Martina Hingis 2001 Indian Wells 2nd-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

2001 Tennis Masters Series at Indian Wells, California, on Friday, March 9, 2001
Martina Hingis defeated Kveta Hrdlickova, 7-5, 6-0

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS:

Q. A little trouble there in the first set?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I went up 3-0. Especially that happen one game, I had 2-Love. It was like ten times it went to deuce. I won that game, but I still didn't feel like so safe. Then she just, you know, kept playing the same style. I maybe let down a little bit because I didn't know exactly what to do. But somehow then she had the poor game to equalize, so it was 4-All. At 5-All, then I just .... I was happy to win the first set, that's for sure. But I felt like, okay, she was playing really well. If she would keep the high level or the standard the way she played, I mean, but it showed in the second she couldn't. That was kind of nice. I was, "Okay, thanks."

Q. You know her game pretty well. Did you know eventually she was going to stop playing at that level?

MARTINA HINGIS: No, I didn't know. It's like you never know, you have an opponent. But the ranking says, you know . If she'd play like that all the time, she'd be in the Top 10 or at least Top 20, but she's not. So, I mean, it shows that she can play great matches, she has some good victories, but not overall. So I hope for maybe for slow down for her a little bit. You shouldn't hope. But it's the first match and I'm happy to have it over.

Q. Was it sort of nice to see the draw and have both Williams sisters in the other half?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, you know, finally for once (smiling). I mean, I still have to play my matches. I still have to get there where I'm supposed to. You know, it's like one by one. Now I think it's going to be easier. I was kind of unsafe, as I said. Then after the first match, you always know. I was more aggressive towards the second set already anyway. Now I know more what to do hopefully in the next match.

Q. You talked in Australia that your conditioning by the seventh match wasn't where you wanted to be, you were tired. Why are you playing so much now?

MARTINA HINGIS: I'm not playing doubles.

Q. You played the last couple weeks, and you're playing now.

MARTINA HINGIS: I played a lot. You know, mentally it was very tiring because -- not even physically, because I was out there. It was just so many things going around. First time in the Middle East. It was a very historical thing for women's tennis. Also seeing it for the first time, it was quite amazing, the experience I made, meeting the princess in the palace, I don't know, going to their breeding, walking on the horse to the ceremony. One after another, start to realize what's happening. It's a fairytale. You go back home, back to reality (laughter). Still sometimes it was very distracting. That's maybe why I didn't play my best tennis. But I still came out with two victories, which was nice. Now I slowly have to get into my game again. But I'm not playing doubles, so I have more time to practice, recover after the matches.

Q. So you're not playing doubles for the rest of the year or just now?


Q. Probably not all?

MARTINA HINGIS: I spoke to Monica, she was happy not to play here, or else next week. Then we'll see. I mean, if I find I miss it, you know, the doubles, then I play again, but not right now.

Q. Besides winning the two tournaments, what was the highlight of all the things you did in the Middle East?

MARTINA HINGIS: As I said, meeting the princess. It was the second wife of the emir, the main one. She, for the first time, met an athlete. It was me and Mary Pierce. We were invited to go there to talk to her. The things she said, it was like about women, about the life there, about their religion, things like that. It was very nice to get to know it a little bit closer. Then the people, they took us in Dubai to the gold market. You only saw yellow once you get out of there (laughter).

Q. Did you buy any gold?

MARTINA HINGIS: I bought a few things, yes. Also I've been given so many things, which was unbelievable. At the first tournament, I don't know if you saw the picture.

Q. With the headdress?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yes. That was the trophy. I got to keep it. It's like 24-carat gold. I'm like, "Okay, thanks." It's like, I don't think I'm ever going to wear it, maybe for my wedding . And the dress. Just like I bought a bracelet. I also was given a bracelet from the princess. It was like so many things I was given, it's just amazing.

Q. How do you approach the rest of the year now that you've been No. 1 for a long time, but in eight Grand Slams you haven't won? What are you going to do to make sure when you get to Roland Garros, you're comfortable?

MARTINA HINGIS: I'm playing these tournaments. The most important thing is going into the Grand Slam with confidence. I had confidence going into the Australian Open, I won the tournaments before. I also won the Chase. I felt quite good about myself going into it. I beat the two Williams, which I was very happy. Then in the finals, I just didn't have the power anymore. The energy was just kind of gone. I was a little empty there. Then I played Tokyo, the two tournaments in the Middle East. I think it's going to be -- I can say more about how I feel after these two tournaments and then the clay court tournaments. Now when people ask me about Wimbledon, it's like, "I don't know. About French Open, "I don't know what's going to happen. Until then, it's a long time."

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