Martina Hingis 2001 Indian Wells 4th-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

2001 Tennis Masters Series at Indian Wells, California, on Monday, March 12, 2001
Martina Hingis defeated Barbara Schett, 6-3, 7-6(4)

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS:

Q. When you've beaten someone ten times in a row, how much does that come into your mental when you're getting in a tough spot?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, not too much actually. I don't count how many times I play someone. I just played her recently in Doha where she didn't play that well. I mean, she had some good matches before she played me in the semis, I think. It was the semis, yeah. I kind of had an easy time there against her. But I knew today, I mean, she had nothing to lose, as always. She played a better matchh today than she did in Doha. I had my chances, being up a set and 4-2 on serve. But she stepped it up a little bit. Some of the shots went just right for her. They were close to the lines. There's not much I could do about that. But I was happy winning the tiebreaker at the end, that's for sure.

Q. It was a pretty tense second set, up and down. Looked like both of you were struggling a little bit to maintain.

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, it was kind of hot out there, so it was a little bit more difficult to maintain your high level. It was very intense, as you say, and tiring to play every point. I had my chances, as I said, especially at 2-1. She was a little bit down, but same I was. She just held that serve to equalize it. Then I went up the two games. But she didn't play that well, and I just a little bit was taking my time. When I needed it, I really made the points, and she would just miss basically. Then she just stopped missing, and I had to step up a little bit too. That's what I did. Sometimes, you know, you don't know. She was 5-4, on serve. She hit a great first serve, the first point. Then you're like, "Okay, the set might be over soon." There's still a third one, so I was like, "Okay, we'll see what happens."

Q. Even if you lost the second set, you still had a pretty high confidence level that you'd take the match?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, not high confidence. But she's not like -- I had tough matches against her in the past. It wouldn't be anything new if I had to go and play her a tough one again. I was just out there. I think I played a much better match than the previous two, so I was happy, especially towards the end when it got really tight. We both played I think very well towards the end. I was happy about that, yeah.

Q. Did she play you any differently than she did in Doha? Was she hitting those short cross-courts?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yes, but she would miss a lot more. She just wasn't playing there very well. She was always a little bit late. Here she has more time because it's kind of slower, the ball bounces higher. She just was able to make some great winners out of positions where you wouldn't expect her to do that. I was like, "Okay, not much I can do about that" at some points of the game. I still felt like, "Okay, just play point by point."

Q. Any kind of difference the way Court 2 played compared to the Stadium played? Lindsay mentioned she thought it played a little faster out there.

MARTINA HINGIS: I thought so, too. It might also be on the player, I don't know. But I kind of like that Stadium 2 court. I don't really care where I play. You have to go out there and play your game, play your match. I kind of like the setting, which is a little bit more familiar. It's nicer to have a smaller stadium which is crowded than a huge stadium which is empty.

Q. Any foot or leg problems for you today?

MARTINA HINGIS: Foot or leg problems?

Q. Were your feet bothering you today?

MARTINA HINGIS: Not really, no. I went to the Palm Canyon yesterday with my mom. We ran a little bit up to the hill. I wanted to see what's behind the next one and the next one. I'm a little bit sore actually. Not too bad. I was still able to play. I should be used to that from Switzerland. I just went in the snow, was there in the hills, too, or mountains.

Q. You just kept running? You ran over one hill, then kept running over another and another?

MARTINA HINGIS: Sometimes you have that feel. I only practiced yesterday morning like an hour. Then we knew we were either going to go for a walk or run or something. But I felt good. I just kept on going. It was like, "Okay, you better turn around." I think it closed at five (laughter).

Q. How long did you run for?

MARTINA HINGIS: Only like an hour.

Q. You're talking about the tram, you took it up and then ran?

MARTINA HINGIS: No, we drove up there, then there is kind of this parking lot with the restaurant, then you just walk down, just go the trail. I didn't run all the way, only when it felt like it was going downhill or just when I felt like it.

Q. How come you weren't able to get to the function last night?

MARTINA HINGIS: That I wasn't able to go?

Q. Yes.

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, it's difficult if you have to do something like that during the tournament. It's very important. I knew I had to play today early match in a way, so I just felt like Venus, you know, she got the award, so it was her night.

Q. You had a major award to collect, as well, didn't you?

MARTINA HINGIS: I know that, but I think it's difficult. There's like so many people there. I asked some players, "How was it?" I think it's difficult at the last moment to know you have to go there and do things if you have to play next day.

Q. What kind of a message do you think that sends to other players on the tour? Here you are a leader, they look up to you, you don't show up for a function like, the sponsors don't see you there, then it gets to the press that you didn't show? What kind of a message does that send?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, was Venus there?

Q. I'm asking you. What kind of a message is that?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I don't know. It probably was made at the last moment, last minute. You can't just always make the players do everything. I think I did a lot for the tournament and for the sponsors so far. I've been pretty good with that.

Q. Yesterday was a fund-raiser for a charity in this area, and you don't show up for that.

MARTINA HINGIS: It wasn't mandatory to go for the players.

Q. You think that it has to be mandatory in order for a leading player like you to show up for a charity event?

MODERATOR: Can we stick to match questions?

Q. You weren't the only one who didn't go, obviously. But I think it is a little disappointing when nine of the Top 10 weren't there.

MARTINA HINGIS: Nine of the Top 10 weren't there?

Q. Weren't there. Do you think the players sort of don't see these things as being terribly important? Are they perhaps something which are now out of fashion and no longer should continue?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think it's the way it's just been probably made in the past. Now it's always like different settings. You get to know like two weeks before or a week before, then you just -- okay, you don't even know if you go or not, especially if you have to play next day, as I'm saying. It's really not just the greatest time, I think. I don't know, I haven't been told what it is about exactly, but I knew I maybe was getting something or not. I felt like it wasn't an appropriate time. I think it's just the date. I liked it better when it was at the end of the year when it was during the Chase Championships. I think that was much better towards the end of the year instead of the middle of March.

Q. So that's your message, that you didn't come because you think it's at the wrong time of the year?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think so, yes. I think this is one of the more important tournaments. I think you could put it at six, seven best tournaments, biggest tournaments of the year. It's not worth it for me to show up at a gala or something then lose next day. I've been at a lot of parties, made a lot this year. I felt like I had to focus on my game, not on showing up. I know it's been a great event, I guess. As you mention, it was nine of the Top 10 players. It's says something that it's not just being made right.

Q. Are the players given some say when this will be scheduled?

MARTINA HINGIS: No, we haven't had anything to say about that.

Q. Do you think the players should actually have more control over this kind of thing?

MARTINA HINGIS: We had a meeting here. I think it was just a little bit too late to have it. We got that message it wasn't mandatory. It was either if you want to go. Those players that lost, they can have a great time. Those that are still in the game, it's probably not the greatest time.

MODERATOR: Any further tennis questions?

Q. Another happy subject. Can you talk about your second serve a little bit, what you're trying to do with it, whether you think you can increase the speed. Are you pretty satisfied it's not going to get much faster?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I played with a different racquet in Doha and Dubai. I kind of messed up my serve. I was happy I put a lot of first serves in today. Well, maybe sometimes better than others. I think, you know, I wasn't very satisfied with all my all-around game, so I think it's a lot of mental. If I feel safe from the baseline, play my game, serve would come along. I think I served much better than in the last two matches, especially the first serve, I placed it better, got some better points in the situation. Second serve was never really the biggest part of my game. I didn't double-fault today, only once. She didn't really pressure me that much on the second serve, so.

Q. What racquet is it? You're playing with a new racquet?

MARTINA HINGIS: Not here. I think I need a little bit more time.

Q. You're back to the old one now?


Q. What was it supposed to do? Was it more powerful?

MARTINA HINGIS: It was a little heavier towards the head. Just got a little bit too heavy. I started feeling my arm a little bit, just couldn't hold it three or four times going back and forth, like the speeding rallies.

Q. You're still wearing the same one long sleeve. Is that working out in terms of is it doing for you what it was supposed to do?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, I'm totally satisfied with the outfit. Maybe I have to tell adidas to get some new ones. I don't know if I put some weight on or is just shrank. I like it. It's very light when you play in it. When it's hot, it's white color, so it doesn't affect. It's not like floating around.

Q. But it was supposed to provide some support for your arm?

MARTINA HINGIS: Support for the muscle. It's a little tighter than the shirts I had in the past. But when you're on court, you don't really think of it. It definitely gives me some kind of support, yeah.

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