Martina Hingis 2001 Indian Wells 3rd-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

2001 Tennis Masters Series at Indian Wells, California, on Saturday, March 10, 2001
Martina Hingis defeated Cristina Torrens Valero, 6-3, 6-0

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS:

Q. How do you assess your match today?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, in the beginning, I never played her before, so I had to get, you know, ready for her and what her strength and weaknesses were. I've seen her before at the tournaments. It's just sometimes, you know, I've been on the tour for seven years and you have sometimes players you haven't played. Once I figured it out a little bit, I could mix it up and play more aggressive. That worked pretty well.

Q. Do you try and scout out a player you've never played before or do you have somebody else watch them? How do you go about that?

MARTINA HINGIS: Usually I try to go myself. Like I went to see a little bit of the match, Hrdlickova against Asagoe, because I haven't played her before either, and I haven't heard much of her, too. No, usually I try to go and see, at least watch it on TV. Here is difficult. It's like once -- it's too much public and too many things going on. But once I go to a court and watch, it's like all people are right away around here me, so that makes it more difficult. Usually my mom or Mario goes and watches them, too. I watch them on TV if there's a little screen or something.

Q. Two pretty big tournaments coming up, here and Miami. How do you feel physically and mentally at this stage?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, well mentally sometimes maybe it's a little bit more difficult. I played a lot this year already. I only had like a week off between. But then you have to travel. I did a Sanex commercial while I was in Zurich now last week. Sometimes it's like, "Okay, got to practice." This becomes very much of a routine, the same thing. Still get motivated every day, you know, have fun and enjoy the practice. Doesn't always makes it easy. But now here at the tournament, I got a pretty good draw, so I should take advantage of it, that's for sure.

Q. A lot of players don't look at the draw. Do you tend to do that frequently?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, you do a little bit. I mean overall you want to see where the players are, which ones would come up against you, which ones you definitely have to get ready against. Well, now, I mean, I just said, I have to take it match by match. But there are some rounds, you go in and you have to play. Like yesterday and today, I knew if I play just a standard, I should be able to win and pull it out. Today was definitely an easier game against Cristina than yesterday. I think she didn't play now for a while. She had surgery or an injury. I asked her. She didn't play in Australia. But she was very excited, so that makes it sometimes, you know, once you play a lot, a little bit more difficult to get going.

Q. Can you help but not pay attention to all the upsets in your half of the draw?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, but there are a lot of youngsters. You see there's Clijsters and Henin playing each other now. I wonder how that match turns out. You have Bovina, which I practiced a lot during December. She was there in Saddle Brook for like two weeks. I think she's a very talented player, once she gets the experience and everything. She's tall, she's got a good serve, just baseline game. I don't think that was such a big surprise, you know. Otherwise, just have to go through.

Q. Apart from the satisfaction of winning those two events, how was the experience in Dubai for you?

MARTINA HINGIS: It was like a two-week fairytale, you know. It was like a two-week dream. You try to awake again, you know (laughter). But before I didn't know what to expect. I just had a book. I knew where I was going. But I even had a hard time finding it on the map because the places you've never been before, you can't really geographically locate them. Now I know more about those countries. Also I'm interested in that. It was a great experience. I mean, just being able to see all that, what's happening there, you know, the opening of the countries there. Only seven years the men's tournament there, and the first time women. That says pretty much a lot about that.

Q. Was that kind of a daring thing for them to have women playing in short skirts, uncovered arms?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, Dubai is already like almost five to ten years ahead than Doha and Qatar. They knew what was coming, I think. It was a lot of attention, you know. The people were like, "Okay, we got you here once. " They didn't want me to leave. I'm looking forward to go there next year again. I mean, it's been maybe a little bit too much, too much of a chaos the first year. I think next year it can already kind of schedule it everything better, you know what to do. But Dubai was already fine. I mean, Dubai is a very open country. It's already been there. It was a great tournament. The officials, hospitality, service was great.

Q. When you were there, you were saying there was so much distraction, things, because it was all so new. Did you feel a bit relieved when you got on the plane that Sunday night?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I had mixed feelings about it because I really liked it a lot, especially Doha. I would have wanted to stay there a little bit longer and see maybe a little bit more of it. Dubai, they always wanted me to go to the stables, as well. They have the best horses in the world over there, so I'm like, "Okay." I miss that one. But there are more years to come hopefully. Just there's so much to see. I mean, Burjal al Arab Hotel where we stayed was amazing. We stayed in that two-floor suite. I think Tiger Woods, he stayed the week after us in the same suite.

Q. He actually didn't stay there.

MARTINA HINGIS: He didn't stay there?

Q. They told us he stayed somewhere else.

MARTINA HINGIS: I heard he stayed in the same suite. Maybe one night only, I don't know.

Q. Were you at all nervous about riding the horse into the stadium?

MARTINA HINGIS: No, not at all. I have much bigger horses than the one I was riding on actually. Plus I had a person holding the horse. No, I wasn't worried at all. I sat on a horse before.

Q. But Arabians have a reputation.

MARTINA HINGIS: They have quite a temper, but no. There was one stallion. I think it was the prettiest horse. They had to take him out because he was getting a little bit nervous with the crowd and everything. But mine, I got an older one, already fine.

Q. You've had two matches in a row where I think you won like the last nine games. Is that like the place where you figured your opponent out, and after that it's kind of easy for you or what?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think in the beginning everyone is excited, like still, you know, fresh to play me. I mean, there's nothing to lose for the opponents. They just can play their game whether it turns out well or not. Then when it gets to the critical times, then they have to slow down a little bit, or that's when they mostly do. Then it comes, the experience, you know, and there's the pressure. I think that's where I've always been better than most of the players. So that's been the biggest part, you know, when I really put everything into it and can still step it up a little bit more.

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