Martina Hingis 2002 Rogers AT&T Cup 2nd-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

2002 Rogers AT&T Cup ("Canadian Open") at Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on Tuesday, August 13, 2002
Martina Hingis defeated Magui Serna, 6-4, 6-3

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS:


Q: So, how was the ankle?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, the ankle felt fine.

Q: How was your tennis?

MARTINA HINGIS: At times good; at times, fairly, you know, I'm glad that I came here actually if I want to do well in the previous tournaments coming up, you know, especially the U.S. Open. So, you know, every match is going to be good for me.

Q: Did you feel any tension with your leg on the court?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, no, at this point it is not a subject, you know, I felt very good but now it's like the overall shape. It's different. You can practice for as much as you can, but to get into match shape you just have to play tournaments.

Q: You broke early in the match and then you didn't find your rhythm maybe. Is it a little bit like your first match since the beginning of the year?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, it felt a little similar. You know, it's just this time it's everybody was in the beginning of the season then and certainly here everyone has been on going without me that so that is the only difference. But, I felt good because she made a lot of mistakes at first and then I had to do too much just to try to play the points and it was also a little windy so you can't go for too many shots, not too many lines. She gave me time to also play and look for my shots and, at times, you know, no pace at all, so you still have to do something on your own. So you have to find a balance in all your shots.

Q: Do you think anyway it was a good test for a first match?

MARTINA HINGIS: It was not obviously the best tennis I have ever played; but for the first round I am very happy to go through like that, yes.

Q: Are you surprised the way your ankle reacted? Are you surprised also the way -- like did you expect less or did you expect more from your opponent?

MARTINA HINGIS: You know, I felt like at times I played really good and at times I mean I missed shots like, you know, the backhand sometimes, you know, I just tried to go for it too much or not enough at the right time. So that to find, you know, the shots I used to play. And I feel like really good on my forehand and everything. I didn't miss too many there, which normally it's like almost the opposite when I left the game. But, you know, it's a little slower than what I practise on, the bounce is a little higher. I just have to find, you know, the rhythm, I'm going to probably hit a little later on. I am just here to play tennis and enjoy what I'm doing, so -- I have nothing else to do.

Q: When did you start practising again?

MARTINA HINGIS: Six weeks ago.

Q: Mainly in Florida?


Q: How did you react when you saw the final of Roland Garros and Wimbledon; what was your reaction?

MARTINA HINGIS: I watched the matches before and I thought it was great tennis, great tennis to watch from both of them and, you know, get them to the finals and play each other, it's never easy, but they really showed some great games.

Q: What is it about the commands that Justina, Anna and Amélie Mauresmo did in Wimbledon? They said that now they would aim only for the third place in the world, the third ranking?

MARTINA HINGIS: Sorry, I don't hear those comments, so I don't know.

Q: But they say it's very difficult to fight against them.

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I don't know why they should say something like that. Justine, she was close to beat them both, at times, and she has done it in the past; so, you know, Serena lost last week and Kim got close to beat Venus as well. So, when it comes to the Grand Slams it's still definitely it's going to be tough, but once you have been there for a little while it's still harder to maintain that level and, you know, you have to try to play your game and get to their level; and, if you are able to do it, great; if not, there's many opportunities.

Q: Martina, I'm doing a piece on chair umpires. How tough of a job is it to be a chair umpire?

MARTINA HINGIS: I didn't touch the net. (Laughter) Maybe I did, I don't know. I didn't feel it, though. I didn't try to pull my stomach in. I was like leaning over the net, so I touched it with my foot. You know, it's -- it's definitely not the easiest thing out there. But if you have respect for them, because you know who is the umpire and how much they know about the game, and they travel like you from week to week, and I think it's -- you know these people and you know them almost a little personal and it's a difficult job. I mean I don't -- I wouldn't change, definitely not.

Q: Considering you are only coming back now two weeks before the U.S. Open, how big are your ambitions for it? Do you think it's reasonable to think that you are going to win it? I mean you are going there with a goal to win it?

MARTINA HINGIS: Otherwise I wouldn't be playing here and trying to get into match shape for the Open. But, like I said, for me every match is going to be important to play before there. I was like looking forward to come here because you can practice as much as you want and once you get to a tournament the atmosphere and to see everybody again and just the competition I missed that so I am happy, I'm very glad to be back.

Q: Martina, have you ever umpired yourself?

MARTINA HINGIS: If I have what?

Q: Have you ever umpired yourself? Have you ever been in the chair and umpired?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yes, I used to be at the juniors, whether I won or lost it depended. Like in Genoa if you won the match you had to be an umpire until like 14, so my mom always went and did it for me. But, no, also in Czech Republic back then, I would do it sometimes, yes, like 9-years old you umpired just for fun.

Q: Were you good?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think if you have a feeling for the game, so I think any great player you -- at first you have respect and then you know they feel similar to what you know -- sometimes you don't even have to know whether it was in or not, you just feel it, so...

Q: Do you think the chair umpire had a tough time at the final of Roland Garros in '99?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, the people didn't make it very easy for her but, you know, there are crucial moments, times when you have to be strong, as an umpire especially.

Q: Now that you have played your first match what do you think you need to improve in your game to beat the players right here?

MARTINA HINGIS: There is the consistency and the concentration. You know, at times I felt like I had it and then it just went away. That's what I have to keep playing, the same strategy and the same routine, what I have been practising on and just not let go when you're up.

Q: Were you satisfied with your serve velocity-wise and accuracy-wise?

MARTINA HINGIS: I had some good games and some less, so I was holding my serve pretty well. I could rely upon that, winning my own serves, but the percentage, I don't even know what it was, you know, I just tried it more -- it was very windy, so I just tried more to put the first serves in, but when you rally a little bit in this weather it's hard to concentrate, so that's what I have to work on during this tournament.

Q: Martina, when you were on the outside looking in these past few months, did you have any impressions about the women's game, the change, any sort of different appreciation?

MARTINA HINGIS: When I came back this time especially everyone seems to be in great shape, you know, you don't see anybody who is -- you know, you just always see girls working out and practice a lot and, you know, everyone seems to be fit, so...

Q: Were you surprised at how much or how little you missed it?


Q: And the tours?

MARTINA HINGIS: I miss everything, just to be -- I was 21 and I will turn 22 in September, so I definitely, you know, when I was also watching the others' competition, like I was at the U.S. Open of golf, that is when I am like, okay, I want to be in my own game. I missed just having a routine and to do something, you know, sense of life, that kind of -- at first, you think, oh, great, I have a surgery, I have to come back from that, and just -- you miss the discipline and the workout schedule.

Q: What did you do to fill your days, aside from the rehab?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, I started practising pretty soon after I was able to already do things.

Q: Did you think you were going to miss the game that much?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I kind of went through a similar procedure in November and December, so it didn't change much from there. It's just this time it probably took a little longer. You know, I wasn't rushing anything.

Q: Could you talk a little bit about the popularity of the game with respect to the interest in fashion, as well as your tennis game? There's so much interest in women's fashions as well here that draws fans. What do you make of that? Is that -- do you think it takes away from your tennis abilities to discuss fashion and clothing?

MARTINA HINGIS: Like fashion on court or off court?

Q: Court fashions, yes.

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I did get a new outfit. I like it.

Q: How about your shoes?

Q: Tennis shoes?

MARTINA HINGIS: You can go to the store and get them there. They are just regular Adidas shoes, better.

Q: Martina, after your ankle, did you get any explanation of those injuries very close and very similar in time in the seven months? Did you get any explanation of your surgery? Why did you get those injuries?

MARTINA HINGIS: Some are from the past, definitely, when I was wearing the Keeny shoes. I had 2-3 times I had spread ankles and I have been just playing on the ankles the way it was and they just needed to be fixed because it was always a little problem, you know, I had a stress fracture here and something was bothering here and there. I always tried to compensate and that, you know, in professional sports you can't do it over a long period of time. And there was also the future, I would keep going the way I was. It was also bringing up arthrosis, so that wouldn't be a nice future. So I still wanted to try to compete at the highest level and so I had to do it.

TOUR OFFICIAL: Two more questions.

Q: Martina, do you think it will be tough with the Williams sisters to stay at the top? You know what you are talking about; you have been there a long time. But is it more difficult to go back to the top like you have been trying to do since you lost the first match or is it more difficult to stay there?

MARTINA HINGIS: This is not the first time I am trying to come back so it's -- I have been here for four years, you know, when I was younger everything came so easily and naturally to me. I don't even think about what's happening next to you, you just -- it happens, you know, you always talk about it, you read about it, everyone tells you. Just later on probably, once I finish the career, you can relax and think back, "Oh yeah, so far I won five Grand Slams." You know, hopefully, there will be more and -- that's the time when you relax. But, at this point, you are still trying to be in the best shape and to play the best tennis. You always have to go with the future.

Q: How do you feel about the game that changed in the last year; what is your feeling about that; the women's tennis game?

MARTINA HINGIS: It's definitely the sisters, they brought the strength and also along with that they play great technique. So it's not only just like hitting -- definitely, they have a lot of power behind their strokes, but if you don't have the control over the ball, you know, they are going to be flying everywhere but they kind of have the combination of both. That is what makes them so difficult to beat.

Q: Speaking of fashion again, what other new outfits will you be wearing this week? How many do you have with you this week?

MARTINA HINGIS: I have a tank top, I have the t-shirt and I have the long sleeves, in two colours.

Q: What is your favourite colour?

MARTINA HINGIS: I like this, light blue, it matches my eyes better.

TOUR OFFICIAL: Okay. Thanks.

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