U.S.Open 31 August 2001
M. HINGIS/I. Majoli 4-6, 6-4, 7-6

MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. You served for it twice, down in the tiebreak. What was going through your head?

MARTINA HINGIS: I mean, I knew she was a little injured and she wasn't really running. You know, I could see that she was very tired, exhausted at the end. I was still trying to do something. But she went for it. She hit a lot of winners. She played a very good match today. She came out firing from the beginning.

Q. You're doing a great job of staying away from your second serve by getting your first serve in. Can you pump up your first serve? Is it part of your blueprint for the future?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think today overall wasn't the greatest day. It was 11:00. I thought I played very good the other two matches. Obviously, when you play a player like Iva, there is a little history from the past. She has nothing to lose against me. Everyone knows she can play. I mean, she did it four years ago, so why not today? She just played a good match.

Q. Do you think it's within your physical power to average 100miles an hour on your serve?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, I know I could. But somehow today I was tentative in all the shots, going for it, the returns. That's where I start off playing better. She just attacked me. I was probably a little surprised the way she played in the beginning, the way she came on the court.

Q. Those two games you did serve for it, do you feel you were tentative or she just stepped up?

MARTINA HINGIS: 5-4, I won the first point. I then I just double-faulted. I mean, that could never happen. It's very unnecessary to give a point away like that. That gave her a little boost again. Well, today's match was just not the best I ever played. Like I say, I won the last point, and I'm very happy about that.

Q. How was it playing with the weather as far as the heat? Report came out yesterday that air quality in New York is actually better than it's been for years. But does that bother you at all?

MARTINA HINGIS: I love the weather. You know, partly living in Florida, so that's what I'm used to. The way I felt out there, the hotter, the better for me. She was more the one -- I felt like physically I was better than her. If I could stay longer in there, make her play, make her run, that would be better for me. She would just slow down, you know, a little bit, give me some more chances. I think at the end what happened the last two points, she was just out.

Q. Was the level she showed today something similar to what she showed in '97?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah. I mean, but everybody has improved since then. She stepped it up since then. She had a little low after that. It's good to see her back, with all the injuries she's had, playing like this. I think she could definitely have some better results.

Q. That first game of the last set was so long and draining. You got up 3-Love in the last set. Could you sense she was getting fatigued?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah. But with her, then she goes for winners, when there's impossible situations sometimes. There's not much you can do about that but keep it quick and long. That's what I tried. It didn't work all the time. I mean, she definitely hit some unbelievable shots with the backhand down the line. I mean, the first game already, I was like, "Whoa, where did that come from?" She can play like that.

Q. 2-4 in the third set, there was a wonderful point at deuce.

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, could have gone up 5-2.

Q. You gave each other a little smile.

MARTINA HINGIS: It was an impossible shot at that time. It wasn't such a bad return. She was against the wind. It was a high one. I knew I could get there. It was like so close behind the net. I just didn't know what to do with it. I was there, but just hard to play. Then the next time I made it in the tiebreaker. That was a good point. It was probably the turnaround, yeah.

Q. That was the seventh point. MARTINA HINGIS: Down 4-2. Q. She pulled a Hingis, dropshot and lob. You went after it. Did you know where you were hitting the ball?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, I could see her. I mean, if I wouldn't do that, I think I would put the racquet somewhere and just not pick it up ever again. No, you sense that. I could see her coming in. I knew she was at the net. I had both sides open.

Q. When you first started not being able to win Slams, you started talking about plugging away at it, trying harder. Recently you've been talking about trying to change your game a little bit. Have you been able to do that? What things are you doing in practice, and why hasn't it shown up on the court?

MARTINA HINGIS: Pretty much the opposite from what I've shown today. I think it's hard when you practice and do something for quite a while, to put it in the match. I mean, you can do it against lower-ranked players sometimes. But still, to put it in the match. I mean, I had some great matches. Against the top players, it's going to be hard. But that's the way I have to do it, be more aggressive, step it up whenever I can.

Q. Playing Venus and Davenport particularly, who really like to tee off on your second serve, if you try to raise the speed, the pace of your first serve, you're probably going to have a lower percentage. Would you rather stay at around 80 miles an hour and get that first serve in?

MARTINA HINGIS: No. I definitely have to do something about that. I mean, like the other match, I served very well against Lina. You know, I could always serve the same thing and she would always miss it. That's easier. When Iva makes winners, it's more pressure. No, I mean, I have to consider even making double-faults, but going for it more. You're right.

Q. What do you think is the main reason why you're not as dominant as you used to be?

MARTINA HINGIS: That was '97. Since then, many things have changed, if you've been on the tour. There are more players who know how to play the game. Everyone's working hard. It's just harder to maintain and play match after match against those top players.

Q. Is there anything special in your game that's lacking from some years ago?

MARTINA HINGIS: No. I think I also got better. But when somebody can go for it and hits aces, I'm not going to hit aces, or very seldom. When someone is tall and big, you can definitely hit winners. I definitely have to work on the quickness and the speed. That's what I have to do.

Q. Do you feel she stole something from you? You didn't know at the time, but you would have had a Grand Slam if you won in Paris.

MARTINA HINGIS: I always say, there was my thing, before I just had surgery. Five weeks after that, being in a Grand Slam finals, it was amazing. I could have lost there in the second round when I think of it. Every time I see Gloria Pizzichini in the locker room, I'm like, "She had me in the second round." Then I made the finals. I went on and won Wimbledon and the US Open. That was definitely a great year.

Q. After the match, you and Iva talked. Can you tell us what you said at the end?

MARTINA HINGIS: She just told me, "Good luck into the next matches." We didn't really talk.

Q. Are you still as good friends as you were back then? MARTINA HINGIS: We haven't really had the same schedule that much. I think she was more in Europe, I was more in the States. I was with Anna more or with other players. Yeah, I see her, say, "Hi, how are you doing?"

Q. Is it scary to come into the net when the match is close? Is it harder to get yourself to do that?


Q. Yes.

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, yeah. The dropshots, that was the only way how I would come in probably today. You know, I was always on the defensive side, so whenever I tried to come in, I miss-hit it or something, then I got even more a little bit backed up.

Q. Were you satisfied with your conditioning today?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I was happy that I lasted longer than her, yeah (laughter). No, I felt like I had always more to give. She looked like she's not going to run, but she still made unbelievable shots. That's the way she plays. That's the way she is. Yeah, in a way I always felt like I had more to give, but definitely the cold doesn't help you. I felt better as the match went on. I at least had some kind of chance. The first set, I didn't feel like I was in control.

Q. Do you feel like you have enough energy left for the rest of the tournament?

MARTINA HINGIS: It can't get worse. Being two points away from losing, can't get much worse.

Q. Have you felt at a disadvantage for this tournament, the foot injury, not preparing as well as you would have liked?

MARTINA HINGIS: I played plenty of matches coming into this. That's not about lacking of practice. Now I just have to play my game, definitely play better the next match, if I want to stay in the tournament.

Q. Any thought of pulling out of doubles?

MARTINA HINGIS: No, not at all, no. Just have massage, get something to eat, go out there. Jennifer is a great partner. I think we also have a pretty good draw this round today. Also with her I feel very comfortable playing.

Q. What did you make of the time violation? Did you think she was warranted to get another one?

MARTINA HINGIS: She was just taking so much time. Even like in the tiebreaker, the games before, she was just always with the towel.

Q. Did that bother you at all?

MARTINA HINGIS: Didn't bother me. It was like, "Come on, play." Players do that. That showed me, you know, that she needed time. I could play and make her run. She would get even more tired, like having been injured. At the end, it paid off.

Q. After all these years, you've been on the tour so long now, seems incredible at your age, how have your coaching needs changed over the years? How much more is there that mom can impart to you?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think she has plenty of people always telling her they'd like to coach me, or also myself. I mean, at this point it's only her and myself that can help me. I mean, she tells me a lot of things. Also other people tell her what I'm supposed to do. At the end, it's me being on the court and I have to do it. Sometimes to have the motivation day after day, the discipline to keep that, it's not the easiest thing in the world. If you want to be out there, the people are there, the crowd, that gets you going. Motivation is always there if you want to be successful.



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