Martina Hingis 2000 Indian Wells 3rd-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

2000 Tennis Masters Series at Indian Wells, California, on Sunday, March 12, 2000
Martina Hingis defeated Ai Sugiyama, 6-1, 6-2

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS

Q. 5-Love first set. Did you find it a little hard to sustain concentration at that level? You looked as if you were swinging through till then, a little relaxation almost.

MARTINA HINGIS: I don't think it was relaxation. I had this boosting start. I was like, "Come on, you know, it's 10:00 in the morning." I was hitting before. I felt pretty good on court. I don't know, I just couldn't make that sixth game in the first set. Then it got close on my service game. She had a breakpoint, I think, to go like 5-2. I'm like, "No, come on, finish this set." I gave her kind of a rhythm at the end of the first set. She started being a little looser, playing her game more. She would do a few mistakes which, you know, in the first set to always give me a chance to make those games. I think I played quite well, especially in the beginning, and also in the second set to kind of end the game with her. I think it was a pretty good job.

Q. When she broke at 3-2 again, back to normal --?

MARTINA HINGIS: No. Once I held serve there, I think. She had this break opportunity, second serve. It was like she missed that shot. It was like on the top of the let (indicating). I'm like, "Uh-oh." Once I held my serve, I just went through that second set.

Q. Since Australia, what have you been working on to try to get back to the level where you think you can beat Lindsay on a consistent basis?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I've been working more on my all-around game, especially. I think I also served quite well, especially today. I mean, I made a lot of points, even aces, a lot of direct, like, winners almost. Just basically all-around game, trying to go more to the net when I have the chance. I think I played quite well at the net today. I made a few points. But it still needs a little improvement. It was also early somehow, 10:00 (laughter). I mean, I usually always go and hit at 10:00 or 9:30 when I'm back at home. I warm up and then hit at 10:00. It's a little different from playing a match. You have to wake up even earlier. Well, I had a pretty good start. It was like last night, "Okay, 10:00 in the morning." But then I felt pretty good.

Q. Are you concerned at all that Lindsay might be too physically strong for you?

MARTINA HINGIS: No, because we always had this kind of seasons where she was a little bit better, then it was me. It was always like balancing each other (indicating). When I started on Tour, she was obviously better because she was also older and was around for longer. Then I kind of keep up with her. I even, I think, improved the level a little bit more. At one stage, I was beating her. Now she kind of bounced back. But it's great to have this kind of rivalry that you always have someone to look up to and to improve.

Q. Do you see Lindsay as your prime rival or is she one of the two or three equal rivals?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think the ranking shows who the most, you know, consistent players are. That's me and Lindsay right now. I mean, the distance from the Williams sisters is like a thousand points almost. They're just not playing as much as we are. They've been injured. You haven't seen Venus since The Chase. I mean, that's a long time. Serena has been, you know, quite consistent. She won, what was it, Hannover, lost in the finals of Paris. I mean, she's around, but nothing dramatic since the US Open.

Q. Forgetting statistics for a moment, just in the way they play --?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, yeah. I mean, the way they play, if they're on, they're very dangerous. Anytime you go out there, you don't know whether you're going to win or lose.

Q. A couple years ago you mentioned that you really disliked lifting weights. Are you doing a lot of that now? Is that something you've grown to like?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, grown to like? You got your days where you don't feel like doing much. But I do go almost every day now when I'm here - also last week in Scottsdale, I tried to. My favorite thing is the bike. I just could go forever. Sometimes I feel like a lock, just keep going, keep going. I like that. I also like to just go cross-country with the bike, especially coming from Switzerland or Czech Republic where I grew up, we did that a lot. That's kind of my thing, not as much as the running, that's not my thing. I think I run enough on the tennis court and in practice. The weights, I mean, I feel stronger when I do it. I feel much better, in better shape. I know it transfers also into my game. I mean, just have to go with it.

Q. Do you actually go out cycling much? Do you get the opportunity to do so?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, not in Florida, you don't have those trails as we would have in Czech Republic and Switzerland, everything is so flat. Well, in the fitness, in the gym, you put the random and it goes up-and-down (laughter).

Q. It's not as much fun as when you're outside in the countryside.

MARTINA HINGIS: That's true. We do more like other things, like rollerblading, yeah, try to always mix it up - swimming more, maybe, to also relax the muscles after a long day.

Q. How hard do you think you can serve if you keep working on it?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think, you know, my serve range would be around that 90 spot, 95 to 100, if I get consistent and believe in my serve more. I don't think I can ever go like, you know, the Williams sisters or Lindsay, where they have consistent 110, 105, 115. That's not my range. But I think from the 95, 100, around there I could possibly be.

Q. Are you more concerned with your first or second serve?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think my second, I don't miss it much. Well, yesterday there was a terrible beginning there against Amy with my serves. The first or second, neither was working. But today, I think my first serve was pretty solid. The second, she didn't do much of it. It just has to do pretty much with the mental thing, the way I play my groundies just the whole game, then I can base on the serve, too. I just can believe in it more when I get into the game and win those points. It's very important to me, yeah.

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