Martina Hingis 2000 US Open 2nd-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

USTA 2000 US Open at Flushing Meadows, New York, on Wednesday, August 30, 2000
Martina Hingis defeated Kristina Brandi, 6-1, 6-1

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Martina, please.

MARTINA HINGIS: No, all right? (Laughter.)

Q. You had four unforced errors in the entire match. Can you play any better than that?

MARTINA HINGIS: Sounds pretty good. As I said, I never played Kristina before, so, you know, I saw her at the other tournaments but I didn't know exactly what she's gonna play like. And I just liked her game. I mean she was quite far from the baseline. She gave me enough time to really play my game and to dominate throughout the match. So I could come in and be aggressive. That's what I was trying to do in matches like this. It's nice to hear, only four unforced errors. (Laughing.)

Q. What are your thoughts on the current state of your game, and are you progressing the way you want to get to the second week and be ready for the biggest players?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, definitely. I think I, you know, showed in today's match that I can play real well. But I don't -- this is just the second round. I mean you shouldn't be like ready in the second round of the tournament. It's just like daily business almost. And I'm gonna play doubles and mixed doubles tomorrow, so matches like tonight, you know, you just want to get out of the way as soon as possible. Especially the night matches; you don't want to stay out here too long. It's a tough day tomorrow and I'm looking forward to it. I think I just played a very good match today. Almost no mistakes. I, you know, came in, played some good volleys. I'm pretty happy about that.

Q. One of the things you've been discussing this week is the shift to the power game on the women's Tour. When you think of the biggest serves on the Tour as big weapons, where does Venus' serve rate and what makes her serve a special weapon?

MARTINA HINGIS: She obviously serves big. It doesn't matter where the ball she hits to, if it's a good first serve, it's hard to return it. Like Serena, she can also place it very well, and you just have to get them to crucial times so they don't serve that big. I think you have that in the men's game and when people try to, you know, get a little tense, everything gets a little, you know, closer to each other. You know, once I get to play them again in this tournament, they'll be great and I mean they also -- you know, the harder you hit, the more it's also on your body. I mean it's just -- you can't keep up hitting the ball like every, you know, shot like that, as hard as possible. Sometimes it gets flying. I mean tennis is not about hitting the ball the hardest you can.

Q. Whose serve is tougher to return between Venus and Serena?

MARTINA HINGIS: If Venus hits it, it's somewhere in the corner, you got no chance. I guess it's pretty much anybody, if you place the serve very well, it's already a good serve, 100 miles is already almost unreachable. And if they hit it like 110, you know, 115 occasionally, so it's -- it depends where they place it more. But maybe I have more difficulties with Serena's serve, to read it.

Q. At this point you've heard about the drama in the dining room earlier today with Jelena's father?

MARTINA HINGIS: I wasn't here all day, I came out here, it was 5:30, I was practicing. I didn't really get to know much about it, no, I'm sorry.

Q. Is it amusing that this off-court activity is dominating the tournament?

MARTINA HINGIS: I just got to hear about it lately. I'm sorry, I really don't know what happened, what the reasons why. I don't know. I can't really talk about it, so... That shouldn't be like the main thing at the tournament, definitely not.

Q. When you have an opponent you haven't played before, do you do much scouting or does your mom go and watch her play? Do you ask other players about her?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, I do. I mean there's some players you talk to more and some less. But those, you know, I haven't played before, I ask a little bit. She's not unknown on the Tour, she's 34 in the world. So there was a few times that I almost had to play her and, you know, either me or she, we didn't get there to play each other. But I just kind of knew her game. I mean she doesn't live that far from me, actually now here in Tampa, she's at a camp there. I'm not that far away. So I got to know her maybe a little bit better.

Q. Had you practiced with her before?

MARTINA HINGIS: No, never. I never -- never, nothing. I mean I saw her a lot at the tournaments, so I knew her game a little bit.

Q. Do you keep notes during a match? Do you write things down for yourself to check, or do you have it all here?

MARTINA HINGIS: No, I try to keep it all up there. (Indicating.)

Q. So nobody will steal them, or you have one of those memories, where you can look at somebody --

MARTINA HINGIS: No, as far as I went to school, as long as I went to school, I could always rely on my memory. Some time I was on the last day preparing for the test the next day so I knew I could keep it in my head.

Q. Are you good at numbers, concepts?

MARTINA HINGIS: Concentration. I think it's all about concentration, to keep it and to really believe in it that you can -- I mean visualize things because of the tennis; you see a lot. So from seeing things, I can remember them better than from hearing probably.

Q. Venus said today that she thought players were intimidated by her when they played against her. Do you feel that players are intimidated against you when you face them?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think that maybe when they go on court they might have little respect from what I achieved so far, you know, in my career. But depends, a little bit. Especially against Venus or Serena, they're so different from the other players. They're big, just by walking on the court, I was walking behind Venus or Serena, you're like, "Ut-oh, what's gonna happen". But if you have the game and if you believe in yourself, you can do a lot. It doesn't matter what size you are. Just everything -- tennis is nice, you know, it's still a game and you can equalize a lot of things with, you know, cleverness or just game.

Q. So their power, their size has never intimidated you?

MARTINA HINGIS: I mean in the early stage I was always better than them. So just continued to grow with each other.

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