Martina Hingis 1999 Evert Cup 3rd-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

1999 Evert Cup at Indian Wells, California, on Monday, March 8, 1999
Martina Hingis defeated Patty Schnyder, 6-1, 6-3

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS

Q. Apart from the first game, I'm presuming you're reasonably happy with that one?

MARTINA HINGIS: Definitely, it was a great match, I think from both sides. Well, she started playing off very well, didn't miss anything. I had to do all the points by myself. Then it wasn't a very easy thing to do at all, no. We had long rallies. In that case, I was more -- I was able to most of the time win them. But it definitely wasn't an easy one. The score was a little bit easier than it really was so I felt out there.

Q. She said that she thought you were reading where she was going with her shots a lot. Is that true?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, this is my strength. This is most of the time my weapon on the court, that I pretty much know where the players want to go, where they're heading to the next shot. That's why I'm No. 1. Somehow I had to get up there in a way. Yeah, I know her also from other tournaments, from Fed Cup, used to practice a lot. Yeah, so this is pretty much my strategy, the type of my game, yes.

Q. Is that the best you've played against her, do you think?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah. I mean, definitely I was ready. I watched some of her matches, and I know the way she plays, especially from the two matches I've played her since we both turned pro, especially that one in New York, I learned a lot I think in that one.

Q. She said she felt you were more confident than you have been against her before, and she's less confident at this time. Did you feel she's lacking confidence?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I was feeling pretty well going out there today. I was probably less nervous than the other times I played her. I knew I was pretty much at the top of my game so far. I'm feeling great, so I can run, I can get to some balls maybe I didn't used to last year, maybe half a year ago even. That feels a little bit better, moving around out there.

Q. Was there any special satisfaction in beating your Swiss rival? It was one of your best results against her, wasn't it?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, but it doesn't matter it's her on the other side. Of course, there's always a little prestige thing out there. But I was playing well lately against other players, too, so it's not only her.

Q. I wasn't here earlier in the week, but I understand you confirmed that you're not playing Fed Cup this year.

MARTINA HINGIS: No, it's not a new thing.

Q. Maybe not, but I'm just wondering what your thinking was behind it. Is it because it didn't fit into your schedule? What was the thinking behind deciding not to play?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, more or less it was a great experience last year making the finals, but definitely it was a little bit too much for me at that time. I wasn't playing great tennis. Well, I made the finals of the US Open, and the week after that I was already in Geneva playing the Fed Cup finals. I was like totally ran out of batteries there. I was cramping. The week after, I even lost to Patty where I was cramping again. It wasn't just a great experience for me. I don't want to go through that again. Also I didn't have time enough from the Federation to really tell them whether I'm going to play or not. I mean, it wouldn't be a big deal for me to play, especially if it's like in my hometown, in Zurich. But somehow the decision came that way that I had to decide in December already. I wasn't just able to do that because I didn't know how I'm going to feel after Australia. I put my decision because of last year's experience.

Q. Will your mother still be captain of the team or not?

MARTINA HINGIS: No. I mean, if I'm not playing, what will she do out there (laughter)?

Q. Yesterday you talked some about feminism and glamour. Do you want to talk more about that when you say you want to be the Spice Girls of tennis?

MARTINA HINGIS: You're writing about us like that. I wasn't saying this. I read it, too (laughter). Well, of course, you go out there and watch ice skating because there are nice girls in short skirts out there. They're looking great. They have makeup on, which we don't have yet. No, but I think it's a little bit more difficult because they're out there only like for two, three minutes. We're one and a half hours, at least an hour. Yeah, I think it's great seeing all these different types of games, faces, different styles. It's just getting more like, how do you say that, more spicy.

Q. How do you see the balance being appreciated as an athlete or a model?

MARTINA HINGIS: As I say, from young on, I always wanted to do something like that, like being in Elle or Vogue magazine. For me it was a dream came true when I first time did it. Taking pictures with Annie Liebowitz. It was a great experience, too. Being an athlete, maybe sometimes on the cover of GQ, it's a great feeling to have people recognize you. You walk on the streets, and the -- once in a while it's very nice, yes.

Q. Apart from no Fed Cup, is there any other way in which you're changing your program for this year in a specific manner? Are you cutting back on anything else?

MARTINA HINGIS: No, not yet. Well, it's only the beginning of the year. It's only March.

Q. But you haven't planned to do so?


Q. You haven't planned to do so?

MARTINA HINGIS: There are some things which you have to do, and some which I want to play. Most of the tournaments I like to play, like here. I think it's beautiful out here to play in front of a crowd like this. It's a great resort out here. It's a great life anyway.

Q. Lindsay is gone. Now today Monica is gone. Do you get the feeling this tournament is just opening up for you?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, they're in the bottom of the draw. I wouldn't mind if they be on the top of the draw. I don't care. I have to get to the finals myself. I'll try to get there somehow. I think those players which beat them, they're in pretty good shape, too. As you see, Serena, she won in Paris that tournament. You know, Nagyova, I wouldn't expect that, that she would beat Monica. But she's got a new coach, so maybe that helped here, motivation and all this. I don't know, I haven't seen the matches because I was out for today, late match, so I didn't get to know that much.

Q. You've been on the Tour a number of years now. Could you take a moment and just reflect where you might like your life and your tennis to be in five years or so?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I'm on the Tour for five years already. I have no idea what am I going to do in five years. So still for me it's this year going, this tournament is still on. Who knows? Do you know what you're going to do in five years? I don't think so (laughter).

Q. You went through a bit of a slump last year in motivation. Do you expect to maintain the same type of motivation you have now throughout the year?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, there is no reason for me the right now not to. I felt the same last year. Hopefully, you know, this time I'm a different person, hopefully a little bit more mature than last year. We'll see.

Q. Are you playing any grass before Wimbledon this year?

MARTINA HINGIS: No, no. I'm not such a great grass specialist. Even my serve has improved. I served well today. Also in the other match. Maybe that helps a little bit on grass, too.

Q. But it will just be practice?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah. You play Paris. I'm also playing two other tournaments before, Rome and Berlin. It will be just too much if I will play something else. You always play the best the first time you play on grass, at least I feel that way. You get only worse day-by-day because all the different bounces and all that. Try to keep that level.

Q. You're not playing Hamburg?

MARTINA HINGIS: Not yet, no. Not this time.

Q. Will you spend just a week in London before Wimbledon, do you think?

MARTINA HINGIS: Last time I was shooting a commercial, so I was there from Tuesday on.

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