 40-Love, over. Also in the last two matches, 5-4, over. That's pretty good.
Q. Are you all right with having the first match of the day?
MARTINA HINGIS: I guess it kind of becomes a habit. I used to hate it being up so early. But even when home, 9:30, I start, 10:00 with the warm-up, then I play for almost two hours every day. It always started 9:30, 10:00. It becomes kind of natural to me. I like to play first on because you know what time you have to walk on court, then you get the rest of the day off. All the players in the locker room, they are like, "You're done already again. That's not fair." You get the rest of the day off, that's pretty good.
Q. Do you mind that there's such a small crowd at that time?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, there's TV there, other things. It starts getting a little bit more crowded. But I don't mind. I know I have to face a tough opponent on the other side, as today. I take her serious. Just see what happens. It would be definitely nicer if the crowd is there more, clapping for each point if there's a great shot. If it doesn't happen, it will come.
Q. It's a shock to me that you like the early morning match. What does that say to you that you've changed your opinion?
MARTINA HINGIS: Because I hate waiting around now. Second match is like perfect. When it rains, just waiting around, you never know what time you have to go on court. Especially since I played doubles the last two tournaments, playing second and fifth, you sit around all day at the courts. It's just too much. You get sick of seeing all the people. It's so crowded. Didn't used to be like that, but like now almost anybody can get a credential to go in there. I guess that's why you never see players like Sampras or Agassi in there anymore. They just can't deal with it anymore when you're on tour for so long, like when you get tired, play for five weeks in a row. I understand much better why they're not in there anymore, because I try not to be in there either.
Q. Except for your loss at Sydney to Mauresmo, a tough match with Rubin, you really dominated all the players except the one (Davenport). Do you think there's a situation where there's a Lindsay versus Martina rivalry at one level, then there's the rest of the Women's Tour?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, right now I see like I'm hunting Lindsay. Even though I'm No. 1, I have to get to her level. The two of us are so far right now from the other players. Serena is obviously still, but she's not quite at that level yet. Last year, the US Open, she was the best player. She beat obviously Lindsay, and me in the finals. But at the end, she was the toughest one. Then she only played like 9 tournaments, 13 all together, I don't know. On and off, on and off. She played a tournament, she stopped for the next one because she had problems like injuries. But the most consistent right now are definitely me and Lindsay, yeah, different level.
Q. Almost like two tiers.
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah.
Q. You have said, "I have four years to get to Lindsay's level."
MARTINA HINGIS: I don't think I'll play forever. I started earlier. Well, she started to be on tour earlier, but it took her a little longer. I was like right away all the attention and everything.
Q. Do you have any fear that you might not get to a position where you can regularly beat Lindsay?
MARTINA HINGIS: Not afraid. I feel like I'm getting closer. I was able to do it before. I think there is no reason not to do it again, especially because sometimes you have like different things on your mind. You think like you're losing something when you're young because of not doing everything - not spending every single minute on what's the most important thing to you. When you're young, I'm sure you understand - I don't know if you still remember when you were young - but you want to do like tons of things (laughter). You see sometimes other players that you feel like you can't do anything, and your body will last forever. I see now I have a problem here, a problem there. It's not visible, but you always kind of feel like you get a little tired, this and that. You have to watch out to be healthy, sleep, rest, eat, sleep. That's the most important to me now.
Q. It's a long way off, but how long do you see yourself playing?
MARTINA HINGIS: That's a hard question. I don't know how long my body will last. I feel very good, in great shape right now. I still think I can get better as more I can work on it. I basically only started. I don't know. As long as I have fun, enjoy myself being at the top. Probably I'll have a problem when younger players like Clijsters or Dokic, Dementieva , start beating me. But that's not the case right now.
Q. You broke a lot of records as the youngest this or that. Do you want to break a lot of records, going on and winning the most titles?
MARTINA HINGIS: I don't think that's going to be possible. I have like 27 titles. How many has like Steffi? 106? And Martina, no. It's like way too far.
Q. You have 12 years to do it.
MARTINA HINGIS: 12 years to do it, great.
Q. What do you think Kournikova's greatest strength is in her game?
MARTINA HINGIS: She's very aggressive. She might have changed her game a little bit because of working with Van Harpen right now. But being more in the back, just solid from the baseline. She's an all-around player. You never know with her what's going to be the next shot. That's probably the most. She improved on her forehand. Maybe the backhand is a little worse. That used to be her best shot. Her serve has gotten better again. She runs well. She's a good runner, fighter, obviously.
Q. Off the court, what do you like the best about her as a person?
MARTINA HINGIS: You're serious?
MARTINA HINGIS: She's got so much energy. She's always wanting to do something. How could I explain that? When I was with her last year, she was great. We had so many same interests, so many things we could do together. We went for dinner, we practiced, we had like the fashion magazines laying all over after practice. We would go to the beach. Indian Wells, we'd eat lunch together, just talk about private life, about anything. She's got a little bit crazy, too crazy to me right now. I don't know, it's like that's her privacy what she wants to do with her life right now.
Q. Can you talk about the women's doubles game, why fans don't come out to see it that much, and what you like about doubles?
MARTINA HINGIS: I have people going up with me in the elevator. They ask me like, "Do you play doubles here?" I said, "No." They said, "Oh, what a bummer. I like watching you play doubles." I'm like, "Well, it's too much because of the scheduling and everything, with the night matches, it's almost impossible." I think they like it if you have people who really understand tennis and want to see you. I think it's nice when a pair like me and Mary or me and Anna, it's interesting to watch us. I'd like to go and watch somebody who can play tennis.
Q. When you said things got crazy with Anna, with her celebrity and all the attention towards her?
MARTINA HINGIS: No, that was later. She's got respect to me. When I was around, she was great. I can't say one word against her. I'm probably like reading the things right now as you do. I haven't talked to her too much lately, just once in a while.
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- Martina Hingis 2001 US Open Statistics
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