Martina Hingis 2000 Ericsson Open 3rd-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

2000 Ericsson Open (Tennis Masters Series) at Miami, Florida, on Sunday, March 26, 2000
Martina Hingis defeated Anne-Gaelle Sidot, 6-0, 6-3

An Interview With MARTINA HINGIS

Q. Yesterday Lindsay talked about how tough it is when she is No. 1 because you put so much pressure on her from the No. 2 spot. Does that change at all for you if you're No. 1 or No. 2 as far as how you approach things?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think I approach things much more serious in the last half year or ever since I moved to America, kind of to the resort there at Saddle Brook. Actually after Wimbledon, when I wasn't No. 1, I was really excited to play again because I knew somebody out there who I had to beat and kind of hunt for. If I would lose the No. 1 sooner or later, it's always kind of that little thing which pushes you and motivates you definitely. I think I've played very well. I improved a lot over the last half year especially. Lindsay, too. I mean, she's a very strong player right now.

Q. We hear a lot about Anna Kournikova and her off-court things, all sorts of stories swirling around her. Can you talk a bit about her tennis, what's strong about her game?

MARTINA HINGIS: I don't know. Well, I think right now definitely she has to focus on her game and tennis because it hasn't -- well, she actually got to the Top 10. She's been playing kind of solid tennis. She was able not to lose against like lower-ranked players too much, especially this year, she got three times to the semifinals already. You know, I played her in Tokyo. There I had kind of an easy game against her because I just thought there was too much going on for her. There's no way she can beat me if she kind of doesn't focus on her tennis game. I kind of over-rolled her there. Against other players, I guess it's good enough most of the time. She's got an all-around game. Pretty much everything, she can do. You never know what's going to happen a little bit. She's got very flat, deep groundstrokes, if she gets in. Against the top players, she gets like two, three of them in. Against the lower-ranked players, it's enough, but not against the top. That's why she's, you know, there where she is.

Q. You think some of the distractions around her might be holding her back a little bit?

MARTINA HINGIS: She's always been like that. I guess it helps her game also. She's happy that way, she looks right now. You don't know what's going behind the scenes. If she's happy that way, you know, good for her. I'm happy for her, you know. I had a great year playing doubles with her last year. She's a fun girl. She's always, you know, hyper, very energetic, always got things on her mind. I had a great year, one of my best years, with her. Off the tennis, that's not my business what she's doing, you know. On court, we're a great team. We had a great partnership. That's why we were able to win all those tournaments. That worked out well. She's got respect for me. We practice together. That's why we won. We had a good relationship. But off court, it wasn't my problem. It didn't matter to me, as long as it worked on court.

Q. How did you play today?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, you saw the game. That's how I played today.

Q. How comfortable do you feel with Mary in doubles this year? Do you feel that's a good match for you there?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah. I think we play very well. I mean, she hits the ball very hard. I mean, it's kind of similar as playing with Anna. She's got great returns, good serve, comes in, improved her volleys a lot. She's very confident, too. We've been playing well, Tokyo, made finals of the Australian Open, made two times semis. It's like a basically doubles partnership. We also practice together. It's the same. I mean, you have to practice together and kind of work and talk about it, talk about the strategy. If you stop doing that, you're not going to get anywhere. With Mary, we had so much fun so far. I'm really lucky kind of being able to play with her. She's got the power; I've got the strategy, the technician. I think it's a very good match.

Q. Is doubles as important to you now as it was, say, when you first started out? Do you use it more now to fine-tune things and have fun or is it still as important as it's always been?

MARTINA HINGIS: It's never been as important as my singles. When I'm on court, I always want to win. I couldn't imagine just go on court and tank the doubles match. There's no way. You know, I also had very solid partners so far. I started off with Gigi, winning the first tournament. Since ever I had great partners to, you know, rely on. I knew I had the chance to win most of the tournaments. That's the greatest feeling to have, that you have the chance to win a big tournament. That's what I couldn't be without. I think I had a hard time playing with somebody I know it's not possible.

Q. You've had how many doubles partners, four or five?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yes, I don't know. Also if somebody is not around, you play with somebody else. But I try, you know, keep playing with the same partner as long as I can. It's not as important as the singles, so you don't want to play three tournaments and play singles and doubles all the time. That's why I'm not playing here. It would be too much. You'd get a little bit tired. You have to relax and try to just relax any minute you've got.

Q. Concerning the match today, the second set we could see some good rallies. What do you think about Sidot's game when she's not making a mistake?

MARTINA HINGIS: She played very well in the beginning, but I was always just a step faster, like one point ahead. That's what made the difference in the first set. That's why I over-rolled her. Then I was up 4-1. I was like, "Hopefully it's going to be over soon." She then served a good game. I was up 4-1, 30-Love. It was very even, some great rallies at the end. I was like, "Okay, I don't want to get a three-setter or make it too long." I've been playing well, I just kind of lost the focus. It's always like that. When you're up too much, the girls have nothing to lose anymore. They start playing better, just hitting whether it's in or not.

Q. What do you think of her game, the way she hitting the ball, the forehand particularly?

MARTINA HINGIS: She's a lefty, so the serve, when it's in. She just didn't put too many first serves in today. Might be because she was nervous or something. I know when I played Steffi or somebody, you know, at the top when I was younger, it's never easy. You want to do too well. That's what still needs to be improved on. Maybe she's got a little weaker side on the backhand. The forehand, when she runs around, she's got both shots, especially the angle out wide.

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