Martina Hingis 2001 US Open 1st-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

USTA 2001 US Open at Flushing Meadows, New York, on Monday, August 27, 2001
Martina Hingis defeated Laura Granville, 6-2, 6-0 interview excerpt on Real Video

Q. How do you feel about the way you played overall as you look at the first match?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I started off pretty well. Then the two games being 40-15, having the advantage to come back and win it, then lost it. Maybe a little nervous, a little tense there at 3-2. But overall, I feel pretty good. Four aces today - pretty good - only one double-fault.

Q. Must feel pretty good to be back on that court?

MARTINA HINGIS: Opening it up also is a great honor. 11:00, I'm not really a morning person. This occasion, it's great to do that. I feel very honored.

Q. You talked about four aces. Your service speed I don't think once got over a hundred miles an hour. Are you still relying on placement?

MARTINA HINGIS: I know I'm not going to hit it like Venus, 124. No, placement, mixing it up so the opponent doesn't always know what I'm doing. That's my strategy. I know I'm not going to overpower anybody or hit a hole through someone (laughter).

Q. After a couple of weeks off, what state of mind are you in coming to the US Open?

MARTINA HINGIS: Good, positive. I mean, probably like 95% healthy. Maybe still in the back of my mind I have, but not today. That's why I try to (inaudible) the matches, keep them shorter, not to be too short out there.

Q. How is the foot?

MARTINA HINGIS: Good. But the last five, six days, I could really put all the pressure. I took a few days off, had to start a little slowly. You know, it's been better. I feel it a little bit, but nothing serious.

Q. Are you getting any treatment on it?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, well, that's just general. You have to continue. During the tournament, it might worsen. So, yeah, of course.

Q. What's the injury again?

MARTINA HINGIS: It was a stress reaction.

Q. On the right foot?

MARTINA HINGIS: No, left. I had that ankle four times, so I think that's my weaker side.

Q. The fact that people aren't picking you to win it, do you like that, or would you prefer to be favored?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, at the Grand Slam, everyone obviously is ready. You just have to play your best game if you want to win it. If you're not, that's too bad. You go out there, try your best. If it's good enough, great. If not, I'm going to survive. There's many more chances. It's a great challenge to be here again. I love the occasion. I mean, I love this tournament. I always had a lot of success. I hope it's going to stay that way.

Q. When you look back on that breaker when you beat Jana and played Steffi in the semis, does that seem a long time ago?

MARTINA HINGIS: I was just recently actually thinking about it. After the Arthur Ashe Day, I still, that day, practiced on the old stadium, the Armstrong court. Every time I step out on that court, I remember that. It's always there, yes. That's going to stick with me.

Q. You have a tendency over the years to say things that I guess here in America we would call politically incorrect. Is that a concept that you are aware of? For example, the most recent thing in Time Magazine seen about saying blacks may actually have an advantage. Is that a concept that troubles you at all, the reaction to those statements?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I'm sorry if I hurt anybody's feelings with that, but I think at that time I meant it probably not always in the same way. I think I was right at that time, but it doesn't mean it's against everybody. I just maybe said something which is not maybe politically correct, but I don't know. I don't know all the laws, all the rules what are going on in this country. I mean, if you expect that from me, it's too much. I'm sorry if I hurt anybody.

Q. Do you believe that the Williams sisters use race as a weapon?

MARTINA HINGIS: No. It was just that one time, I think. And I don't know, it's not up to me to judge that, what they do.

Q. In reference to Indian Wells, is that what it was referring to?

MARTINA HINGIS: That was a family thing. I don't want to comment on that, no.

Q. How do you think the media treat the Williams sisters? Is there some fear in speaking out about them from other players on the tour?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, you always have respect about whatever you say. You don't always want to judge other people. Doesn't matter what race they are, what color they are. It might always turn back on you, turn against you.

Q. But is there some hesitancy on the part of other players to say things about the Williams sisters, where you might say something about another player?

MARTINA HINGIS: I didn't really get that.

Q. Like you hesitate before you say something about them.

MARTINA HINGIS: Me being the No. 1, I have to watch out all the time (laughter). For me, it's a general thing because, yeah, like every time I win, it's good. If I lose, it's like, "What did she do there? What did she say?" It's always out there. I mean, the way -- I'm trying to be a professional in my sport as much as I'm trying to do the same off the court. You make mistakes all the time, but you try to learn.

Q. Does their race cause any players, yourself included, to ever not say things that you might about somebody else?

MARTINA HINGIS: I mean, sorry.

Q. Race issues aside, Martina, after Serena's losses at the Ericsson, Roland Garros, at Wimbledon, she spoke of how either she was injured or it wasn't her real self out there. Then people said in the locker room there was a lot of skepticism. Were the players skeptical?

MARTINA HINGIS: At Wimbledon, I wasn't there anymore, so I don't know about that (laughter). The other tournaments, you just have to, like I said, you have to know what your body needs, what's the best for you. I didn't always sleep the greatest before a match, before the finals. But you always try to make the best of it, try not to look for too many excuses. You just go out there. If you win, it's great. If you don't, you know, the other player was better than me at that time. Doesn't mean it's all the time. You know, at that point, that day, too bad. I don't know. I can't see inside of her, what was going through her mind.

Q. Today you played somebody who spent a couple of years in college. It's been a very different way of preparing for her tennis career. Do you ever feel you missed something at all or do you think she missed something, she lost a couple of important years?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think to turn professional -- how old is she exactly? I don't know.

Q. 19, 20.

MARTINA HINGIS: I think it was maybe 10, 15 years ago when Mary Joe did the same and Lindsay maybe, one of the rare people. I mean, Lindsay, I saw her first time, I was nine years old, she played the junior competition in France. That was when I first time saw her. It's just in the States I think the schooling is a little different than in Europe. For me, in Switzerland, it was just impossible to do both. It's just too hard and too much. I mean, time frame is just not the same as here. I couldn't do it also like computer or anything through faxes, so I think that's the way they do it. Otherwise, I think today's world, it's just very difficult to start a career after you did the school. I mean, to break through, make it quite high, you're fresh, you have a lot of energy, but to really make it to the top, it's going to be very hard.

Q. Do you regret what you said?


Q. Do you stand by what you said?


Q. In the Time Magazine article.

MARTINA HINGIS: Why is it such a big deal?

MODERATOR: She answered that question already.

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