USTA 1997 US Open at Flushing Meadows, New York, on Monday, September 1, 1997
Martina Hingis defeated Florencia Labat, 6-0, 6-2
An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS:
Q. Martina, you've won the last three matches against Arantxa. Can you talk about the history you have against her and what your feeling will be going into that match?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, you know, it's obviously a little bit more difficult to play your doubles partner. But once you face this person on the other side, you don't think about it anymore, to have fun, because she's your friend. We play doubles together tonight. She's just one of my good friends on The Tour. We have a lot of fun together on the courts and off the court. But we played each other in the last Grand Slam, in the French Open. So it was also the quarters, that we played doubles before and after together, so I don't think it's a big problem. You always want to win.
Q. How about your match against her here last year? What do you remember about that?
MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, yeah, that was a hard one. It was like 6-4 in the third. That was my first kind of big victory over a Top-10 Player in a Grand Slam. Later on, I beat Jana Novotna. I made the semis. So it was one of my biggest matches.
Q. Can you describe the difference in your styles, yours and Arantxa's?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, she's a very good runner at the baseline, so, you know, but she improved her service and volley game pretty much because she's playing so much doubles also. She can come to the net if it's like really short. I think we are pretty similar. We both don't have the best forehands on The Tour. So I'm sure we're not going to see too many forehand cross-courts. But, you know, we're pretty similar, pretty much baseline, you know, good running, good points.
Q. You've advanced through this tournament so far with great ease. Did you ever feel the burden of being acknowledged as the best player in the world, the expectations that go along with that?
MARTINA HINGIS: That's just pretty much usual for me now, because this is the third time I'm seeded No. 1 in a Grand Slam. I always brought the results I had to bring when you're No. 1 in the world. I always felt the responsibility to do well at all the big tournaments, and I did so far. So you just always want to be in the best shape you can be in at the moment, and you want to do well in the Grand Slam tournaments.
Q. Martina, yesterday Venus Williams said that she was going to stop trying to hit every ball hard; she was going to try and start mixing up her shots. You can't really win here by trying to hit every ball hard. Do you think that too many of the women are trying to belt the ball too much? I mean, you mix your game up a lot.
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think that's just the younger generation. They try to hit the ball very hard. It's very fast. It's not very easy to get the ball back if it comes so hard to you. But, you know, when they don't have enough experience so far. But when they will be on The Tour for like two, three years, they have to learn that, and they will. So maybe she knows if you hit a ball as hard as you can, it doesn't mean anything.
Q. Why are you so wise so young?
MARTINA HINGIS: Because I never tried to hit the ball as hard as I could. I was always the younger one, the smallest one. Well, not the smallest one, but just I never had the power of a Mary Pierce or Steffi Graf, so that was just very simple for me not to hit the ball as hard as I could.
Q. Is there a temptation, though?
MARTINA HINGIS: I'm trying to get it harder and harder, from the serve and the baseline. If you lead, you try to hit the ball very hard. Just for fun more or less.
Q. Is there ever a temptation, though, to hit the ball harder than you should? Is that something that's difficult to resist?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, because it can only -- you want to hit something special, harder, the crowd loves it. You know that.
Q. Do you think of some players as the younger generation, a younger generation than your generation?
MARTINA HINGIS: I think that's me and like Venus, Anna, Lucic. She hits the ball very hard, too. So I think it's just the game of the young players. They just try to play hard and fast.
Q. Somebody was saying today, I don't know if it's true, but as a professional, you've never won 6-Love, 6-Love?
MARTINA HINGIS: I did.
Q. As a professional?
MARTINA HINGIS: As a professional? I don't remember. I don't know. Did I?
VERONIQUE MARCHAL: I'd have to check.
MARTINA HINGIS: Not this year.
Q. It was 6-Love, 2-Love [6-2] today. I was wondering, would you be uncomfortable winning 6-Love, 6-Love?
MARTINA HINGIS: I don't think it's bad if you give up two or one games either.
Q. Would you try, maybe, to lose a game? Would you feel uncomfortable winning 6-Love, 6-Love?
MARTINA HINGIS: No. But you just kind of always have one game you just automatically loosen up because you feel like, "Nothing can go wrong anymore." You just kind of concentrate on your serve, give up one game because you can't concentrate all the match through.
Q. But would you do it on purpose to make the other player feel better?
MARTINA HINGIS: When I played against Tami, it was like she made one game. No, it's not because of that. You kind of feel, "Okay, I'm going to loosen up a little bit."
Q. Has this tournament gone exactly as you would have expected, your matches so far?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, yeah. In three matches, yes. That one two days ago, not really, because I was always ahead. Kind of want to have sometimes even easier. I was always kind of leading 4-2, then I lost two easy games, which I thought I shouldn't lose. It could be easier there in the first set already. So far I'm very happy with my game, yeah.
Q. Martina, your serve, you've said, is not the strongest part of your game, yet very few players are able to capitalize on that relative weakness. Any reason?
MARTINA HINGIS: I don't think it's that bad anymore, so that could be the reason.
Q. Martina, the other day you mentioned you seemed surprised that you had made over $4 million in your career. Do you play still for fun or do you actually think about it at all, do you pay attention to how much money you're winning, how many championships you've gained, or do you play for fun mostly?
MARTINA HINGIS: You kind of play for both. It's even better if you have fun and make the money (laughter). That's the best thing about it, you know. You can't go out there and think, "This is my job, I have to do it every day, every tournament. I always have to travel." That's not me. If you don't want to do it, don't do it. It's fun. If you have matches as I had so far, there is no point in not being happy.
Q. Martina, did you know a few years ago that you would be the dominant player in the game already at this stage? Are you far ahead of anything you imagined?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, it was just coming. I mean, I was never really thinking of what time or when I'm going to be at the top. Just everyone around me was telling me, "Well, you have the game; you can do it". It's like everyone, my mom, they always think, "You can become the best player in the world." I won so many junior competitions, I've been No. 1 as a junior. I thought, "Well, maybe I've got a pretty big chance to do the same thing in the lady's tournaments."
Q. Is that realistic, if you're No. 1 or a high-ranking junior, to think you can go to The Tour?
MARTINA HINGIS: That happens a lot, especially mentally. You can win a tournament, you can do well as a junior. I was so much younger. I never had any doubts on not being on top.
Q. Did you see the other day Lucic against Novotna?
MARTINA HINGIS: I saw some of it.
Q. What do you think Lucic should have done to win that match, because she was very close?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, that's just unexperience (sic). The most important points, in the third set, she lost them. It's also hard coming back from four down, you know, just win the match. You have to do so much against Jana, because she was very focused, very concentrated. She missed so much in the first set, you know, it's hard to just keep going all the match through.
Q. She was 3-1 up in the third.
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah. Well, it's never over until you play the last game or the last point.
Q. Martina, commentary today said that one way you get fit is kick boxing. I haven't heard that before. Tell us about that.
MARTINA HINGIS: Just normal box training, not kick boxing. I'm not very good in gymnastics. I can't put my legs behind my neck or something.
Q. So what do you like of the boxing?
MARTINA HINGIS: I haven't done it for a long time because I was injured and I couldn't do it. I was also sometimes a little bit tired to go there. It helped me a lot before this tournament last year. I got in much better shape. It's just like the fitness workout. I didn't hit someone else. We were just training.
Q. Martina, is there one player out of all the women left in the draw that you worry about at all in terms of being able to upset you, and if so who and why?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, you just go round by round. Every player is a hard player. Maybe not today, that one. I felt pretty confident. I beat her after Wimbledon, so I felt, I almost can't lose this match when I go on the court and play my usual tennis. Against Arantxa, she has an aim, she won this tournament. For sure, she's going to do her best out there. Me, too, hopefully. But Lindsay Davenport and Novotna is not an easy pair either. On the other side, I'm not so far yet, so I just go by next match.
|4th Round: 51 min||Martina Hingis (Switzerland)||Florencia Labat (Argentina)|
|1st serve pct||52 pct||64 pct|
|Pts won/1st serve||25/37 -- 67 pct||15/40 -- 37 pct|
|Pts won/2nd serve||17/24 -- 70 pct||15/33 -- 45 pct|
|Break points||6/10 -- 60 pct||1/2 -- 50 pct|
|Volleys won||24/30 -- 80 pct||5/11 -- 45 pct|
|Fastest serve||101 MPH||98 MPH|
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