2000 Tennis Masters Series at Indian Wells, California, on Saturday, March 18, 2000
Lindsay Davenport defeated Martina Hingis, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0
An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS
Q. Can you explain the turnaround in the match?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I guess I just lost a little bit concentration. I was getting tired. I still had to do most of the running and chasing down the balls, just get it back as much as I could. Lindsay gets like easier free points with her serve and things like that. I mean, I know my game is the running and the defense, but I was too defensive at the end when I had those chances. I was very close this time, but I hope I get more chances, maybe already next week.
Q. You were very close. Did you do anything specifically to prepare for Lindsay?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I mean, I knew what I had to do out there. It worked out very well first set and also in the second, I was like holding my serve. But it was just not good enough again.
Q. How much do you think Lindsay lifted her game at that point?
MARTINA HINGIS: I don't think she lifted her game. She was just very basic, very standard, but very high level throughout the whole match. It was just that I dropped my level a little bit at the end. I mean, it needs only one, two points and everything can turn around, especially when she breaks me. You know, I was able to hold my serve all match through until 4-3. Well, I'm more disappointed about that when I was up 4-2, 30-15 on her serve, and there I should have -- if I would be up 5-2, I think things would have been different. Even there, 4-3, I did easy mistakes which I'm not allowed to do, not against Lindsay.
Q. How much more difficult does it get after you lose against the same player? Does it get more difficult every time?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, in a way yes and no. It's like every time you go out there, you have nothing to lose. Even I was No. 1, she's No. 2, it's still the two players, we're always in the finals now lately. It is a little depressing losing to her all the time, especially in the past. Well, you know, there's so many other players. You kind of hope always when I'm on the top and she's on the bottom, "Somebody else might beat her." In the end, I was like always the only one at the end who had the chance or we end up playing each other at the end. You know, I had to give myself another try. Unfortunately, didn't work out this time. I mean, she's four years older, so I still got four more years to get her level.
Q. How much above the rest of the competition that you play is Lindsay as compared to Serena or Mary?
MARTINA HINGIS: She can just keep that level throughout the whole match. I mean, that's the difference. I would have certain shots against some players, I always know I always when it's a danger. If I really need to win those points or keep them back on the baseline, they have to go for a super shot. Lindsay would be just kind of -- do the same thing as I do, go for the backhand cross-court. We both know we usually can go forever. But now it's like waiting, who is going to go down the line first or who is going to miss? I know she's got this big forehand. I'm not allowed to play her forehand that much, of course, but I also have to make her run. That's kind of difficult to do like everything at the same time. It's just that sometimes when I have the chance, I just can't get tired or something, be more aggressive when she gets a little bit lazy or something. Especially when I get the ball in the game off her serve, I just have to do something and attack right away. But it's also that risk a little bit. If you go for too much, you miss it. That's the thing against her which nobody else does have.
Q. Why weren't you able to get into the third set at all? You played okay the first couple games, but after that your level dropped quite a bit.
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I only won two points in the game, she won four. That was the difference.
Q. Did you not feel like at that point in the third set you could compete for the match?
MARTINA HINGIS: Somehow in the first game, there was one call, I thought it was wide on her serve at 30-All. Once things like this happen, you don't get another chance, not as many. I would be lucky in the beginning, I get a let, I get this, then just everything turned around against me. It's just sometimes - it's like, who wants it more? I was like a little bit disappointed maybe that I didn't take my chance at 4-3 serving. You just kind of lose your focus. Against a player like her, it's too late then. Maybe someone else, I still win that first game, I'll be able to hold my serve. Against Lindsay, you have to make four points in a game, not just two or three, then waiting for something to happen like maybe an angel coming down (laughter).
Q. How much better has Lindsay's serve gotten in the last year or two?
MARTINA HINGIS: Like towards the end of last year, also last year already, otherwise she wouldn't be able to win Wimbledon and some of the other tournaments. It's hard to read her serve. Against other players, I'm much more able, they're just not as consistent as Lindsay is. She can place it so well. Some other players would go more like a very good serve, Mary or Monica, but not as consistent or not as placed as Lindsay does.
Q. As disappointed as you are in losing, is there any lesson you learned today to apply to next time?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, try to learn each time. I just learned that I had my chance and didn't take it (laughter). Just to focus, concentration, finish it off also, not just wait for her to make the mistakes, but stay aggressive, stay in the game.
Q. Mentally how much tougher is Lindsay now than she was a year or so ago?
MARTINA HINGIS: You would sometimes see her that she got like frustrated or something. I mean, I could see she was tired, too, at the same point as I was. You still have to make her play. She doesn't give up. She doesn't just make easy mistakes just because you put the ball back. Against some players, that would be sometimes enough. If you get a little bit tired, the end, towards the second set, it would just sometimes be enough because they get short and you can go ahead and attack. But Lindsay just keeps hitting those deep balls. You have to first just get it back, then see what happens. I would be too late sometimes just a little bit, and that's already, you know, not good enough. Mentally, yeah, it's pretty obvious, each time you play her, it's like you know you have to be hundred percent. I think I was doing quite well until that thing happened. I was playing some of my best tennis. It's just that one little thing.
Q. In terms of mental toughness, is she at a different level?
MARTINA HINGIS: Her, yeah. You can see it. You can tell.
Q. Is Lindsay a nightmare for you?
MARTINA HINGIS: Only nightmare would be if I'd be like in a wheelchair or something. But this is not a nightmare. If I wouldn't have another chance to play her, that would be a nightmare.
Q. Can you explain how tough it is for you to come up against big hitters in back-to-back matches? In the past, the record isn't great if you played Williams/Williams, or Williams/Davenport. Even though you played Mary and beat her yesterday, she was a big hitter, you come up against another one today.
MARTINA HINGIS: I wasn't very pleased with the scheduling of matches at first. I played singles, then we played a tough doubles, coming out here today again 12:00, hottest weather, hottest time. You know, maybe in the future, that will change, that both players have the same chances to go into the final, playing both Thursday, then have a day off. I didn't feel like it was very fair. Okay, nobody ask you. Once the tournament is over, everybody only waits for the winner, the winner counts. You know, it was Monica also. You just have basically those big hitters at the top, so I just kind of get used to it. I don't think about it anymore. You just have to play them. I kind of like their game because I just use their power, use their force, don't have to do as much myself, just kind of control it.
Q. Usually you are the one who has more self-confidence than the opponent. Do you think it's different now with Lindsay?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, maybe in practice I would get a little bit more nervous when I know I have to play Lindsay. Also the same in Scottsdale. Unfortunately, we didn't get to play there. On court today, I was very concentrated from the beginning on because I knew I had to be there right away, not to make the same mistake as I did in Australia: just to slip away the first and second set basically. I think I did that very well today. It's just that one little thing, you know, still missing. I usually have the advantage over other players. Right now I feel that Lindsay has that over me.
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