Martina Hingis 1996 US Open 4th-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

USTA 1996 US OPEN at Flushing Meadows, New York on Monday, September 2, 1996
Martina Hingis defeated Aranxta Sanchez Vicario, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS:

Q. What do you think about the umpiring?

MARTINA HINGIS:: About what?

Q. What did you think about the umpire today?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Great. You know, I saw a lot of matches like this, especially if the men are playing, they serve, they play much harder than the women sometimes. It's very difficult to make something about it because you just keep playing. You know, it's very difficult, if it's 3-All in the second, deuce. Sometimes it makes you really angry. I lost four games in a row then. I just try to make something better about it. I just keep fighting. In the third set, it was very good.

Q. Because it's the Open, is this a bigger win than beating Steffi at the Italian?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Yes, I think so. It's a Grand Slam tournament. Arantxa Sanchez is not an easy player, like everybody knows. She never gives up. I won the first set 6-1, she tried to do something better, and she did, because she started to make me move a lot. It was very hot also outside. I just tried to, you know, move better. I was practicing a lot three weeks at home. My concentration are much better than it was in Atlanta, at the Grand Slam before. I just had my best match today. I mean, I'm very happy about it.

Q. Have you ever met Chris Evert?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Yes, I did, in Paris, at the awards dinner. I met her also before when I was a junior when she was with IMG.

Q. Have you ever seen her play, and if you have --


Q. Do you think your style of play resembles the way she played when she was on the Tour?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, I think I'm another time, so a little bit it can be that I play very flat. Hopefully I think I play a little smart also. I also come sometimes to the net. I'm especially very good on the baseline. It can be that it's a little game like she did.

Q. One other thing, Martina. When you met Chris, what did you talk about?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, I didn't talk too much to her because she was -- she's a great person, she's a lady, like she is on the court, as she is as a person, I think. I won the junior championships there at the French. She congratulated me. She's a great person.

Q. You were very frustrated in the second set, throwing your racquet around and such. How did you get over that?

MARTINA HINGIS:: You are not very happy if you lose a game, especially like it was 3-All, deuce, you lose it because they make a bad decision. So, I mean, it was very difficult against Arantxa. If you lose a point like this, she never give a point back. Just like if you make a mistake or something. It's just very difficult to a play Arantxa, it's so hot. I just tried to play my best. I'm lucky that I could come back.

Q. It looked as though on the TV camera that you were very close to tears as you went off after that game. Were you very emotional?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, I am very emotional, especially on the court. It was not that I could cry on the court. I was angry, falling tears probably. Normally I got so many warnings this year already, so sometimes I can throw my racquet.

Q. Before you went on the court, did you sense that this was your day, that this was the time for you as a young player to beat one of the top players?

MARTINA HINGIS:: I thought that, I had a great match till this tournament, the other matches. I felt very comfortable this week, on the surface. I beat Arantxa once in an exhibition match in the French. I lost to her in Hilton Head, it was claycourt. She moved very well. It's just very difficult to finish up the point. But I tried my best, just I move a lot better than I did before, so I tried to keep going and don't make mistakes.

Q. A lot of warnings. Did you ever get a penalty point or you stop right there?

MARTINA HINGIS:: No, never penalty points. I stop there (laughter).

Q. It seems you can barely stop smiling. Is this your happiest moment in tennis?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, yes, until I'm going to win, so it is. Especially in a Grand Slam, if you beat Arantxa Sanchez, it's more important to beat somebody in a Grand Slam tournament than if you beat Steffi in Rome.

Q. Your mother is not only your mother, she's your coach, and seems to be your best friend, too?


Q. Can you talk a little bit about your relationship with your mother, why she's so special for you?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, I think it's just that we know each other very well. She's just my mother, I mean (laughter). She's always with me. She travels with me. I mean, she's my coach, best friend, trainer. She does every minute with me. Why should we fight on the court or something if I'm playing well?

Q. What's her reaction when you get angry and fling your racquet?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Her reaction?

Q. Her reaction.

MARTINA HINGIS:: I don't think she's very happy about it.

Q. Do you think Arantxa was on top of her game today?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Louder, please.

Q. Do you think Arantxa was on top of her game today? You got very frustrated. She wasn't able to take advantage of it.

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, she know that -- every player know that I can be frustrated on the court, but I'm still fighting. Sometimes it helps a person; sometimes it's not very good. I think she tried to do her best. I mean, you can ask her later, or if she was here. I think I played very smart game today against her. I didn't make so many mistakes. I just tried to play her forehand or mix it up.

Q. What happened at 5-3 in the third game, you were serving, couldn't finish the game?

MARTINA HINGIS:: In the third? Well, it was -- then we got new balls. If you play Arantxa in the third set, it's very difficult to finish up the point. I play on that side where it was sunny, a lot of wind. She played very good topspin from her forehand, also from the backhand she made a lot of pressure. It was very difficult. I was a little tired to the end. Just trying to make something from the other side because the service game in the women's matches is not always very important, so I just tried to finish it up from the other side.

Q. Can you describe Kournikova's game and compare it with your own? Do you think we're going to look at this as the coming of age of two young players on the Tour?

MARTINA HINGIS:: I think it's great she played first Grand Slam and she's in the fourth round and she can play Steffi Graf now. It's very important for women's tennis. I saw a little of the match how she played against Paulus. It was a great match. I think it's a new generation. I saw her playing in Atlanta, she was there. She didn't play very well. In the last three weeks, she played -- I think she practiced a lot, and her movement is getting very much better. She played a great match.

Q. You use the term "new generation." Obviously you're pleased with your own win. When you see both her and you, you're both so young, there is a sense that you guys are finally coming to a point where can you do some damage?

MARTINA HINGIS:: I think we play much faster. Steffi Graf, she has a great forehand and a slice backhand. It's not very easy to play. We play much smarter from both sides. Forehand, backhand, always the same pressure. Like Iva Majoli, Anke Huber, Chanda Rubin, same game, fast, good serves, good baseliners.

Q. Can you comment on your next match, Habsudova or Novotna?

MARTINA HINGIS:: I'm very happy the way I played today. I hope I will have good chances in the next matches. I played Habsudova four times already and never won a match, so hopefully if she wins, I get another chance. Jana Novotna, she's never easy to play in a Grand Slam tournament. She always came to quarters or semis. It will be, I think, a very good match. Jana Novotna, I beat her once in Hamburg, but it was claycourt. You never know.

Q. Martina, a couple of years ago here, you beat Kournikova zero and zero in about 38 minutes. Do you think that that created a rivalry between you and her, that it made it difficult for you and her to be friends in any way?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, I think she's a year younger than me. Doesn't matter if you beat somebody zero and zero or 3-3. You just won the match, try to do your best in your own tennis. I lost to Mary Pierce 12-0-2 in Toronto. I think I will have good match, chances next game against her, even if I lose 12-O. You just try to do your best. Doesn't matter if you win one or three games.

Q. Are you friendly with her at all?

MARTINA HINGIS:: I congratulate her. She played a great tournament here, so why not?

Q. Martina, when you served at 5-3 and you didn't win the match there, did you feel for an instant that it might have gotten away from you?

MARTINA HINGIS:: No. Because I play very good game the game before, won her service game. I couldn't go away with 5-3. I didn't make something big about it.

Q. Martina, what did you and your mom talk about after this match?

MARTINA HINGIS:: I haven't seen her.

Q. Haven't seen her yet?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Yeah, a little bit. Congratulate me.

Q. Did you have a problem with your upper thigh where the last game of the match?

MARTINA HINGIS:: I almost got cramps a little bit. I just feel a little heavy in my left leg. I quit standing up with my weight. So I feel very good now. I think I have a little stretch before my mixed doubles.

Q. Martina, since you can't go out and drink a beer. What does a 15 year old do to celebrate?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Sometimes I do (laughter). Keeps me happy.

Q. Martina, from this victory onwards, how much you think it will help this victory today to face now the top players in the near future?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, it's very difficult to say, because you never know what happen in the future. I think I beat a lot of top players in the last time, within the last year. I beat Steffi, I beat Iva Majoli, I beat a lot of Top 10 players. You never know. I just had a great tournament here. I beat Arantxa. I hopefully have another good matches. So I'll just try my best and try to beat them again.

Q. When tennis fans sit around and talk about tennis and refer to Martina, would you someday like it to be referring to you instead of Navratilova, or do you think that's already?

MARTINA HINGIS:: I think everyone would like to be like her, to be famous, that the people talk about you, especially in sport. Yeah, I think so (laughter).

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