Martina Hingis 2001 US Open Semifinal Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )

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USTA 2001 US Open at Flushing Meadows, New York, on Friday, September 7, 2001
Serena Williams defeated Martina Hingis, 6-3, 6-2

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS:

Q. Looked like she just served incredibly, just really teed off on the second serves. How do you assess the match?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think she didn't start serving like that until she was confident enough, you know, to be sure. She's edging me. But I think I had chances in the first set, a few of them. I broke her twice, which doesn't show that I couldn't break her. I don't know. It was just difficult. In the beginning we had a few longer rallies. She ended up winning them. So I got maybe a little bit down on myself, you know, "What do I do out there? Play her forehand? I don't really want to do that." The backhand, she didn't miss that much. She played very well.

Q. It looked like last year when you played Venus in the semis, you were hitting deep down the middle, taking away the angle. You tried that today. What was your strategy? Do you get to a point where you feel she's on, it's her day?

MARTINA HINGIS: I just tried, yeah, to play the middle sometimes, when I get the chance. She wouldn't really give me that many opportunities. I don't know. It was difficult. Had to somehow make the point to get myself into the game.

Q. She didn't miss a first serve in that second set. Was it the speed, the angle? What was it about the serve that was so tough for you?

MARTINA HINGIS: The placement. I mean, I couldn't read her serve. I didn't know whether she was going forehand or backhand. Yeah, she was hitting the lines and the corners. It was difficult to even reach it. Even I got there, there's not much I could do with it.

Q. You usually beat opponents very quickly. Is it embarrassing, the No. 1 player, you can go out and only win 33 points in a match?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I don't count the points. No, it's just at this point I just feel like she played really well. Sometimes, you know, just mentally I was too passive, you know, in a way, tried to just at first look what's going to happen. She did the same actually. She didn't came out and start serving like crazy. You know, she did the same thing as I. But I think we both were nervous. She might have even be more because she felt like there was more pressure. She just played well. She played smart. Waited for her chances. Hit winners. Yeah, I was too defensive.

Q. How confident were you going into the match?

MARTINA HINGIS: I felt actually pretty good. It's like I said, when I started, when I went into this tournament, because I didn't know how long my foot is going to last, then I got a little sick and all that. That didn't help. Today I definitely felt much better. Just not good enough.

Q. Were you waiting for her or counting on her to mentally let go a little bit?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, sometimes. I mean, I thought that maybe -- my strategy was just to get as many balls back as I could. But she just wouldn't miss. She waited. She played smart today.

Q. Is it the best she has ever played against you?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, it's hard to compare that match in Australia. I think, you know, I came out there and I didn't miss. I played very well. Maybe also, I don't know, it was -- it was hard to get into the match today. I was much more on top of her there because I beat her in Sydney, so I just felt like mentally I had an edge. I don't know. She already won Toronto, she won two nights ago against Lindsay, so she felt more confident, I think. But not in the beginning. I think we were quite equal because I beat her the last time we played. Just better today. That's all.

Q. Have you spoken to your mom yet?

MARTINA HINGIS: She came into the locker room real quick, yeah. I'll see later. What do you want to talk about that match today (smiling)? I know pretty much myself. Now it's the future. That's what counts.

Q. Is this the kind of loss that makes you think you have to do something dramatic to sort of go to the next level, be able to compete better? Do you say, "It's one day, one match, I move on"?

MARTINA HINGIS: It's not one day, one match. It's the semifinals of the US Open. At the end of the day, you have to take it like that because if you want to go on and continue to play at the top level, you have to. You know, that's all it takes. You know, I don't want to give up just like that. We'll see. I mean, I have scheduled next tournaments. Just going to find the motivation and the hunger to be winning, that's all.

Q. If there is one thing you could do differently or one asset you could have to make your life easier when you play her, what would you choose?

MARTINA HINGIS: You just have to stay in the game with the serve, that's all. Like I watched the other matches when Henin played her or Lindsay. Just have to try to win your own serves and try to break her at the crucial times, even if it gets into a tiebreaker. But do something more out of my service games because you can't count on she's going to double-fault or something.

Q. How is your foot? Do you still need treatment?

MARTINA HINGIS: I mean, I just warm it up normally, but it's not a factor, no.

Q. When you play her, there comes a period where there's a lull in her game. That didn't happen today. Were you surprised by that, how she kept the pressure up?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I don't know. Maybe at those crucial times, I rushed too much or just didn't make her play enough. I don't know. I don't really have a great feeling about this match, so I don't know. Maybe watch the tape, look at what I could have done better. But at this point, don't know, so... But definitely stay in the game in the beginning, just try to hang in there.

Q. Given what you saw out there today and the way she's been playing, do you think Serena has what it takes and is mentally ready to play against her sister, should Venus win the next semi?

MARTINA HINGIS: I don't know. Definitely she has the game. You know, she deserves to be in the final. I don't know about how they feel when they play each other. I'm not Serena.

Q. Is there anything in you that would make you like to see that match, just to see? People talk about how difficult it is to play the Williams sisters. Just to see those two go against each other, is that exciting?

MARTINA HINGIS: I don't really see it. Be more frustrated than I am, no. At the end I have to take the positive side from the tournament. I could have been out in the third round, and I made it in the semis. I don't know. As the No. 1 player, you always want to reach higher. But, oh well, I can just make better in the future.

Q. Something over 200 weeks at No. 1. An incredible run. Will it hurt if you lose that slot?

MARTINA HINGIS: Wells, at this point, I mean, when you're No. 1 for so long, you know, that questions if I should stay. I mean, the ranking has been this way. I felt like I deserved it. I was proud of that. But, you know, if someone else deserves it from now on, you know, if Jennifer should win today and win the tournament, I mean, she's been the most consistent player all year, so she definitely deserve it. But I think I'll be hungry again at getting it back because, you know, you see Jennifer, it gives you motivation. It's different pressure. You know, it's like you have to go and play tournaments, and everyone expects you to win. Let's see if someone else can carry that on.

Q. If that happens, are you confident that you can get it back?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, just definitely once I lost the No. 1 position, I was able to get it back from Lindsay. We'll just see.

Q. How tough is it to see that the Williams sisters and Capriati seem to dominate the game here at the US Open, this surface?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I like the Rebound Ace at the Australian, it's a little slower. You have more time to set up your shots. I think this US Open, it's a very fair surface to everyone. I come back hopefully next year and try to do better.

Q. When at the top of their game, which do you think is a better player, Venus or Serena?

MARTINA HINGIS: It's difficult to say. I think in a way Venus is the better player, but Serena is maybe stronger. She can keep the same pace and just a level. But I think always when it came to crucial times, Venus was better. I mean, she's better in the rankings, so that shows it. But I don't know.



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