Martina Hingis 1996 US Open Semifinal Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

USTA 1996 US OPEN at Flushing Meadows, New York on September 7, 1996
Steffi Graf defeated Martina Hingis, 7-5, 6-3

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS:

Q. Congratulations on the tournament. If you make that volley on the first set point, are you going to win the match?


Q. Backhand volley into the net on the first set point.

MARTINA HINGIS:: There was not a set point.

Q. What?

MARTINA HINGIS:: There was a point when she made the game when I was serving, no?

Q. I thought it was a set point. I could be wrong. What was your strategy going into the match?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, just play everything back like I did yesterday that one game and today I tried it, but I was already probably at the end when I had my set points, especially 40-Love. I was a little too tired and I should make probably more pressure on her from the returns already, but she let me move from one side to the other and I had no power anymore for the next one and I was - it was very difficult to play her because I had last two matches were almost the same, just today was little more pressure from one to the other side. Yeah, well, I had my chances, so if you have five set points against Steffi in the semis, so, it is a little, you know, you -- if you look backwards, so, you know, it could be probably one point make it to be in the finals or it could be third set or something.

Q. Was there more pressure from Steffi or from the occasion would you say?

MARTINA HINGIS:: What occasion?

Q. Like the moment you were in the semis of the U.S. Open?

MARTINA HINGIS:: No, Steffi, of course, because she let me move a lot, and probably at that time, it was 40-30 it was a very long point and after that, I was almost dead.

Q. Are you happy to have gotten this far or are you upset that you let it get away, that you didn't go farther?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, if you beat first Sanchez and then you are in the quarters and you are very happy about that already that you are in the quarters and like you want always more and more it is for every people you have you want more and more, of course me too. Especially if you have the chance, so you are a little upset, so.....

Q. Do you think playing both in the doubles and mix doubles took any energy out of you?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Yeah, of course too because it is already the 14th day that I am playing, so, it makes a little bit difference.

Q. Did you think about pulling out of the doubles at any point after you beat Arantxa?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, I wouldn't think at the beginning of the tournament that I can get in all three events to the semis, so, you never know that, so I am going to try to play again all three events.

Q. Do you think next year there will be even more expectations of you because of how you played well this year that you wouldn't play doubles in the Grand Slams as well as the singles?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Right now the doubles helps me a lot and to come more to the net and I will be also next year stronger, so, I can play a lot more matches again.

Q. But maybe just one doubles, maybe just the women's doubles?

MARTINA HINGIS:: I will play another game next year, never know because I had very tough matches against Arantxa and Jana, so probably next time it will be easier or something. (audience laughter). Well, I will have more experience to play against them hopefully and, well, I had the chance against Arantxa to make it easier, especially when it was the bad call, so, hopefully next time, I can get it even better there.

Q. Was your concentration affected at all by the conversations you had with the chair umpire about throwing the racket and taking too much time --

MARTINA HINGIS:: I mean, if you play against Steffi and you have those long balls, sometimes you are almost like on the end of your power and so you have no energy anymore so you have to take a little time. It doesn't matter if you get warning or something. At that time, it doesn't matter.

Q. I mean, when the chair umpire spoke to you about these things, did it affect you mostly on the court? Did it distract you from your game?

MARTINA HINGIS:: No, it is no problem because I am more times throwing my racket; not that I take a long time - about throwing my racket.

Q. What time did you leave here last night? What did you do during the rain delay? Did you want to play last night? Did they talk to you about it?

MARTINA HINGIS:: I'd rather play this morning like it was, but, you know, I won the first game and it was very tough game, so she was, I think a little thinking about how she lost the game and it was - you never know what it would be last night, so, but I was happy that we could play this morning because I thought I am going to be a little stronger, I can sleep already --

Q. How long did they keep you hanging around? What time were you actually told that you were going home?

MARTINA HINGIS:: 8 o'clock. We just waited and eat something and drink something. It was the same -- well, it was even worse than Wimbledon. We had to go three times on and off the court, so no problem in tennis. It happens sometimes.

Q. What do you think you will learn from the experience of today's first set?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, it is not the first time this year that I lost from matchpoints or set points, so -- a lot. Especially if it is 40-Love, so go for it and not just try to play the ball back and wait for the mistake.

Q. Were you tired today? Would you say that you lost it because you were tired?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Yes. Well, not only because of that, but it was a third - very tough match against Steffi and I imagine it was more tough against to play against them, Steffi, she let me run from one to the other side and she made it very good. It was very great tactic for her.

Q. What does your mother think about the racket throwing?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, course she is happy, you know? (audience laughter).

Q. What do you think about Graf's problems and do you ever think about them, how you could react in the same situation with your father in jail and this situation?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, she has such big problems now especially her father and health, but she is still winning, so you never know what she is thinking on the court, but she is always ready for the point and for the match, so I don't know. Sometimes you should think about it. But if you are on the court and you play Steffi, you have to be 100% there and it doesn't matter what happens behind the court.

Q. What is your plan to get physically stronger?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, the same like I did last three weeks. Like I went for boxing training a little and aerobics and running, a lot of sports not on the court and -- but I had a great tournament here. The reward is here. I came all three events to the semis and that is great, but today was just a little bit too much.

Q. Do you do any weight training?

MARTINA HINGIS:: No weight, no.

Q. Did you say boxing?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, yeah, box training, like you practice, not boxing each other, but --

Q. What is box -- shadow boxing, pretending, what is it?


Q. Do you hit something?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Sometimes, but also like push-ups and jump rope.

Q. As boxers would train, you mean?


Q. How would you describe Steffi as a competitor and what is it about her game that you would like most to emulate or copy?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, I think not that much because I have a completely different game than she has, but she is mentally, she is very strong and her -- physically she is very good, but I have a completely other game than she has, so I don't think that I could change something because I had a great tournament here, so why should I change something.

Q. How about the mental aspect and the competitiveness, are there things in there that you think about that you would like to duplicate?

MARTINA HINGIS:: No, I am Martina Hingis. I don't want to duplicate anyone.

Q. Do you think as a result of this format you have moved up a level from a star of the future to a star of the present, that you can compete week in, week out with the Steffis, the Arantxas, the Monicas?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, I did it in this tournament. I beat two of the top 10 players like Arantxa and I don't know that, but I am young I still have time enough to beat them again or lose them. I think now in every tournament there will be more and more players like them and especially if I play like this tournament, so I have to play them many more times, so it doesn't matter if I win the next or I am going to lose them, but it is very difficult for me to beat all three of them in one tournament. It is still very -- that is what I am going to try to do in the next tournaments.

Q. What will you predict in the Graf/Seles final now?

MARTINA HINGIS:: It is the same final like last year. Tried to change it, but it doesn't work (audience laughter). I think it will a great match tomorrow. I don't know -- Monica is probably not that fit like she was last year and motivated, but it is the finals of the Grand Slam, so they will not give any points away what they shouldn't do and I think it will be a great match. But if you lose Steffi, of course, sometimes once if you lose anybody, so he is going to win the tournament, but I mean, it will be a great match.

Q. Will you be watching?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Yeah. Why not?

Q. What were you thinking when you were pounding the back wall there, you went back to the ball; you pounded it?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, I was so tired.

Q. You were just losing time; is that what you were doing?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Yeah -- well......

Q. The start of this year did you have any thoughts about how much and to what extent you wanted to improve your game and how far you wanted to go and now at the end of the Grand Slam year, can you look back on the year as one with more success than you would have expected or what? How would you analyze your year?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, I didn't have a great middle of the year here and I had a very good start when I went to the quarters at the Australian Open and then Tokyo, I was in the semis, but then afterwards it wasn't very easy for me. I played here in Key Biscayne and Hilton Head; didn't -- both tournaments, they weren't very good. I didn't really want to practice and it was really hard time for me. Then I knew I have to -- I am going to practice a little. Then I played Fed Cup. There, I beat Majoli and other four girls in the top hundred and I played very good games there. Then Rome -- no, Hamburg, Rome, Berlin Hamburg I also hit against Mary Pierce like about two set points in the first set 40-15 there too. I had so many matchpoints and set points this year, so it only can be better next year.

Q. You have done so much travel this past year, more than you probably have ever done before. How are you holding up emotionally all the travelling you have done?

MARTINA HINGIS:: Well, I like to travel, especially if you play a tournament like here, so you enjoy to play tennis and I mean, I just try to do it next year better.

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