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

USTA 1997 US Open at Flushing Meadows, New York, on Friday, September 5, 1997
Martina Hingis defeated Lindsay Davenport, 6-2, 6-4

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS:

Q. What did you do different today as compared to the last time you played Lindsay?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, a lot. That was a very different match than I played today. It was my third tournament in a row there. I was already pretty tired. But she still was the better player out there on the court. It's no excuse that I was tired. But she also had a very good match against Monica Seles, I think she had match point in the final, but she still lost. She's always going to be a dangerous player against me.

Q. She said she wasn't a hundred percent going out. Did you notice any of that on the court?


Q. She said she didn't feel a hundred percent.

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah. She was also sneezing sometimes in the locker room. From her voice, you could hear she's not a hundred percent. You know, I wasn't a hundred percent there, she wasn't here. I think it's more important if you're a hundred percent at the US Open than somewhere else, especially in the semifinals. It's hard to keep healthy all the tournaments. It takes two weeks. You just have to go round by round and try to beat everybody.

Q. How were you handling the change in weather, temperature, here the last week?

MARTINA HINGIS: I didn't like the last match. It was very windy and also freezing out there. Today the sun came out. It was very good weather for me. For me sometimes maybe also when the wind is in the game, because you kind of have to think a little bit more, play a different strategy against other players, if you're either with the wind or against the wind, I can maybe hit more dropshots against them. At set point, that was a really lucky one.

Q. Martina, this was her first Grand Slam semifinal. Did you get the impression that it might have been a little bit too much for her?

MARTINA HINGIS: I don't think so. She's a very dangerous player. She won the Olympics. Also in the other tournaments, especially here on hardcourt in America, she played a semifinals. She won Atlanta, made the Finals there in LA. Especially here, she's very dangerous. I think she can beat everyone.

Q. Martina, if you hadn't fallen off that horse and had that short break, would you be even better than you are now? How would you be a different player?

MARTINA HINGIS: I was very good before I fell off the horse. I'm kind of just getting again into how far I was before that fall. I'd say right now, I'm pretty much the same as I came back after Key Biscayne and Hilton Head. I had the fall like three weeks later. But those two weeks of practice, they were very good, and slowly I'm about the same as I was there.

Q. What are your thoughts on facing Venus Williams or Irina Spirlea?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, very good, because I never lost to any of these players. Irina, I think I beat like five or six times. Venus, also had good match in San Diego there in the second round. She only made like three games. But she improved very much, especially at this tournament. She got better and better each match. You could see her improvement, especially mentally. She thinks, "I can make it." That's, I think, very important if you go out there.

Q. Who do you think will win, Venus or Irina?

MARTINA HINGIS: It's very hard. I think it depends more what Irina does. If she's going to be, you know, have nothing to lose against her, because this is the semifinals, she's a youngster, she has not as much experience as I have. She can make it. Venus is just the player has nothing to lose. She goes out there. She also thinks she can beat everyone in the world. I don't know. I'll love to see that later on, who is going to be the better one.

Q. Are there ever times or situations where you doubt yourself in anything?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I was pretty nervous today when I went out there on the court, because I kind of didn't know what to expect from myself and from Lindsay. Because, you know, we had a very good match -- all the matches were very tough we had in the past. We played six times. This was the seventh time. It's like 3-All. This time was just semifinals of the US Open. I was pretty nervous at the beginning.

Q. So what happened after she broke you to begin? Did that make you more nervous?

MARTINA HINGIS: The first game took so long. It was like ten minutes. I was like, "Oh, God, if that's going to keep going like this, we're really deep." Then she won the next service game so easily, 2-Love. "I have to start doing something else, just keep the ball in the game, not wait for her mistakes." You can't do anything with that.

Q. If Venus wins today, what's your game plan to play her?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, the same as always. I have nothing special. Just play my game, mix it up a lot. Especially against her, you just have to let her move around. As you had with Lindsay, not just hit it as hard as you can to her because she blocks it very well, makes even more power on you, pressure also, when she hits the ball back.

Q. Looked like you and Lindsay enjoyed a few laughs after a couple of the good points. When you got to 4-All in the second set, you didn't smile very much. You kind of got down to business, finished it off.

MARTINA HINGIS: 6-2, 4-2, you just kind of want to finish up this match. It was like very important for me to play well out there. This is a semifinals of the US Open. You don't want to blame yourself out there having a lead 6-2, 4-2, then lose that match. You kind of concentrate back again. I made more mistakes than she actually made points. When you're kind of down, you just kind of think, "I have nothing to lose anymore." You just hit your shots. There were some really good rallies out there, dropshot, lob, dropshot, lob. I was running there and back.

Q. Martina, no one in tennis is winning more than you. If you had to say the one best part of winning, the best feeling or the best part of winning, what is that?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, you just hit the shots you always wanted to do. I never maybe played as well as I did today with my forehand because I just kind of got her -- she's very powerful from the baseline. I was just kind of keeping the power and put it in the same ball again, play it back. Also my backhand down the line was working pretty well today. So it was like, "Wow, that was a really good shot."

Q. But is the best part winning? Is it the adulation? What is the best part? Is it the money? What is the best part about winning?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, of course, you can feel you just beat everyone in the world, you're the best in what you do. That's the best feeling you can have out there, knowing no one is better than you are. And the money is not bad, of course, either (laughter). Just go out there in the shop. If you like something, you can buy it.

Q. How are you able to keep this attitude of, "I have nothing to lose"? You don't expect the No. 1 seed to say that. Usually there's pressure.

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I'm still 16. If I don't win this time, I have so many years in front of me to win it hopefully next year or in the next years. I can't say nothing to lose. There's always a little pressure. You just want to make a very good effort out there and play well, the best you can.

Q. Martina, do you find yourself getting better still week after week?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yes, I think I got even better than I played at Wimbledon, for sure, because I never said, "This is my favorite tournament." This time I think like I can't play much better than today. Well, sometimes maybe the serve could be better, at the beginning especially. But overall, I played very well today.

Q. Do you have the feeling right now that if you're playing your best, nobody can beat you?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, nobody did actually beat me at this tournament I played. So I can't say I'm unbeatable; I lost three weeks ago. When I'm really into the game and I feel in great shape as I did today, even if I lose the first set or something is not going the way I want to have it, I still can get better, yeah.

Q. You mentioned the serve. It looked as if your first serve today was a little bit --


Q. Would you have an explanation? Were you trying to achieve something?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think most of it is mentally. If you don't hit the first serve, she just kills you from the second serve. There is always a little pressure. You have to put the first serve in, otherwise you don't get into the game. That's always harder against players like she is.

Q. Martina, how much faster are you running than you were two years ago?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think that just comes automatically. At 14, you can't be as fast as you are with 16. The whole body grows and gets better and better, also stronger. Maybe like one or two years ago if she would play as hard, maybe my racquet would fall out of my hands sometimes. Not anymore.

Q. Which is your favorite tournament?

MARTINA HINGIS: I always said like Paris is my favorite city, so I will still like the tournament French Open very much. That's kind of why maybe I couldn't win it, because I want to win it so badly. But Wimbledon, if you come back there as a champion, I think you always going to love that tournament.

Q. What have you liked about New York and the US Open?

MARTINA HINGIS: It's just very different from the other tournaments. It's like very much, you know, show. Just New York is a very big city. Just the spectators, they're very loud and everything is just a big crowd.

Q. Do you read the newspapers and the magazines about tennis and about yourself?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, yeah, I always read the New York Times. You have it just in front of your room. Just bring it with you to breakfast, read about Williams or Spirlea or someone else, about myself.

Q. What about like the Internet, do you go on computer and read?


Match Statistics: (from

Semifinal: 1 hr, 11 min Martina Hingis (Switzerland) Lindsay Davenport (United States)
1st serve pct 63 pct 64 pct
Aces 2 1
Double Faults 1 2
Pts won/1st serve 26/42 -- 61 pct 20/45 -- 44 pct
Pts won/2nd serve 10/24 -- 41 pct 9/25 -- 36 pct
Winners 29 27
Unforced errors 20 33
Break points 7/15 -- 46 pct 4/6 -- 67 pct
Volleys won 17/19 -- 89 pct 8/15 -- 53 pct
Points won 77 59
Fastest serve 98 MPH 98 MPH

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