Martina Hingis 2000 US Open Quarterfinal Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

USTA 2000 US Open at Flushing Meadows, New York, on Tuesday, September 5, 2000
Martina Hingis defeated Monica Seles, 6-0, 7-5

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS

Q. Did you get a chance to see Venus' match today? And if you did, what did you think?

MARTINA HINGIS: I saw the first set, a little bit. As I said earlier, I watched her like almost every single match she played here. Even in the doubles, sometimes you just hang around with the rain. You see the other players, you know, just play. So many TVs all over the place, you can't miss it almost. No, I watched her. But then I had to go come here for practice. I got like stuck in traffic for almost an hour. I came just when it was over already. The first person, I got in, ran into, was Nathalie. I asked, "What happened?" She said, "I had my chances, 6-1 in the third, though." Just play her.

Q. At this point when you watch Venus play, can you learn anything about her from scouting her on television, or do you pretty much know her game from playing her?

MARTINA HINGIS: It's like, okay, you try to watch and figure out a few things. I think every player is different when they play me. You can't compare what she's going to do. When she's going to play me, it's always a little different strategy. I think I just have to really focus on how she played me in the past in crucial times, what she would do. It's all about the match-ups when we play together.

Q. Tonight's match, after you won the first set so easily, did the second set surprise you at all?

MARTINA HINGIS: Not really. I play very well when I came out there. Also the last times we played, I always beat her. You know , the pressure is on me. How can you do from when you played her the last time? Was it an accident, or are you really that much better? You never know with Monica. It's like you go out there, and I kind of like her game, so I expected it. I felt like I was playing well so far in this tournament. It was kind of a little test: Is it enough against Monica, or will it be enough against, you know, Venus or whoever is going to be in that round?

Q. Does that shake your confidence at all that she came back like that?

MARTINA HINGIS: Not really. I was just happy to close it out because I had a few chances maybe, and she started playing better. I probably made a step back, got a little bit not tired, but when you focus really that much in the first set, I was cruising through, everything happening so fast, I almost got like, hey, scared, "Please slow it down somehow." I broke her 3-1, then I lost my serve - unfortunate. Again I could have been up 4-2, break her again, which didn't happen. 5-3, on serve again, I'm like, "Come on." All of a sudden it's like 5-All. You're like, "Okay, I've got to do something and take control of the match again," which I did.

Q. Does it bother you that the crowd is so partisan? Does that affect you at all?

MARTINA HINGIS: I mean, Monica is loved by the people. I mean, I expect that. They're going to be on her side. I've got nothing against that, no. Here in the States, they're very fair anyway in general. No, I got no problem with that. She's American. I think it would be rude against her if they'd be on my side. You can't expect that, not in sports. They're very fair. They love sports.

Q. What do you remember about how difficult it was to go through both the Williams sisters last year back-to-back? Do you block that out of your mind now, the prospect of having to do that over again?

MARTINA HINGIS: I mean, I got two days now to relax, just practice, not really think about that. I'm going to watch. Lindsay I think has got a good shot against Serena. I'm sure she watched the match when Dokic played her. She played her also in LA, which was a very close match. You know, I think Lindsay can be a really dangerous player for Serena. We'll see what happens there. I just worry about Venus first.

Q. Besides the obvious, what made it so difficult to play both of them back-to-back last year?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, it was just like in ten hours later, you've got to play the other Williams. She played the first match. I got back home like at 10:00. I was cramping, it was very humid. I lost so much fluids. Just going out there next day, I was sore. Well, so was maybe Serena. But she had like a few hours more to adapt and relax. I don't blame anybody on that schedule. I don't know. It's like why couldn't it be like Thursday semifinals so you get to rest a day before the finals, as every other Grand Slam, too. You know, hey, that's the tournament. You've got to win. It's the same for both.

Q. Martina Navratilova was here today. As complimentary as she was about your game, she thought that you tired playing them back-to-back; you didn't have the fitness level in that second match. Early in the second set she thought it was over. She didn't say it like a strength.

MARTINA HINGIS: Last year or this year or now or what?

Q. You didn't have the endurance to get through.

MARTINA HINGIS: Serena wasn't like all excited playing next day either. She had a three-setter against Lindsay last year, too. She barely moved on the court. She still has a good serve, and when she's standing, she hits the ball very hard. I couldn't get to the shots. It's not that she shot me off the court. It was still 3-5, I think. It was still a close match, especially in the second set. As I said, at Wimbledon I lost to Venus, so I'd like to turn it around.

Q. Did you talk with Nathalie about her match?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I saw her in the locker room, yeah.

Q. Did she tell you that she was vulnerable?


Q. Venus.

MARTINA HINGIS: I mean, you could see that out of the other matches. But, I mean, how many matches, like 24 by now that she hasn't lost. She's obviously very confident going into these matches, even she's not playing at her best, but still wins them. Nobody's going to ask you after that how you play. You've just got to win the tournament.

Q. How confident are you right now?

MARTINA HINGIS: I am. I think I was playing better and better each match, picking it up very well. Also the opponents got better each time. Just excited about the next game.

Q. Since you beat Venus last year, you've lost three of the four matches with Venus - twice on hard courts. What has been the biggest difference in playing Venus? What's the biggest challenge when you go out against her now?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, because you never play her that much. She was injured. She didn't play for a half year. You don't know, when you don't play those players, what they're going to come up with. If they play only like eight, nine tournaments a year, it's difficult to adjust what they do, what they're doing. The other players sometimes you play over and over. If somebody comes almost out of nowhere, playing very well, right away the first moment, you're like, "What am I doing out here?" I think I was playing very well still against her. This time I hope it's going to be a different story again.

Q. What are your biggest challenges once you get on the court against her? For your particular game, what's the biggest challenge playing Venus?

MARTINA HINGIS: Not get too intimidated by what she was doing or how she's playing or her winning streak. I watched her when she won in San Diego after Wimbledon. That was pretty much the last one she played. No, she played in New Haven in the finals against Monica. I saw that one, too. Just got to hang in there. You know it is, that's all that matters. Just play my game and try not to let her overpower myself, still take a little bit advantage when I have the chance.

Q. Is it hanging in there or do you have to be more aggressive this time than you were when you were at Wimbledon?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, we'll see. You can't really tell right now. The match is not on the table. I mean, it's hard for me to say because it's different. I think I played much better since Wimbledon. So does she, I think, based on the confidence and the winning streak she has right now. It's just go into the match with basically nothing to lose for me. She's got to prove herself now.

Q. Why would you say that? She just won Wimbledon. Why does she have to prove herself? Does she have to prove herself here at the US Open?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah. I have to give her, not just letting myself by everything what's happening around, just play my game. I think it's going to be a great match. I hope for the best for both of us, that it's not going to be like too nerve-wracking or this or that, that it's going to be a good match.

Q. Is this what you would have wanted? Would you have wanted to face her in the semifinal?

MARTINA HINGIS: It's great for the fans, of course. Everybody is expecting a good match out of the semifinals. Usually the expectations become bigger than it actually happens. It's like, you know, we had a great match last year here at the same court, same stadium. Wimbledon, the same thing. It's just one time I won 6-3 in the third, the last time it was her. So far we played each other, it was great challenge, and it's great competition.

Q. Did you know coming in this room now that you would get asked a lot more about Venus Williams than you would about Monica Seles?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think it's like by now, being six years on the tour, nothing surprises me anymore.

Q. Martina Navratilova says you're not a powerful player, but you're a smart player by the way your mother's coached you.

MARTINA HINGIS: I knew I'm not going to overpower anybody out there. I always had to play my game, just play clever.

Q. Do you consider yourself smarter than the other players?

MARTINA HINGIS: I just use my weapons. It's all about if you can use it, who uses their weapons the best at that moment. Luckily it was me so far, but not all the time. I think I improved over the last six months even. Let's see how far it carries me on.

Q. All that traffic you were stuck in today probably had to do with the United Nations. With that in mind, are you going to reassess your support of the World Health Organization?

MARTINA HINGIS: Just like I was thinking about it because I am ambassador, which is that Team-Up Against Poverty. I'm like, "They should get me some security and sneak me through." But, I mean, we just left early and we expected the traffic. It was only an hour. Not that bad.

Q. In a more serious vein, why have you chosen that charity to support?

MARTINA HINGIS: They came up to me and wanted to do something with the athletes, just like a new thing, Teams Against Poverty, me teaming up with Jacques Villeneuve and Ronaldo, Zidane, Omar Sharif and Deneuve. It a great thing to be part of it. I said, yeah, whenever I can support something like that, I'm 100 percent with it.

Martina Hingis pages at
Find thousands more sports interviews at the archives.

This page's URL is: