Martina Hingis 2000 Ericsson Open Semifinal Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

2000 Ericsson Open (Tennis Masters Series) at Miami, Florida, on Thursday, March 30, 2000
Martina Hingis defeated Monica Seles, 6-0, 6-0

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS

Q. That's the worst loss of Monica's career. Can you have any compassion for her as it's taking place or no room for that?

MARTINA HINGIS: What is compassion?

WTA: Feeling sorry for her as the match is going along.

MARTINA HINGIS: I mean, I heard two days ago she started saying that her foot wasn't okay. Well, I'm sure somebody else in her place wouldn't even step out on court. Sometimes, you know, other things, you know, happen. When I was on court, I almost felt like after the first set or something she's going to retire. Then she just kept on playing. I was like, "Well, nobody else would do that, definitely to finish a match when they wouldn't be a hundred percent." Yeah, I didn't let her into the game. I think I played very smart, very well. I'm pretty pleased with having a win like this going into the finals.

Q. Were you embarrassed for her?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, as I said, she's just a great champion. I mean, she's got this level. As I said, something must have happened that she didn't run for the shots she usually would. This can happen to anybody. I mean, I felt terrible when I played Lindsay, I was down 6-1, 5-1 in the finals of the Australian Open, didn't feel like I was playing the game I used to do. I had great wins against Monica. You know, when I played here in '97 and won the tournament, I beat her 6-0, 6-2. I have great memories that I played very well.

Q. You almost always beat her anyway. Has there been something that whenever you play her you're always able to dominate her with? Has there been a constant in the matches?

MARTINA HINGIS: Sometimes you have the kind of fear of somebody when you're at the top that you don't like playing. You feel like that extra little bit of pressure. You have to play very precise. That's why a lot of shots from Monica today, they just went a little bit on the sides. She just missed them in the beginning by a little bit, which she did not feel the pressure from other players.

Q. If you play Lindsay in the final - she has become increasingly dominant with her service - is there anything more you can do to try to counteract her dominance with her serve?

MARTINA HINGIS: Not her dominance in her serve. If I can hold my serve. You see mostly in the men's matches that they're able to hold their serves, then they get into the break or something. I was able to do that, you know, break her two weeks ago in the finals, held my serve until 4-2 in the second. That felt very great. I hope I can continue what I was doing there, you know, maybe finish it, you know, matches like this.

Q. You just play your game against her or do you make some adjustments against her?

MARTINA HINGIS: I just have to play my game against everybody. It's been paying off pretty much so far this season, so far in my career. Especially today, in these windy conditions, you just can't go for that much, as Monica went today. I'm sure she felt pain in her foot or something. She tried to keep the ball shorter and try not to have to run too much. To be patient is very important, better conditions than today, just the whole tournament.

Q. Your second serves seems to be your weakest point.

MARTINA HINGIS: Really (laughter)?

Q. What are you going to do? That's what Lindsay is going to try to attack. Probably she's going to be in the finals against you. Are you trying to work on something to improve that part of your game?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I don't think I serve that badly today. I mean, I didn't lose my serve. Only that second latest game, I was up 40-Love, then she played three unbelievable returns. There's not much I can do about that. I think my service game has improved a lot. I was very happy the way I played today. I served well. I can kind of believe in my serve now, because I just play so much also. The more you play, the more confidence you get, the more wins you have. It feels pretty good.

Q. They booed Monica today. I guess it's all your fault. What did you think when you heard that?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, not everybody knows what's going on behind the scenes, so it's hard to tell, you know, why things happen like this. But also I think one of the parts is that I was able to beat her most of the time. You know, she just wasn't herself maybe today. Just something must have happened. I don't know what she said before, but she's definitely a little bit injured, yeah.

Q. When is the last time you were double bageled?

MARTINA HINGIS: I only one time, it was fourth round Australian Open against Basuki. I beat her 0-0.

Q. When was the last time you had it happen to you?


Q. 0-0.

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah (laughter).

Q. When is the last time?

MARTINA HINGIS: It was against Mary. She killed me. It was Montreal, Toronto.

Q. I'm wondering, what is it like when that happens?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think I played a great match. It was always 30-All. She just played like 96% first serves. Not much I could do about her forehand back then. She just crushed those balls. You saw her playing against me like last week maybe. I was up 4-1. It was like nothing I did wrong. I think it was like five years ago, yeah, when I started on tour.

Q. Did your mother ever beat you Love and Love?

MARTINA HINGIS: Of course, when I was little, yeah. But now it's the other way around. Beat her lefty 6-1 last time we played.

Q. With everything that Monica has done, do you wonder why she still plays? Does she have anything left to prove?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, she's a great champion. It's not sometimes you have to prove something to somebody, but just for yourself. It's amazing to have those moments on court when you win a tournament. It's just a very satisfying feeling. If you don't have that, you miss it. I'm sure she, you know, wants to have that back. That's why she's still playing. Tennis is a beautiful game. I mean, when she came back on tour, she won Australian Open, she was able to, you know, make the finals at the French, had some great victories against some great players. It's very satisfying.

Q. How do you feel about winning today and advancing to the finals?

MARTINA HINGIS: How do I feel? I'm not crying about it.

Q. Do you think the improvement in Lindsay's game, how do you think she'll do during the clay court season?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think in women's, it's not as important what kind of surface you play, but very much about having the confidence on that surface, just feel good with yourself. You see pretty much the same players being very solid on all different surfaces. It's not like men. Well, maybe it might be more that there is always a player that feels more comfortable on this or that. The top players pretty much feel good on all the surfaces.

Q. Could you see her getting to the final of the French Open?

MARTINA HINGIS: Definitely. She can do it, for sure.

Q. You don't play doubles. Why?

MARTINA HINGIS: Doubles? Because it's too much. I'm already tired now when I walk on court for practice. I'm like, two more, one more now. It's just very nice to have a little bit rest between the matches, you know, take my singles very serious this time, you know, try to have a good tournament here. That's why I didn't play. I got a call from Mary, which was very nice last night. She said, "Well, I'm waiting for you whenever you want to play again." She's in Bradenton. We might practice together in the next week. It's a lot of fun playing doubles, but also sometimes when you play three tournaments in a row, like five weeks, it just gets too much with the scheduling and the night matches. I mean, like last night I played, and today again at 1:00. To play another doubles now, I'd be dead (laughter).

Q. Were you expecting more of a challenge today?

MARTINA HINGIS: What shall I say? I just played a very good match.

Q. Were you surprised that it was as easy as it was for you?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, when I saw her on the court on the other side, I saw that she wasn't moving for some of her particular shots, she made some faces sometimes, she looked like she was in pain. That's why I was like almost surprised she didn't quit the game a little earlier or something. I was like, "Maybe she'll do it." But I still have to play very well and stay focused. If I just let a little bit go, I'm sure she'd come back because she was very aggressive.

Q. How early in the match did you realize that Monica was not up to the level she usually plays?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think after I was like up 5-0. Always when you lose the first set like easy, you try to get back into the game by the first game you play. That's why I think it was very important for me to, you know, go up 1-0, then 2-0, just hold my serve. She was up 30-Love. Still, I was able to hold the serve at 3-0. After that, I felt like I have everything pretty much under control. But you're never sure about Monica or any player out there that it's ever over until the last point has been played.

Q. What does that say about her, that she was out there today, with the injuries? Were you surprised?

MARTINA HINGIS: I wasn't very surprised. I mean, she was obviously there and she won yesterday. I didn't feel her, so I don't know how much she was in pain. I can't tell. I'm sure she told you before.

Q. Have you ever gone on court with sort of a minor injury and it just warmed up during the match and got better?

MARTINA HINGIS: Definitely it happens pretty much. It's just like little things always happen. It's the same with every player. I think if you continue to play on the tour, you play tournaments, always a little something is going to bother you. But once you're warm enough, you don't really think about it when it's like tight or something happens. When you lose, you think about it more, especially when you're losing during the match.

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