Martina Hingis 1999 Evert Cup Quarterfinal Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

1999 Evert Cup at Indian Wells, California, on Wednesday, March 10, 1999
Chanda Rubin defeated Martina Hingis, 6-3, 7-6

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS

VERONIQUE MARCHAL: Questions for Martina.

Q. What is your assessment of the match?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, of course I'm a bit disappointed because I felt pretty good out there today. I think we even hit together this morning, and it was kind of pretty good, so did her. I mean, she must have played well also in the other matches, but I didn't see them. I guess it's pretty good effort beating Martinez and Amanda the way she did. Also the practice, I think this tournament was really the way she kind of played in the past. Well, I think she played an unbelievable match. I was always one step late and too defensive today.

Q. You started the year so well, then you lost the two quarterfinals. Must be quite frustrating for you.

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, there are worse things I think in life than to lose at a tennis tournament in quarterfinals. If I would break a leg or have to amputate one, that would be worse, I guess, if I wouldn't be able to do something else but tennis. You know, I hope to improve till next week. I mean, that's good about tennis, you have other tournaments going on. I hope she's going to do well like she did today.

Q. Do you think, however, that your level is still as high as it was in the beginning of the year?

MARTINA HINGIS: It's a faster service here than in Australia. I think -- she just wouldn't miss. Some of the rallies with the backhand, I usually am better than most of the players. Today, she was just kind of hanging in there and didn't miss them. It was a little bit frustrating for me. Usually I win these rallies. When I try to come in or just make something different, she would pass unbelievably from one to the other line. I'm like, "Okay, something more."

Q. What are you going to do between now and Key Biscayne?

MARTINA HINGIS: I'm still hanging in there in the doubles (laughter). We play tomorrow I think the semis. Try to practice and get to Key Biscayne and do better there.

VERONIQUE MARCHAL: Any last question for Martina?

Q. Does this loss tell you that you have to be at the top of your game all the time to beat Top 30 players?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think Chanda or everybody knows that she always had this game, to be a top player. Since she had her injury, especially the wrist one, she had an operation or something, so it's been hard for her to come back. But in practice, she could be a real champion. In matches, she just wasn't really able to put her game together and beat great players. She was always tough to play. I mean, we played each other last time in Key Biscayne, and I played the way she played today. I was always one step ahead, one point better than^ here. Today she was just more able to close it up. She just made less errors.

Q. Being the No. 1 player, when these players beat you, it's such a big thing. Every week someone is gunning for you. Does that sometimes get a little nerve-racking?

MARTINA HINGIS: Of course, you don't have only one player to beat. It's not like ten years ago, five or ten years ago, where you only had Steffi and Arantxa or Gaby, just a few players, and knew you were always going to play them in the semis and finals. It's just not the case anymore. Tells how strong women's tennis has gotten in the last two, three years.

Q. She has a history of having problems closing out matches. Did that occur to you when you were rallying there in the second set?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I knew that. But just today in the tiebreaker, she was too good. She was able to stay aggressive. Sometimes, of course, she double-faulted once or so, but didn't make, like, major mistakes. I was, of course, sometimes, especially in the second set when she was up 4-2, looked like close points, she was at the net and missed easy volleys. At the end, she always made it. Like I was up two times serving. I didn't make anything. I had my big chances to be serving and go for the second set. She always had like a better answer at the end.

Q. Did she exploit your second serve as well as anybody has in a while?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think I didn't serve that great as in the other two matches. She just returned unbelievably today, I think. Even, like, she's quick on the court. Some points, players would hit just an easy, like, shot back, and I would be there and just close it out, but she even made points out of those long rallies. There was not much. I was getting more and more afraid to play closer to the lines, and I would miss sometimes. That was probably the major thing in today's match.

Q. Could you talk about how the game that you saw her play today, how that game would compare to Graf and Novotna of the next round?

MARTINA HINGIS: What she's going to do against them?

Q. With the game that you saw her play today, do you think it will give problems to either one of those players?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, if she can continue playing like this, she has a chance against anybody. I mean, she beat me today. She beat two other great players. I guess Indian Wells and Key Biscayne, she always love to play here and make great results.

Q. Does that give you even more eagerness to win the next time around?


Q. Is it easier coming to a tournament having won one or are you more aggressive and wanting to win because you lost?

MARTINA HINGIS: I didn't like this loss at all, so I'm like, "Okay, I'm going to be definitely more pumped." I don't know, in one way it helps. In the other, it's also easier to go to the next tournament if you already won. Like in Australia, I won the tournament, and I tried to do also well in Tokyo because I was very confident. But the same, already before the Australian Open, and I lost in the finals, and I was even more pumped in the Australian Open. I hope it's going to be the same thing now here. I lost, but do better last time.

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