USTA 2000 US Open at Flushing Meadows, New York, on Monday, September 4, 2000
Martina Hingis defeated Sandrine Testud, 6-2, 6-1
An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS
Q. How tough was it, watching Magnus' match?
MARTINA HINGIS: I had to watch it. I was like waiting and waiting. I wanted him to win. He was two sets down. In a way I was like, he's going to finish this match up somehow. Great win for him, pull it out, four match points.
Q. Is it difficult to come back after winning a set, coming back and playing the second set today?
MARTINA HINGIS: It was late last night. We got back like 12:00 at night or quarter to 12:00. You try to push yourself, "Sleep, sleep, sleep." It's almost like impossible. You're still kind of a little nervous from the match. It's hard to fall asleep, but then I slept till 9:00. Once I fell asleep, I was fine. Just went to hit a little bit. Try to finish the match as quick as possible. But I was tired, or I am tired now.
Q. Magnus said that you'd be mad at him for making you wait last night.
MARTINA HINGIS: Don't want to talk about that really right now (laughter). I'm like, "Jesus Christ." Usually it's like the women plays first, you know, then you wait for the guy to finish. It was like the longest match of the tournament, like 9:30 or 9:40 to go on court. At 4-All, I had just no more feelings like watching. I was like laying there, watching, "Come on, get it over." Once he came back, he has to win this match.
Q. Were you surprised the match went pretty easy for you, considering you had some difficult match against Sandrine?
MARTINA HINGIS: You know, it's like I improve since that tournament in Montreal. I got confidence. I knew it was very difficult conditions, waiting all day, going out there. I felt like I'm the younger one, I should be the more fresh. It's the same thing for her as for me. I think it's still better for me. I still felt like I have more energy and I have a better game for the night match and also going out here tomorrow. I have to take it from the beginning until she gets into the game because also, like yesterday, the last three games were already getting tougher. I was like 5-0 right away. The last three games, she was getting into the game. I think in a way it was good for me, the rain delay, get out here today again, I just focus again.
Q. Last week you talked about your need to stay quick. Was there ever a point playing where you started to convince yourself that you needed to get bigger and stronger to compete?
MARTINA HINGIS: No, not necessarily getting bigger, but just have more power, hit the ball harder. I mean, you can see yesterday's beginning or today's finish. The faster I hit the ball back, the better. It doesn't necessarily have to be that close to the line. Today or yesterday, she was always a little bit late. It's that little second that makes it. That's what I have to work on. It worked pretty well so far.
Q. Has the coming up of the Williams sisters, has that prompted you to get yourself quicker and more athletic?
MARTINA HINGIS: No, but before it was more like everything was a little slower, you had more time to prepare the shots, just mix it up more, do this or that, slow it down, make it faster. Now you just have to hit every ball, you know, pretty hard as you can, and also in practice, you just always have to be aggressive. No more time to playing games. That's what changed the whole thing.
Q. How much of a problem do you see the doubles schedule playing into your singles?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, but Mary defaulted before. I mean, that's what I wanted, you know, to get as many matches as possible. I think Mary was in here before and said she can't play the doubles. In a way, it gives me more time to focus for the singles, and now maybe mixed, too. That's why I played all three, because I wasn't quite sure, you know, how long can she stay in the tournament. It came out this way. In a way it's sad that she couldn't finish the tournament.
Q. Do you have a priority in your mind regarding doubles and singles? Is singles more important to you?
MARTINA HINGIS: You have priorities in singles, definitely. It's much nicer to have the singles trophy in your hand to the doubles. You can't compare the two competitions. I like having the fact that you have a partner next to you, you're supported, you have responsibility, you want to do well. You're a team, it's not just yourself out there. You're a team and you have to work together.
Q. You have Monica next. It's someone you admired growing up, you met her when you were a girl. Now you're beating her really, really badly. How does that feel when you go out and beat someone who you look up to like that?
MARTINA HINGIS: I was very young at that time. I saw her first time in Zurich when she played the tournament. I was like ten years old, and she was 16. She was just, you know, the star of the tournament. Next to Steffi, she was No. 1 at that time still. I didn't really think about I'm going to play her. That was too far away. I probably thought like she's not going to be around anymore when I'm going to be on tour. I started really early, and so did she. She's a great competitor. She's a great personality. It's nice that actually I can be part of it and compete with her, too. It's a great challenge.
Q. Do you expect a tough match from her? Do you pretty much think you have her game down?
MARTINA HINGIS: In the last few meetings, I always beat her. You never know. She never gives up. She's just a great player. I never underestimated her. That's why I maybe always play her so well, because I knew I had to come up with a great shot, be a hundred percent when I play her. Because if you're not, forget it.
Q. Going back to Magnus. How would you describe his work ethic?
MARTINA HINGIS: He's a hard worker. Everyone knows that.
Q. Are there times where you're like, "Come on, get off the court," anything like that?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, actually he was in Tampa that one week before the Super 9 tournaments. It was very hot there. He liked that he didn't have to really practice that much because the humidity and everything. It was nice seeing him actually. We both were practicing and working out together. It's like I'd never had that before. You go out there, practice, you see someone else working, too, who's No. 1 or 2 in the world. That gives you like a little excitement that you really want to be out there, you still see each other. That helps sometimes.
Q. There are some people who say Magnus is not tough enough to win this tournament. Knowing how well you know him, what is your comment?
MARTINA HINGIS: I don't know how well I know him. It's been a short time. Not like we've been together forever. I think he has a great chance. He's really focused. He wants to win this Grand Slam very bad as everyone else wants to. I want to do well, too. I mean, I think he's got a great chance. Once he came through this match, fight it off, it always helps having a tough match before you play someone really good. But it was very close yesterday, very close.
Q. Do you like being in the position, American players get a great deal of attention, the Williams sisters, you're top seeded, but --?
MARTINA HINGIS: Like No. 3 ranked (laughter). We'll see. With the match I'm going to play, like tomorrow with Monica, or if I have to face the Williams sisters, it's all going to say what's going to happen. I can't really talk about it now, if I'm the favorite or not. It's all going to show in the matches or in the future.
Q. Is it a better position that all the attention is not on you?
MARTINA HINGIS: It's more pressure on them. They have to do well and make the results. I don't know. For me, it's never been the talk; it's more always the results which counted. Then you just finish the year as No. 1 or whatever. It's consistency, winning a big tournament, it's definitely the most important thing for me than the rest.
Q. What do you like the most about playing tennis?
MARTINA HINGIS: The competition, just the challenge, the game. I played it since I was little. That's like the thing I know the best. I feel very comfortable being out there because I know I got a chance to survive. I mean, everybody tries to be in my position. Sometimes you forget about it, but there are like a thousand girls on the computer, and they want to be where you are. It's a great position to be in. I wouldn't want to trade that for anything.
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