Martina Hingis 1997 US Open 1st-Round Interview and Stats ( Sports - Women's Tennis )

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USTA 1997 US Open at Flushing Meadows, New York, on Tuesday, August 26, 1997
Martina Hingis defeated Tami Jones, 6-0, 6-1

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS:

VERONIQUE MARCHAL: Questions for Martina in English.

Q. Are you happy with your game?

MARTINA HINGIS: I have no reason not to be. I played well. It was a good start on the centre court.

Q. What was it like to know you were playing against someone who is pregnant?

MARTINA HINGIS: I read it in the paper. It was two days ago I think in the paper. Well, okay, I'm going to face two opponents in one time (laughter). Well, I knew she has nothing to lose. I try my best. It was weird playing someone who is pregnant. It's different.

Q. Did you feel a little bad doing some of those dropshots, making her work?

MARTINA HINGIS: I only did two or three of them. I wasn't really sure if I wanted to do more.

Q. Did you talk to her?

MARTINA HINGIS: But she got them, some of them.

Q. Did you talk to her about how it was for her to play out there?

MARTINA HINGIS: Before we went out there on the court, where is your little stomach? She was happy about it. She came later on. She did a great job out there.

Q. What do you think about -- you're obviously the top of your age group, of all the players, but there's a lot of young players now that are making their debut now at the Open: Lucic, Osterloh, a few others out here? There is a whole new wave of good, young players coming along.

MARTINA HINGIS: Everyone is getting older, so you can't stay there on the top forever. I think it's great that the youngsters are coming, as me, too. I know Lucic very well because she was in my house practicing before the Open last year. We both had a big success later on. She won the Juniors; I made the semis. The other ones, I know as Juniors when I played, too. I think it's very good, that they're allowed to play actually.

Q. It looks like there will be a good group of competition for the next five, ten years among all of you?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, sure, yeah. I think women's tennis anyway is improving a lot. You can see changes every half year. Everything is getting faster, more athletic. It's very hard to win like two or three tournaments in a row. It's almost impossible because everyone is always ready for the next tournament.

Q. Martina, do you have a favorite surface? Do you like the hardcourt surface?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I don't really have a favorite one. I like the claycourt because I grew up on it. But, you know, it changes and I like the hardcourts pretty much, yes.

Q. Martina, Chris Evert says today in USA Today that you play with a lot of wisdom.

MARTINA HINGIS: I'm playing with?

Q. A lot of wisdom, just like you have been here before in another life. Do you think that yourself?

MARTINA HINGIS: I don't know about other lives. No, I start very early. I was only two years old. My mother was a professional before, so she just tried the best she could. We are a great team. She did a great job. I'm very proud about what we did, yeah.

Q. Did you get a chance to talk to Steffi last night? Are you looking forward to having her come back on The Tour?

MARTINA HINGIS: I didn't get a chance to talk to her. I wasn't out here, but I watched it on TV. It was very nice. It was great to see all the players come out there. It was a very beautiful ceremony.

Q. Are you looking forward to her coming back?

MARTINA HINGIS: She looked very healthy (laughter).

Q. Martina, you mentioned two or three tournaments in a row. Are you ready to start another streak?

MARTINA HINGIS: Me?

Q. Yes.

MARTINA HINGIS: I only played this tournament. I took two weeks off before this one. Grand Slam tournaments, you always want to be very well prepared for that one. Then I just play two or three club matches in Czech Republic. I'm going to start to be ready for indoor tournaments. I won't play like two or three, not that many, three tournaments in a row. I always better take a week off.

Q. Are you looking forward to Steffi coming back?

MARTINA HINGIS: That's what he asked before. She looked very healthy. Well, as soon as she comes back, she's going to be a great player, as she always has been. We'll see what's going to happen, you know.

Q. Martina, when did your knee stop bothering you at all? It seemed at the French, Wimbledon, maybe there was still a little something. Is it okay now, 100%?

MARTINA HINGIS: It's never going to be 100%. You can't be sure with that. It's like when you once had a surgery. If you ask someone else, it's never the same as it was before. I still can run very well, I think. I don't have any problems. It doesn't bother me at all for what I need.

Q. Martina, do you think that other players prepare for you and look at you differently during this tournament this year, as compared to maybe at the Open last year?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think there is or there should be a little difference. I was seeded No. 16 last year, and now I'm No. 1. So there is a big difference, I would say.

Q. Have you ridden any horses during the tournament yet, or will you before it's over?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, they offer me to have a ride at Belmont Park again. We'll see. Maybe next week.

Q. You can go rollerblading out here?

MARTINA HINGIS: We want to go this afternoon.

Q. Here?

MARTINA HINGIS: Central Park.

Q. When you started to ride horses, were you aware that one of the greatest women's tennis players of all time, Maureen Connolly, had her career severed by an accident that happened when she was on a horse?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I just heard that at Wimbledon. I didn't know that before. Well, hopefully it doesn't happen to me. I had a couple accidents, too, but nothing serious so far.

Q. Martina, do you have anything to bring you luck when you play?

MARTINA HINGIS: Actually, I have a little cow bell from Switzerland. When I carry my bags, you can hear it sometimes a little bit. That's it.

Q. Martina, how do you explain your great success this year, compared to last year? You said you were 16th seed, now you're 1.

MARTINA HINGIS: I explain it like every tournament. I can't explain it. I don't know. I started really early, as I said before. Since last year, you know, everything started going very well. I think a big change was for me, especially mentally, that I won the Wimbledon doubles title there with Helena, that I won a big Grand Slam. Doesn't matter, didn't matter for me that it was only doubles. It was just a big tournament. Last year I made the semis here, so I knew I could be the great player also at a Grand Slam tournament, as I beat Majoli and Sanchez. I won my first WTA tournament, yeah.

Q. What have you learned from the two losses you had this year?

MARTINA HINGIS: Especially you have to know why you lost those matches. I knew it was almost bigger for me to make the Finals at the French Open than a victory at Wimbledon. It was a wonder I could compete there after surgery. Iva was just a better player by that time. I'm going to try to beat her next tournament. That's good about tennis: you always get new chances, new tournaments. It makes a difference. Against Lindsay, she was just better. I beat her the two weeks before. Later she beat me. I was a little tired maybe, but it doesn't matter, she was better.

Q. When you go on court, do you have a sense not only that you feel like you're going to win, but other people have a feeling, sort of resign themselves to losing to you? It seems like when other players have been on top, like Steffi or Monica, the other players just had a feeling they were going to lose. Do you sense that sort of resignation against some of those players?

MARTINA HINGIS: I had that feeling once. Sometimes when you face Steffi, especially like two years ago, I didn't even want to go to Wimbledon because I saw the draw, first round Steffi. That wasn't very lucky for me. I was like 19 in the world and I had to play her first round, especially you know that on Thursday already. It's like, "Why do I have to practice? I don't even want to go there." But since then, everything changed. Become much nicer for me.

Q. Do you think some players feel that way towards you?

MARTINA HINGIS: It could be. I don't know.

Q. How are you going on with your studies? Are you a good student?

MARTINA HINGIS: My studies?

Q. Yes. Do you have a private teacher? How do you manage that part of your life?

MARTINA HINGIS: I'm not that well, I'd say. I have a private teacher at home. It's very hard to do something on tournaments. You have to push yourself on that. I'm not that kind of person. I'd rather go out, go rollerblading, have fun, not sit behind the books.


Match Statistics: (from Sportsline.com)

1st Round: 42 min Martina Hingis (Switzerland) Tami Jones (U.S.)
1st serve pct 63 pct 63 pct
Aces 3 0
Double Faults 2 3
Pts won/1st serve 23/30 -- 76 pct 7/23 -- 30 pct
Pts won/2nd serve 8/17 -- 47 pct 4/13 -- 30 pct
Winners 26 11
Unforced errors 11 18
Break points 6/8 -- 75 pct 1/4 -- 25 pct
Volleys won 11/17 -- 64 pct 5/9 -- 55 pct
Points won 56 27
Fastest serve 103 MPH 89 MPH

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