1997 Lipton Championships at Key Biscayne, Florida, on Thursday, March 27, 1997
Martina Hingis defeated Jana Novotna, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS:
VERONIQUE MARCHAL: Questions for Martina in English first.
Q. Monica, it was 95 -- excuse me, Martina, it was 95 degrees upstairs. How hot did it feel down on the court?
MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, I saw on the Rado when they showed it, it was 105, on the court down there. It affect both of us, both players the same. Just the conditions. Who in better shape, that person would win. I felt pretty good still in the third set. It also helped a lot this break, you know, you just can change and relax a little bit between the second and fifth (sic) set.
Q. Were you happy for the break? Did you need that heat break?
MARTINA HINGIS: It helps you. If it wouldn't be there, so nobody can take it. But if both players can do it, you can just decide if you want to stay on the court or you can go to the bathroom. You don't have to think about the match. You just go there and think about other stuff. Especially for me it helped. I lost the second set. I didn't feel very happy with my game at that point. It was a help, yeah.
Q. Was there a point in the third set that you lost a little confidence?
MARTINA HINGIS: In the third set?
MARTINA HINGIS: Not really. I was just unhappy with my game. I was a little upset or angry with myself that I didn't hit the shots I was supposed to hit. Especially when she came into the net, I made so many errors. She didn't have to do anything; I just missed them. That makes me very angry. If you have a lot of time and she comes to the net, you see there is a chance, but you can't do it. She just makes you to run, make a lot of mistakes you shouldn't do, or you don't do against other players. But later I came back. Especially at that point when I was serving and she had a breakpoint at 4-3, I think that was a very important game at that time, yes.
Q. Are you happy then, pleased with the way that you came back at the end?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah. I think it was a very good match. We both played a very high standard. I think it was the best match we ever played each other.
Q. What's today been like for you so far? Now you have to go on to doubles?
MARTINA HINGIS: You feel happy after a victory like this one, so you don't care. In doubles, you only have half part of the court. You just stand there and try to hit the balls.
Q. So is the tough part over then?
MARTINA HINGIS: I talked to Mary Joe. I said "It's your work today."
Q. So the tough part's over?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yes, the tough part is over. You always feel in good shape if you win a match like this one. You don't really feel so tired because you're happy.
Q. What about like mentally preparing for a day like this? First do you think about singles, then about doubles, or do you think about both of them early on?
MARTINA HINGIS: Actually, when I came here, I didn't know I have to play back to back. Good preparation for doubles. I just knew afterwards, after my practice, I have to play doubles. It's not going to be before 3 o'clock. You don't really care at that time about doubles; you just concentrate for your singles. I think with Mary Joe, we're a great team, and we have chances to win the whole tournament, just play well together.
Q. Did they say when you have to play? Now it's like 3:30. How long do you have to wait?
MARTINA HINGIS: I think there is always 45 minutes or an hour. It depends on how long you want to take a break.
Q. So what do you do now then?
MARTINA HINGIS: Press, eat, then I play my doubles.
Q. Do you have any (inaudible)?
MARTINA HINGIS: If I have a little cold? Yes. Yesterday I didn't feel so good, but today overnight I feel already much better, I could have my sleep. I felt very good today, also in the third set. Doesn't mean if you have a little cold, you don't feel good, but it's not the first time. It's hard to be all year on the WTA Tour that you always have to be prepared and feel in a good shape. That's the hardest thing, that you stay healthy all year.
MARTINA HINGIS: Yesterday I had a little. I don't know (feeling forehead). If you have, you have to play anyway. I want to play. You just have to go over it.
Q. Did you request a day match or a night match today?
MARTINA HINGIS: No. Yesterday I had a night match. Against Mary Joe, it's her hometown, so it was almost clear that I'm going to play the night match. Today, it's all right for me. I never say if I want to play day matches or night matches. I don't care.
Q. Martina, have you experimented with any of the longer frames, racquets?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah. Mine is a little bit longer.
Q. You are playing with one, are you?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yes.
Q. Is it 28 or 29?
MARTINA HINGIS: Too tough question for me. I don't know. It's not as long as Muster has. Just two inches longer, I think. I'm not sure.
Q. What difference does it make?
MARTINA HINGIS: I started to play with it at the beginning of the year in Australia. It gives me a lot more power from the baseline, the serve is much more consistent. It's still not great, but I'm working on it. I've got a lot more power and control, too.
Q. Talking about the heat a little more. Did it affect your game at all? Did it make you slow down at all? Was it getting to you at all?
MARTINA HINGIS: Sometimes if it's really hot like today was, you don't really want to fight for every point. That's the difference from indoors to the outdoor tournaments, for me especially. I know I can hit very good shots and make very early points. That's just not possible outside. Especially in this hot weather, you have to fight and you have to have a lot of willpower to go for every point. It's sometimes very hard for me to do that, like it was today.
Q. Wish there was like AC out there. When you threw your racquet, was that a personal record for you in distance? Have you thrown your racquet farther than that before?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah. A couple times I throw it also farther. This is the easiest thing, you know. If you lose a game and you go to your bench, you just throw it down there.
Q. What is your mother going to tell you?
MARTINA HINGIS: That was actually the first time I throw it so far. I've got my first warning this tournament. Still not that bad as the other tournaments. Sometimes it was.
Q. Martina, can you put this match in perspective for the year? Was it the one that maybe you're most proud of, how you came back, kept your composure in the heat?
MARTINA HINGIS: I think that match against Likhovtseva, it was a little more important for me than this one today. I feel very happy about it. I'm in another semifinals. I was more excited to win that match against Elena because it was so many tournaments I came again into the semifinals. If you're once in the semifinals, you don't want to lose anymore, you're fighting for every match, you try to win the whole tournament. But once if you're there again, you feel very happy, and a little proud about yourself. Today was just another win, yeah.
Q. Would you like to see Monica next?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, sure, why not. If she's better and beats Paulus, yes. I think she's in very good shape. She had shoulder surgery or whatever. She came back. She's playing well again. We'll see.
Q. After today, are you going to be exhausted?
MARTINA HINGIS: What does it mean "exhausted"?
Q. Very tired.
MARTINA HINGIS: Me?
Q. Yes, after doubles and all.
MARTINA HINGIS: No. It's not the first time. The beginning of the year, I said, I'm not going to play so many doubles tournaments anymore. I'm still here, always with a new partner. I think we are a great team, as I said before, with Mary Joe. We'll see what's going to happen. Doubles is just something I really like to do. You're not by yourself on the court, you're with a partner. That's the fun part of tennis for me.
Q. When Jana was coming to the net, scoring points against you, she was having her most success slicing to your backhand and coming in. What adjustment did you make in your game to try to overcome that?
MARTINA HINGIS: Sometimes I was hitting the backhand cross-court so well, and she came back and she played even better volleys, especially that short one. I just hated that one. When I played with the wind and she slices just so low and deep, it's horrible for me. I feel like, "What am I going to do with this shot?" To the end, just try to keep it in the game, in play. To the end, I made a lot of shots down the line.
VERONIQUE MARCHAL: Questions in Swiss German so she can get ready for doubles. Thank you.
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