Martina Hingis 1999 US Open 1st-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )

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USTA 1999 US Open at Flushing Meadows, New York, on Monday, August 30, 1999
Martina Hingis defeated Kveta Hrdlickova, 6-1, 7-5

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS

Q. Is it a great sense of relief getting into the second round of a Grand Slam?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, yeah, right. Didn't get into the second round for a long time. No, I mean it's always nice having the first round behind me. You don't probably always want to play the night match because it's like a lot of waiting around until you finally get on court. But I kind of play good in the beginning. I didn't even feel like I was playing bad in the second set but she just came out there, just left everything behind I guess and just hit the ball as hard as she could.

Q. How dangerous do you feel she was at that point? It just seemed like she was in a flow.

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, definitely. If she played like that all the time, she could be better than what she's ranked at. You can see that most of the girls can hit the ball. I mean they can play tennis, just are more consistent, some less. I mean the thing was just so much, it's like we grew up not far from each other. She's five years older and I would always kind of -- you know, I have respect for her. And the first time I played her was French, and there already was kind of close match, two sets though, but it's not easy playing her.

Q. How do you like Saddle Brook?

MARTINA HINGIS: Pretty good. It's a good place to go back, relax, and, you know, practice, train out, work out.

Q. Can you see yourself living there for quite a while?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, during the US tournaments I think it's a -- it was a great move for us to find a place in the States, and Florida came the closest. You know, it's close to Europe. There are a few tournaments on the ease coast. I also preferred that side to the west coast.

Q. How many times have you been able to hit with Jennifer out there?

MARTINA HINGIS: I hit a few times when she was there, especially those four weeks before I went to San Diego. She would be there for a few days before she played the exhibition or some tournaments and also now before this tournament. It was like her and Sugiyama and some other guys.

Q. Can you talk about your preparation for today's match? Does your experience of Wimbledon make you prepare any differently for a first round of a Grand Slam, especially the first one back?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, not just Grand Slams, just in general. Just the whole thing has changed since Wimbledon I guess. Not whole thing, but my view of -- or point of view how to deal with everything, I think. I learned a lot from those two tournaments, and I've been playing better again.

Q. Can you explain more what you mean about point of view changing? What kind of things changed?

MARTINA HINGIS: You know, I want to achieve the best I can at a certain time, or any time I go out there, just try to do the best. And that's what it's all about, you know, like your job, like what you're doing out there, and just be positive. Not always saying, Oh, I'm not looking for excuses or so, just go out there and have fun. It's a great job to have.

Q. You spoke before a little while ago about making the mistake at Wimbledon that you don't want to repeat with the breakup with your mother for that moment. How did you resolve that between you?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, we never broke up. I mean --

Q. For the moment?

MARTINA HINGIS: I just want to try it on my own. Didn't work out. It's great that she wanted to do it with me again. It's like, you know, I'm very happy about that and we find a way to come together, and that's why I came out at the rate I was able to win tournaments again.

Q. Was there any give-and-take about establishing how you would be a little more independent and yet still be working together?

MARTINA HINGIS: You can still get independent. I think I am pretty much. I could book my flight and get somewhere else. I mean, it's not such a big deal. It's just like sometimes, you know, you want to experience things on your own and (laughing) that doesn't really work out, and it's not always enough just from telling someone, you just want to try it out.

Q. Do you think that's just sort of a natural thing?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think so. It just happens in any families. Now it's like everybody -- almost the whole world was watching what I was doing, every single step I did. Everybody, like the cameras right there and like stalking me. But, you know, if you're fine with yourself, if you're happy with the people, your surroundings, nobody can hurt you, nothing can bother you.

Q. Martina, you probably noticed that our summers in Florida are just a little bit more humid.

MARTINA HINGIS: I little bit more. I get a nice tan. It's great for having -- going to the beach and stuff like that, yeah.

Q. How are you coping with that in your practice sessions?

MARTINA HINGIS: I don't have a problem with that. People are always saying it's so hot, so hot. I usually don't sweat as much there. I finally say, Hey, I sweat, too, lose weight. That's kind of positive, you know. I like the heat. I don't mind it at all. Some players are exhausted. It's so hot, so hot. I'm fine with that because I see the other players like, you know, can't anymore, or like the physical shape, I got in much better shape. So I tried to take advantage of that.

Q. Martina, tonight it seemed like the crowd was really cheering for your opponent. I'm sure in some respect that's because they're always cheering for the underdog. Do you feel that you have something to kind of make up to tennis fans after --

MARTINA HINGIS: No. The fans were great with me when I first came to San Diego, and those other tournaments. First round they were happy. After the first set, I guess that she was able to keep in the game and keep herself fighting in the match, you know. So... I mean it's a pretty good effort. I guess.

Q. So what's your explanation for it, for the crowd cheering for the opponent?

MARTINA HINGIS: She was playing so good tennis out there. She had some great winners. I mean -- she was fighting, she was there. Some players just probably let themselves down and just kind of try to finish that match as soon as possible, but she wouldn't.

Q. How come you hit the ball into the crowd? Was that just something you did on a whim or. . .

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, just came out, spontaneous. She missed that shot by -- you know, she was right there and she missed it by so much that I felt like the ball was flying, so let it fly even higher (laughing) .

Q. How do you like the night sessions?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, it's probably not the thing you would want to have in the first match of a Grand Slam, but I don't mind it. It's just, you get used to it. You have that at other tournaments. I would play this there. Just could be maybe a little bit earlier, like 7:00, 6:30. The players I think wouldn't mind it. But, you know, it happens and you have to get it over and don't think about it. It's the same for both.

Q. I know Jelena Dokic came to your house a long time ago to practice once. Have you spoken to her since Wimbledon or talked at all?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, I saw her. She was in Toronto.

Q. Are you friendly at all with her now?

MARTINA HINGIS: Why should I just turn around and say, Bye, you know, I don't want to see you again because I lost to her? No way. I mean, come on. I know who I am --

Q. I didn't know how good friends you were before. I wasn't sure.

MARTINA HINGIS: I wouldn't be friends with someone, I would invite them to come to my house. Not everybody can get there (laughter) .

Q. Martina, just to go back to what you referred to as a good experience. Do you feel it was something that was building up and then having hit the wall, you now go on as a stronger clearer-minded player?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yes, I think so. You know, I grew up since that a little bit. My wisdom tooth has crowned finally, the first one. So I'm excited about that. It hurts sometimes, but, I mean, I learned a lot from that. Those two tournaments and, you know, I think you can learn more from like disappointment or something like if you lose something, it's like you definitely learn a lot more than just by winning. Winning, it comes natural. I'm used to that, but if you lose something, you expect yourself to do better, try to improve it.

Q. What do you think were the big lessons you learned this summer and was there a connection between the French and Wimbledon in the lessons you've learned?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well that one from the French, Wimbledon, you know, it could have happened in the next tournament. It's just -- it just happened at Wimbledon, so it happened there. But, I mean, the same thing would happen if it would be just another tournament.

Q. How would you phrase what you learned this summer? What do you think are lessons you took from this whole summer?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think I had a few up-and-downs, but basically there, still making the finals of the French Open is not too bad. So many other players would like to have that, too, you know, so I don't think it was that bad. Basically only one tournament, so.

Q. I'm not saying it was a bad summer. You say you learned lessons this summer. What lessons do you take from this summer?

MARTINA HINGIS: Lesson, I mean everybody has to be taught something. Why should I keep my -- I'm not going to tell you everything, just here and I do better, I guess.

Q. But the lessons are more personal than playing?

MARTINA HINGIS: Personal? Well, I mean --

Q. Lessons about life rather than tennis?

MARTINA HINGIS: I tried it on my own and it didn't work, so I'm back together and everything, you know, mental and with my family. Everything's going well.

Q. You said you try and deal with things a little differently. Do you talk to yourself a little bit more about being positive if you get down? Is that a mental change in your game?

MARTINA HINGIS: I don't talk to myself, I just think about it more, you know, what happened, what's going to happen, present, you know, the past, present and future. I just realize some things would happen and would -- how I have to improve, just not letting myself down and just fight, you know. Life is a fight.

Q. Is it true, The Post wrote today you lost the contract with due to losing the first round in Wimbledon?

MARTINA HINGIS: What?

Q. The New York Post wrote today that you lost the contract with --

MARTINA HINGIS: I didn't lose it.

Q. Pardon?

MARTINA HINGIS: I didn't lose it. That was already before the breakup. But, yeah. It was already like Rome tournament, before San Diego.



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