Martina Hingis 1999 Lipton Championships 4th-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

1999 Lipton Championships at Key Biscayne, Florida, Tuesday, March 23, 1999
Martina Hingis defeated Marlene Weingartner, 6-0, 6-2

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS

VERONIQUE MARCHAL: Questions for Martina.

Q. It seems like you've had a pretty easy time this week so far. Can you talk about the tournament so far?

MARTINA HINGIS: I'm getting better, I guess, from match to match. I just improve my game, my level. The first match was kind of tough, playing Karina, especially in the second set when it got closer. I had to fight a little bit there. I was able to close it out. The last two matches kind of were easier than I thought they would be. I didn't let them into the game. That was probably the secret.

Q. You might meet Kournikova in the next round. I know you have an edge over her. Can you talk about her play?

MARTINA HINGIS: I played doubles with her in Australia, also last week in Indian Wells. We have practiced a lot together. I think that helped both of us in the doubles, and also for our singles game here, just in the future. I still play with Jana, but we could become a pretty good doubles team later on. Who knows. I think her game, she's got some great tournaments, like here last year where she made the finals. I'm sure she is very well-prepared right now. Maybe trying to do the same thing, maybe win it or whatever. Her game is very good from the baseline. The serve has been a little bit shaky I think in the last three, four months. She's got a very solid game.

Q. How did your friendship develop?

MARTINA HINGIS: We know each other from the Juniors. She's 17, I'm 18. It's like since we were 11, 12 years old we know each other.

Q. I've heard there were some shaky times.

MARTINA HINGIS: No, the press made it. It's not us. We didn't know each other. We were like, "Okay, who are you? What are you going to do? What are you going to say?" The press always made a big rivalry out of us. It's never been like that.

Q. What do you think about Weingartner?

MARTINA HINGIS: I heard a lot about her when she was younger, when she start turning pro. There were a lot of expectations on her, especially in Germany. I never played her, so this time was the first time. It's hard for me to tell. I think because I played very well today, she gives me a lot of time to do something out of my game. It's not such dangerous tennis for me. It wasn't today. She's the same age. She's young. She had some great wins here at this tournament, coming from quallies, winning against Testud, it's not bad.

Q. Is it different when you play someone that you're friends with?


Q. Can you talk to me about that?

MARTINA HINGIS: It's more that you know the person a little bit better, that you sometimes expect already where the balls are going to come to. You're already standing there. You're waiting for it. That's from both sides. It's whoever can take more advantage of that is going to win.

Q. Emotionally, mentally, is there?


Q. What's it like playing with Jana? What is she like as a doubles partner?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, she's very professional. She's very experienced of course. She's been on Tour for a while. Last year, I think there was no better team but us.

Q. How does she complement you, both playing-wise and personality-wise?

MARTINA HINGIS: First of all, the language is not a problem at all. She is almost you could say a different generation in tennis. She's been on Tour, being one of the greatest players. I think because she's more able to do more than that, I'm more like the safer player. It's a good change-up.

Q. Does she do a lot of talking?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah. She's funny on the court.

Q. When we watch her, she has these funny expressions.

MARTINA HINGIS: Yes. I always have to laugh about something.

Q. Have you modeled any of your game on her game? When you were learning tennis, did you model any part of her game?

MARTINA HINGIS: No, because I couldn't play the way that she plays.

Q. Why do you think more players don't play the way she plays?

MARTINA HINGIS: She has her own style, technique. It's like something she does. Nobody can do it. Nobody is as aggressive, slice, especially some of the younger players. Even I don't have a one-handed backhand.

Q. Do you think it's because it's not taught or players don't want to learn that style? Is it harder?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, the tennis becomes much quicker. Just mentally it's tough always coming in. I couldn't do that because I'm a safe person. I just try to be on the baseline. If I have a good chance to step in, I do it, but not like serve and volley all the time.

Q. How was it different playing with Kournikova doubles after you're used to someone else?

MARTINA HINGIS: As everybody knows, I change partners a lot. I'm used to it. Only with Jana last year. I think it's the most important that if something stops working, just the relationship is not as good, or on court something doesn't work out, you start losing, there is a way to stop, that nobody is pissed or something, that you always can think about it. With Kournikova, it just works out great right now. We only play two tournaments, but we're very aggressive. It also helps our singles games.

Q. Do you have plans for another tournament to play with her specifically, Kournikova?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, maybe Rome, because Jana is not playing there.

Q. Today in the newspaper of Miami appeared an interesting column that is saying women's tennis is more interesting, more exciting than men's tennis. Do you think that women's tennis is more exciting?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, if they say that, it's very flattering, yeah. I think the men's tennis, it's always been more popular, more on TV. It's great that there is a story. I don't think it's like this or this is better. But women's tennis has improved a lot, definitely. You can't really tell. It's two different sports almost. We're getting there.

Q. Have you been practicing with Anna this week?

MARTINA HINGIS: In the beginning of the week, yeah, till the tournament started more or less.

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