Martina Hingis 2000 Wimbledon Quarterfinal Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

2000 The Championships at Wimbledon, England, on Tuesday, July 4, 2000
Venus Williams defeated Martina Hingis, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS

Q. What went wrong?

MARTINA HINGIS: What went wrong? Well, she just played a good match, I guess. I don't think anything went wrong, just she was a little better at the end.

Q. Is there anything you can regret in this match?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, there are a few probably opportunities I had and didn't take them. For example, the first set, 3-All, I had an advantage. Missed a return. But, I mean, at that time you don't think it's so important. Against them, you know, every point is important. It was too bad. I was close. Well, close. It was a tight match. She was better today.

Q. What made this one different from what happened at the US Open? How was the result different in the way that you guys played today?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I mean, they have a little advantage here, especially with their serves. I mean, even I was returning well, also in the third set, it was not a question of the serve because we broke each other most of the time, especially in the beginning. But, you know, she was probably a little bit more hungry. Well, we both wanted to win very much. It's just, you know, she was just a tiny bit better today, you know.

Q. The way she played in the first set, the way she came on at the end, was that the best you've seen her play against you?

MARTINA HINGIS: We always had great matches playing each other. I mean, sometimes I won, sometimes she did. Especially when it was important, you know, at the Grand Slams, I was able to pull it out. But today, I mean, she came out strong. She didn't play for a long time now almost. She had a long break, played like three, four tournaments. You know, she's full of energy. Probably when you play like steady all year through, it's just a little bit more tiring. But I felt good going on court today. You know, she played very well.

Q. Who do you like between the two of them in the next match? Who do you think will win?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, that's a family matter. I don't know. You have to ask them. I don't know.

Q. As tennis players, who do you think is stronger at this point?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think Serena is a little bit more, you know. Her serve, she can focus a little bit more on her serve. I mean, Venus so far was able to, you know, have the edge over her a little bit. I don't know. Make up who was supposed to be in the finals? I don't know that. Probably Venus will be also a little bit tired, hopefully, at least something.

Q. If you think of the three players you lost to in the Slams this year, they all hit the ball harder than you. Does that worry you a little, that you might be losing the ability to keep with their pace?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, it's a little bit disappointing. Just losing to Lindsay -- I was able to beat her in Key Biscayne, which was a surface -- the windy conditions was very good for me at that time. You know, losing to her, losing to Mary at the French, I don't think that should have happened. I had a big chance to win the French Open this year, and I didn't take it. Playing Mary there, you know, she's very tough. But still I beat her the previous like seven times. Just shouldn't have happened. Against Venus today, she was good. I mean, I don't regret anything losing to her today. Against Mary, maybe that one, it shouldn't have been.

Q. How much is your second serve hurting you now? She hit a lot of outright winners or put you in trouble anytime you had to put a second in.

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I was trying to, you know, put the good first serve in. Against the other players I had to play so far, it was just not such a big matter. I mean, my first serve was good enough against them to just off-balance them. But against Venus, just every time we got into a rally, I was supposed to win the point. She just probably got a little bit more, you know, advantage with that. She got free points off her serve. You never knew is she going to ace you or whatever's going to happen. I was just more steady. I put maybe more first serves in, but not good enough. Especially at the end, in the third set, I was just not serving very well because it took a lot of energy out of me. That was the reason why I thought, you know, just put a first serve in, it's going to be enough - but not enough Venus today.

Q. Did her strength in the rallies surprise you? You seemed to be pushing her wide on her backhand. She was hitting some from almost improbable angles. Does that surprise you?

MARTINA HINGIS: Doesn't surprise me. She's got a better backhand than forehand. Everybody knows that. She has a lot of reach, especially on her backhand. She gets to certain shots which other players don't get anymore, just kind of swinging back. You have the chance to outhit them. Against Venus, I just have to rally the forehand a little bit more, which I don't think I'm the best at. Today it was working sometimes. Against players like her, who hit hard, I just have to mix it up a lot. It's just sometimes maybe I regret I didn't come in a little bit more, but I didn't have that many opportunities to come in because she was always trying to take control of the rallies and be aggressive.

Q. If you had to give one piece of advice to Venus' next opponent in the next round, what would that be?

MARTINA HINGIS: I don't want to do that.

Q. Do you have superstitions before a match, things you do before a match or things that you don't do?

MARTINA HINGIS: This time I went to the same restaurant all the time. I had almost like the same meal, three times the same meal. Otherwise, yeah, you maybe take the same shower, the same bathroom. That's like always the same.

Q. You say it's a family matter. Do you suspect that it's really not pure competition between these two still, but dad decides who wins these matches?

MARTINA HINGIS: I don't know about that. As I say, it's up to them. Whoever is better, I guess.

Q. After five breaks to start the last set, she was serving for the set. She went to the side and took a drink, got a time warning. Did that bother you?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, no, not at all. She was serving well that game. It was almost a perfect game. I still felt like I had a chance, but she played well that one. You would think maybe in the past that she would get a little tight on her serve. She didn't double-fault as much as she used to, especially at the US Open, she would get cramps also earlier in the match. Today we both felt like that. The left leg maybe a little bit was kind of getting tight. But still when we rallied, it didn't bother you that much. You just go with the momentum. Today definitely I didn't have that many chances to be aggressive on her second serve.

Q. Do you think there are players in the locker room who think maybe the matches between Venus and Serena are decided beforehand, who's going to win?

MARTINA HINGIS: I don't think that's important what the players think in the locker room. I mean, it's the semifinals. I try to get only one into the semifinals, but didn't. It worked out last time, but not this time. Hopefully I'll get more chances.

Q. Are you as fit as you'd like to be at this stage?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I felt like I did everything I could, yeah. But I think it takes a little bit more time to kind of get in certain shape. I was working on it in the last year. But I still have the feeling I can get better, just might help my game a little bit. If I have that little, you know, one more step, I might beat them again.

Q. Don't you think that in some rallies when she was not too aggressive, your shots were a little bit too short?

MARTINA HINGIS: You want to go out there and try it yourself? If someone pressures you all the time, then all of a sudden you get a chance, you try to be aggressive, so you might overhit the shots as I did a few times - so did she. She had sometimes easy shots, and she overhit it because I was going for that corner. She felt like pressured. But so did I. You know, she always gets to that one extra shot, and you have to play like close to the lines. Maybe that was also part of the game I have to improve, to finish off the points when I have the chance.

Q. A few years ago you were virtually unbeatable. The fact that you're losing a few now, is it because the others are playing better or has your play changed any?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think I improved a lot in the last three years. Used to be enough just with my abilities I had at that time, which was that I had good hands, I was quick, because you have kind of a childish body, you play a fast game. It has changed so much since the Williamses started playing better. I mean, they used to be out there, they're my age, but they just didn't play as steady, as consistent. The same as with Monica and Lindsay; they improved their level also. Now it's like anybody of us could be a winner at the Grand Slam.

Q. Are you surprised now that you haven't won a Grand Slam title since Australia '99? It's been pretty long.

MARTINA HINGIS: I guess as the No. 1, you're supposed to win a Grand Slam. But someone else deserves probably to be No. 1. But overall I was, I guess, the most consistent player. You have Lindsay, who won the Australian Open. She won Wimbledon last year. But then she lost like first rounds at the French, or the Williamses haven't played as many Grand Slams. Venus didn't play Australia at all. The same with Serena. She didn't play Wimbledon. I played and went on and on and on. Well, there is one more, US Open.

Q. Are you saying you don't feel like the No. 1 anymore?

MARTINA HINGIS: I do in a way, but definitely it would be nice to do better at the Grand Slam, to just win a Grand Slam. I was able to win Key Biscayne, which I think is like the five biggest event. But still a Grand Slam would be nice.

Q. For a number of years, a number of people, notably the Williams' father, are saying they're the future of tennis. Has the future arrived?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, definitely, I mean, it's been that way. Whoever is the best at that time, that is the future. It used to be like someone else, you know , the younger generation also brings something new into tennis, whether it was Dokic, Dementieva, like the Williams two or three years ago, being with me at the same time. Now we just improved a lot in the last three years.

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