2000 The Championships at Wimbledon, England, on Monday, June 26, 2000
Martina Hingis defeated Angeles Montolio, 6-1, 6-2
An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS
Q. How does it feel to be back on English grass and on No. 1?
MARTINA HINGIS: Very good. Very nice. I played a good first round. That's pretty much the way you want it. I felt, you know, very good. Nobody has played on that court before. It's very soft, like a carpet.
Q. How well prepared do you feel this year?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, definitely better than last year. Coming into this tournament with a victory, played a few matches in Rosmalen where I won, with a little bit more confidence also, I think.
Q. A lot of players have trouble adjusting to grass, adjusting to the club, adjusting to the attitude. You seem to, right from the first day here, despite the fact that you didn't grow up playing on grass, are comfortable. How important is attitude in winning here?
MARTINA HINGIS: You know, for me it doesn't really matter anymore where I am, what I'm playing on, what surface. I have to go out there and try to do your best. That's what is more important. I try to be always positive. I mean, for me it worked out well now, and in the past, especially in this season. I'm just looking forward to every match I can go out here. I have nothing to lose.
Q. How much was last year a factor?
MARTINA HINGIS: A little bit when I walked on the court, then I started warming up, it felt like, "Whoa, this is so different from the other courts when you practise." I think Angeles is not the type of player that can be very dangerous to me. I played her one time before. Jana told me in the locker room, I didn't even know about it in anymore. I saw her in the locker. She said, "Yeah, I'm doing the BBC, I'm commentating your match." I felt very positive going into the match.
Q. The match pretty much was in your corner, yet she gave you a little bit of a hard time in that last game.
MARTINA HINGIS: I just couldn't finish it off. She played so well on those match points. Maybe I didn't serve as great, but we always got into a rally almost. She always came up with an amazing winner. I was like, "Okay, not much I can do about that." As long as I always won the deuce points, I was fine.
Q. How long did it take you to get over last year's results here?
MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, not too long I think. I lost No. 1 here. A few weeks later, I won the tournament in San Diego. I kept going the right direction. I came back together with my mother and Mario, which was very important to me. I think I learned a nice lesson here at this tournament which I think in a way also was positive. If I had won maybe the match, made it to the semifinals, I think it's right, but it wasn't.
Q. What was the lesson you learned?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think losing in the first round as the No. 1 is quite enough.
Q. How do you like the draw? The Williams sisters are in your half of the draw? Will you go to church to light some candles again?
MARTINA HINGIS: That was at the French, not here. I just take it round by round and see what happens in the next rounds. Just the same for them, I guess. If we meet in the quarters or whatever, that will be great. You always want to play the best ones.
Q. How do you feel security-wise here after the problems in America a couple months ago with this man being arrested? Do you feel safe here?
MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, yes. I mean, so far I didn't really have any problems. I've been walking around town. Of course, people recognize me, but that's pretty much the same everywhere. When I'm practicing or when I'm playing, when I'm on the grounds, I feel very safe. Good security here. Plus they have the tunnels here, so you can go without being bothered. I love the stadium.
Q. You don't feel like you're looking over your shoulder?
MARTINA HINGIS: No. It's the same wherever you are. You always watch out a little bit. That's everybody's position. Especially being a girl, you always have to watch out.
Q. How do you feel differently being a past champion here? How would you say you're treated differently?
MARTINA HINGIS: It just feels great always having this little member badge already with you. In the mail, you come already here, or the parking. It's very conservative, very traditional here. It's just a new stadium and everything, it's so much better for all the players. You have a little gym. You can warm up. It's very high comfort, high standard of stadium.
Q. What does the member's badge do for you?
MARTINA HINGIS: A better parking lot (laughter). But it's nice. You get like two tickets every year till you die.
Q. Two tickets for every day?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yes, I think.
Q. There's a gym on the site?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yes.
Q. In this building?
MARTINA HINGIS: It's on the bottom floor.
Q. Some of the players have spoken out about the treatment they get at Wimbledon, it maybe isn't as good as it is at some of the other events. Any comments at all? Do you have enough practise time?
MARTINA HINGIS: That was one of the reasons why I played in Rosmalen. I was there until the last moment. I came here. Saturday I had this clinic for WHO, Match Point Against Polio. For me it doesn't really matter the type of surface, particularly me for Wimbledon grass, I think it's a lot mental for me. I got to practise -- nobody gets to practise on Centre Court or Court 1. It's the same for everyone. Maybe that's another point of being a member, you get to play a little bit on these courts. But I haven't hit any actually on those courts. I was just as anybody else so far. For me, the treatment, I like it very much here. I have nothing against it.
Q. Things have not always been easy in the last 18 months or year. Do you have any feelings that the worst phase of your career might be behind you?
MARTINA HINGIS: I think that was just part of last year. I think more or less I've shown with my results, hopefully also with my attitude, that I really enjoy what I'm doing. I think I'm in much better shape than I was last year or two years ago. Just sometimes you have to -- you're searching for something. You have to find your line. You have your own ideas, your own mind. Sometimes you have to experience things. People go to school and do worse things than what I did last year.
Q. What do you feel is the most important quality to winning here? What is the secret to the players who feel comfortable and win here, and those who don't?
MARTINA HINGIS: I think that's the attitude, you just have to play your game. I don't want to tell any more secrets. That's my thing.
Q. What do you want to do more, keep the No. 1 ranking or to win a Grand Slam title?
MARTINA HINGIS: Both will be great. Definitely if you want to stay No. 1, you almost have to win a Grand Slam. If it's here, it will be very nice. If it's going to be US Open, I just would like to win one of these, yes, or both.
Q. What about the crowd? It was quite a quiet crowd through that match. Do you wish they would get a bit more involved in the game?
MARTINA HINGIS: I think it was a very good crowd for me. I mean, I was winning quite easily. I don't know.
Q. Didn't seem as if there was much noise. You were winning quite easily.
MARTINA HINGIS: I think the last game got quite exciting. I was happy to keep it that way, to have an easy round, first round. I got to play on Court 1. I think I played a good match.
Q. Do you prefer that quiet attitude or do you prefer having a stadium going crazy?
MARTINA HINGIS: I think when it gets tight, automatically the crowd gets for one or the other player. When it's a great point, a great rally, they clap or get excited. Didn't think anything was like bad or good. I liked it today, I played a good match.
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