1997 Lipton Championships at Key Biscayne, Florida, on Monday, March 24, 1997
Martina Hingis defeated Elena Likhovtseva, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS:
VERONIQUE MARCHAL: Questions for Martina in English.
Q. Martina, did you expect it to be this difficult a match or did you expect it to be this tough?
MARTINA HINGIS: I played her only once in Fed Cup. That was one year ago. There was a tough match there already. I won it easily 6-3, 6-Love, I think, but it was a hard match anyway because she's a very consistent player. As you saw today, she never gives anything away. You have to make the points by yourself. She is in a very good condition. She's a hard player for everybody.
Q. Were you suffering at all from the aftereffects of playing yesterday afternoon as well?
MARTINA HINGIS: Sorry?
Q. You were playing yesterday afternoon. Did you suffer a little bit from the aftereffects of that game as well?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I wasn't so tired after yesterday's match. Maybe more mentally than physically, actually. It was tougher that way. But today it was just very hot out there, much different conditions. I'm happy I won it. I mean, I have to play another doubles. It's not very easy if you play a player like Elena because she never gives a point away easily. I think it was a very good match.
Q. Martina, are you nervous to become the No. 1 player? Do you think it's going to place an extra burden on you?
MARTINA HINGIS: I'm shaking already (laughter). It doesn't make any difference for me. I mean, can I change a little bit in that way? You just become the next No. 1. As the youngest player in the world, that's a great honor for me, too, that I really made it to the top. But I think for me right now, it's easier because I've got so much motivation right now. I've never enjoyed playing tennis as I do right now.
Q. Do you consciously think about the winning streak, that you're unbeaten this year, hope you can keep going as long as possible?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, everybody's kind of waiting. "When is she going to lose her first match?" I just try not to lose any of them.
Q. You've played two 3-setters.
MARTINA HINGIS: I think matches like today helps you a lot mentally that you know you're in good shape or you're getting better, that you made a tough match and you won it. That helps your self-confidence to do.
VERONIQUE MARCHAL: Any other questions in English?
Q. Obviously you're spending longer and longer at tournaments than you were a year ago. You obviously need to relax. What sort of things do you need to do to wind down at the end of the day?
MARTINA HINGIS: I went roller-blading three times already before I started to play this tournament. Just relax. The first match I had to wait so long because it was a rainy day. Just can't do anything because you never know when you're going to go on the court. I missed the Miami Heat game, I missed the Panthers game because it was late. Maybe I go to the cinema tonight. We'll see.
Q. Do you bring music with you? Do you have some music to play?
MARTINA HINGIS: I always have music.
Q. What is your favorite people?
MARTINA HINGIS: I mix it up. Alanis Morisette, Celine Dione, sometimes Michael Jackson, No Doubt, Don't speak. Jewel, that's good.
Q. Where do you roller blade?
MARTINA HINGIS: Just along the beach, along the street. I make it almost from one to the other side.
Q. In Miami Beach?
MARTINA HINGIS: No, here on the island.
Q. Do people recognize you when you are roller-blading?
MARTINA HINGIS: It depends where I am. If it's closer to the courts, they do, yeah.
Q. Have you had people roller blade by you and stop and say, "Aren't you Martina Hingis?"
MARTINA HINGIS: It happen a couple times already, yes. Not before the tournament started, but right now I think everybody would recognize me, most of the people which came and watched me.
Q. When you roller blade, do you roller blade for speed? Do you try to go as fast as you can or do you want to sort of, you know?
MARTINA HINGIS: It depends. I can't be all the time here at the courts. It would just get crazy if you would spend all the time on the site. For me it's important to do something else. Sometimes a little faster, but just for fun. My hitting partner is always with me, my mom, she does that, too. Sometimes we make kind of little races, but it's more fun, also a little speed.
Q. Martina, did you buy that horse in Australia?
MARTINA HINGIS: No, I didn't. The transport is to complicated. I would just give away 10,000 for the transport and I would get a horse in Germany and Switzerland for that money, too. Maybe next year or whatever.
Q. Have you been horse riding here?
MARTINA HINGIS: No, not yet.
Q. Are you going to do it?
MARTINA HINGIS: I don't think so. Hilton Head where I'm going to play the next tournament, it's a good facility to go. It's just across the street they have some horses there, just can have a ride. But I always have my boots and pants with me.
Q. How hot was it out there for you today?
MARTINA HINGIS: I think today, most of the points, that I won this match today, it was a lot of my willpower today that I went over what I really can play right now. I improved after every set, after every game. I improved a lot, every match.
Q. I was talking more about the weather.
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, it was hard, hot. It's together.
Q. Was it uncomfortable?
MARTINA HINGIS: In Australia was it hot, too, at the Olympics. That affects both players, who plays better or who is in better shape, that girl is going to win. Today it was me for a change.
Q. Have you become a heat fan?
MARTINA HINGIS: Not really, no. I like the indoor tournaments. You just kind of hit the balls and make a lot more winners. In very hot conditions, you have to run a lot more. It's not so fun all the time.
VERONIQUE MARCHAL: Thank you.
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