Martina Hingis 1999 Evert Cup 2nd-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

1999 Evert Cup at Indian Wells, California, on Saturday, March 6, 1999
Martina Hingis defeated Alexandra Stevenson, 6-3, 6-4

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS

Q. What is your feeling about this first match, from the way you played and from the way she played?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think it was a very good match for the beginning, to come into this tournament. I mean, you can see where your game is, especially against her. She had nothing to lose. She served big. I mean, she's a big girl anyway. But she had a very high standard. It was kind of, sometimes, very frustrating for me. You get the return back, and boom-boom, two aces come right after that. But I think it was a very good match coming into this tournament. I was very focused. After the sun came down a little bit, I lost my concentration, going up 3-1 in the second set. I'm used to the Californian sun now, and all of a sudden it was gone.

Q. Did you learn anything from yesterday's match, you scouted that?

MARTINA HINGIS: I mean, it's good. You're at the tournament, you go and watch some tennis. I haven't seen it for a while.

Q. You're both 18 years old, yet she's still an amateur, still in school; you're out on the road.

MARTINA HINGIS: How much is she in school? I'm sorry.

Q. She's an amateur.

MARTINA HINGIS: I know. I know. She played a lot juniors, too. I think she's doing very good. She's doing like the last in June, her tests, then she'll be done. After that she's going to turn pro.

Q. She's not sure.

MARTINA HINGIS: She's not sure?

Q. For now, I guess.

MARTINA HINGIS: I think she would do quite well turning pro.

Q. Were you surprised at how hard she hits? There were a couple times you went like this, "What's going on?"

MARTINA HINGIS: As I said before, it's like you work for your points. Especially for me, when I get into the rallies, for me it was more that I had to win the points. She could hit another ace and then I was like, "Okay." Just walk there and back all the time. It was a good test.

Q. Winning this tournament last year was one of the highlights of your season, wasn't it? How far do you think you moved on since then?

MARTINA HINGIS: How far I what?

Q. Have you moved forward since then?

MARTINA HINGIS: Tennis has improved anyway since last year so much, especially the women's tennis. That side is getting faster every three, four months, I would say. Even me, I learned a lot from last year. I hope I won't make the same mistakes, not just lucky by winning this tournament last year, Key Biscayne, all the others. I love this tournament, actually. I played here only once last year, and I was very successful, and I hope I can do it again.

Q. Pete Sampras has just left IMG. We know you're a client there, but you had not been all that happy from what we were told in the past.

MARTINA HINGIS: I didn't have any problems.

Q. Are you thinking of changing?

MARTINA HINGIS: Of course, you always have a few things you don't agree with. But, no.

Q. So you're planning on staying with them?

MARTINA HINGIS: So far, yes. But we'll see.

Q. Your next match could be quite a tough one against Snyder, if she wins her match. How do you look forward to that? How do you see it as a contest?

MARTINA HINGIS: Last time I played her was the championships. She first has to win against Molly. She came from the quallies, won the first round. She's not that easy to play, I think. She had quite a few matches here. But she's a lefty. She has a tricky serve, which I think is very dangerous. But I watched her when she played in Hannover. She's been in the Top 10. What is her ranking now, 14?

Q. 12, I think.

MARTINA HINGIS: I'm looking forward to that match because there you really can see where my game is at, what could I improve, if it's not going well, just anything. I just want to play well.

Q. She beat you for the first time in quite dramatic circumstances in Munich at the Grand Slam Cup, didn't she?


Q. You were injured I think in the last couple of games.

MARTINA HINGIS: It was like the week before we played Fed Cup, the finals there. I was cramping there. I was run out of gas, I guess, there in Munich. It's not an official tournament anyway, so it's not important. But you don't like to lose, definitely. Next time I played her was championships, and I won there. So we'll see what's going to happen.

Q. Could you say that you're a hundred percent right now for the tournament?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, yeah, pretty much. I'm here since Sunday night. I was practicing two times a day, working out.

Q. She had a 4-3 lead with her serve. Were you worried?

MARTINA HINGIS: I lost my serve there twice, so I was a little bit, you know, upset maybe, disappointed the way I gave up those games. Especially, I was up 3-1 and I could have closed it out, but I didn't. She played some great games there. I mean, she didn't miss as much as before. It kind of surprised me, so I had to raise my level a bit again, put another gear in there. That's what I did to come back and win it 6-4.

Q. The spotlight and headlines in Switzerland seem to have been on Patty the last month or so with her problems. What do you think about that?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think that's her privacy. That's not something I can discuss because I have not seen her that much. I just read the same thing as you did when I was at home, because I wasn't around. This is something I can't talk about really.

Q. Are you still going to play together on the Fed Cup?

MARTINA HINGIS: I'm not playing Fed Cup this year.

Q. You're not?


Q. So is the media leaving you alone at home now?

MARTINA HINGIS: I'm free as a bird now. How nice. Well, I did some things here when I came here. I'm doing my stuff; she's doing hers. Peaceful, very quiet so far. You just first have to come up with results, then you can do some interviews and all these other things. So far I'm happy with the way things went.

Q. What did you do to celebrate the Australian Open? Did you buy anything?

MARTINA HINGIS: I didn't have that much time actually. We played the finals on Saturday, so Sunday the shops were closed, bad luck.

Q. With all these power players coming up on the WTA, all these women hit the ball so hard, do you have to constantly rethink your strategy out there now? It seems we have some rocket servers coming up in the WTA.

MARTINA HINGIS: You look at Lindsay, Monica, Mary, Williams sisters. I kind of like it. In the beginning I didn't, because sometimes they were killing me. Now, I think I got stronger, too. My body has changed in a way. I serve better also today, in the other matches, too, in Australia and Tokyo. It was a big improvement, I was working on that, trying to keep up with them.

Q. How do you combat their power?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, you have to use your brain more, I guess, just try to make the game slower so they can't overpower you in that way, just make them run because they're tall and big, so they're not as -- they can't move as well as I should move because I'm smaller and can be faster and more tricky out there. But it's always been like this, since I play. I've always been younger. They were always more powerful. I kind of grew up like this. It's not been a big problem. Once in a while.

Q. Not only is the game getting better, but it seems like among the average non-tennis fan, the game is becoming more and more popular. I talked to a lot of people today, this was their first tennis event.


Q. They were speaking to me quite a bit about the style that you guys have, the personality, also the glamour of it. How important is getting your kind of personality and glamour, how important is that to bringing new fans to the game?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, it's great. I mean, in Australia, when you can start over the year there, the crowd has been getting bigger and bigger each year. In Tokyo, it was sold out every day. Even I played in France now last week, so every day I played with the French girls, especially. They have five girls in the Top 20, Mauresmo definitely making the finals at the Australian Open. The fans are growing. That's great for women's tennis. Also here, everybody wants to come to see Monica play today, Kournikova, me. They want to see how I do.

Q. Do you feel comfortable with the fact that among those fans, they're not so much interested in the game, they maybe want to see how you look?

MARTINA HINGIS: Glamour, how short the skirts are, things like this?

Q. A little bit interest maybe.

MARTINA HINGIS: I think it brings a different style into the game. You want watch ice skating. I love watching ice skating, as you can could see last night, Walt Disney showed Michelle Kwan. Ice skating is very feminine. The dresses are getting shorter and shorter. I think it's nice. Especially here you have men and women, men start playing tomorrow. Different outfits and everything makes it more interesting, and the type of games, too. The more glamour, the more feminism in the game, I think it's nice. I would like to go watch some guys, too, if I could. Tennis, the game has gained popularity, and that's very good.

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