Martina Hingis 1999 Lipton Championships Semifinal Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

1999 Lipton Championships at Key Biscayne, Florida, on Friday, March 26, 1999
Serena Williams defeated Martina Hingis, 6-4, 7-6

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS

VERONIQUE MARCHAL: Questions for Martina.

Q. Obviously a tough match for you out there.

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, tough match. Depends on the way you do it. I was two times leading, you know, playing quite okay, like in the first set. I was looking at her, and she wasn't quite into it, and also missed a lot. All of a sudden, you know, I was behind 6-4. I was, "Okay, here we go," trying to get the set back. She was leading 2-0 quite quick. I mean, after that, I didn't have that many chances. She was like always a step faster and quicker than me. I was like all of a sudden standing there, didn't know what to do. Then I had this big chance going up 5-2, serving, all this. I let it go. That shouldn't happen.

Q. How about the line calls?

MARTINA HINGIS: That was actually mine the second set already. I feel better. You win that game anyway. I should have won that set 6-2, not 6-4, whatever.

Q. When you were up 4-0, were you a little overconfident that you were winning the first set easily?

MARTINA HINGIS: She won two tournaments. Obviously, she can play better tennis. I was like, "Okay, when do you start playing?" She was just too confident. She thought I'll miss everything. What the hell am I doing out there that I'm allowed to hit the balls back to her. In that way, she was too confident, and she started playing better. How I felt, I mean, I won three tournaments in a row. I was like, "Okay, nobody's better than me." You know, that always doesn't help, that the people have respect. But we'll see. I mean, she played a great match. She won the last two tournaments. It's a good time for her, not for me.

Q. Are you surprised being down 4-0 that she was able to compose herself and come back strong?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, she had nothing to lose at that stage. She had only one way, to take the risk more, just hit the balls in instead of missing all the time. That's what she did. I was like, all of a sudden, keeping the ball in the game, and that wasn't enough anymore. I had to start doing something by myself. And I did it, but it was a bit too late. In the second set I started more. I had there a big chance, but I didn't use it.

Q. How important was that point when you thought you had the set won, they called the ball in, then called the ball out?


Q. It didn't bother you at all?

MARTINA HINGIS: I mean, it's a set point, so you definitely don't love it. That call, it happens. You know it. Of course, you're frustrated at that stage. But I had another chance to make the game, just win the set again. As I said, I should have made it before and not at that stage. Once you don't do it there, because of one call, could have happened before or later.

Q. Did you see that ball clearly out on set point?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I saw it wide. You know, on the other side, when I felt it was in, it was out there. I was, "Okay, it's not out there, but it's out there." Well, I mean, I'm playing here in the US against an American. It can happen. You don't lose the match because of one point.

Q. Could you compare her game with her sister's? Do you think she has more variety in her game?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, Venus is more powerful, especially like the serve, from the baseline. She's more aggressive. Serena kind of has the ability to change it up more, the speed, like more variety, that's correct.

Q. The way Serena is playing, if it should come down to a Williams family final, do you think that Serena can beat her older sister?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think she has a big chance definitely now. I felt like before when they went on court, almost like Serena was -- she wasn't allowed to win at that stage. I think right now, if they meet in the finals, whoever is better is going to win. But Venus has a tough job to do first playing against Steffi.

Q. How would you characterize your relationship with both Serena and her sister?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think Serena is more open. I talk to her before the match. She has a dog here, a little puppy. Yeah, I mean, it's not like a relationship you would go out for dinner or anything, but just professional sportsmanship. But do you always go out for dinner together? You don't, I'm sure.

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