Finals - (Singles Winner - Martina Hingis )
TORAY Pan Pacific Open 3 February 2002
Martina Hingis defeated Monica Seles 7-6, 4-6, 6-3
Q: Monica was saying that she felt a little bit tight in the tiebreak in the first set, did you feel that or did you decide to just go for it at this stage?
MARTINA HINGIS: There is not much you can do about
being down five-one, so you just try to hang in there and maybe take a rest.
Also, I was trying to step it up, but also staying in control of the points.
This is really difficult. It is pretty much like a lottery thing here on this
surface. That one time when she was up six-four and I hit a second serve, that
backhand was fine that I remember. Other than that, I think it was a great match.
Sometimes, of course, I could have served better. It was definitely important
for me to win the first set.
Q: You seem to see the ball very well when you are playing, far better than
your opponents do. So often in today?s match you seemed to hit the ball where
she wasn?t. Do you feel you have that advantage when you are playing?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, Monica is very good at that
too. Her anticipation is great. Otherwise, her movement, her footwork is not
the best in the world, but she still gets there and has great wristwork, which
only a few players do have. She can still hit unbelievable angles when she is
on the run and still hits winners. But this time, because I have only had a
few matches so far, this just comes with experience, anticipation, match play,
and confidence. I was already sometimes waiting there, where she hit the ball,
but she is pretty good at it too, so you should give her credit too.
Q: Coming off such a tough loss in Australia, was it hard for you to get motivated
for something like this tournament and does actually winning it take some of
the sting out of that loss in Australia?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yes, it is nice. I have worked
pretty hard after I had the surgery. It is nice to finish off here at least
with a victory here and hopefully in the next tournament in the United States
I will continue the winning streak. But, it is definitely great for me to finish
it off with this. It is a little like the chocolate sauce on top of the vanilla
ice cream by finishing like this.
Q: Today you had a match against a very hard hitter on a very fast surface,
so what was your strategy going into today?s match?
MARTINA HINGIS: Like I said on the court, it is
just a matter of getting the ball back. That is all you can do at that point.
It is going so fast, so sometimes you hope that when you are on the run, to
get the right direction. Sometimes it is like a shooting, like boom, boom, boom,
and before you are even able to react to the shots, you just don?t know really
where to play. I think it was important in the first set to hold serve and then
definitely that was the key to stay in the match. No matter what, stay positive.
Similar to last years finals against Lindsey, who even has a better serve, this
time I was able to also win again in the third set, to turn it around again
after I had lost the second set. I think that was the difference today, because
I had beat her in Australia and also today.
Q: So you already got two titles under your belt so early in the season, what
are your expectations and confidence towards Roland Garros?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, the expectations are definitely
high. Like I said before, with this trip I didn?t know what to expect, because
I can?t set any goals for myself until I know how I am going to finish off these
tournaments. But now definitely I can set that goals very high, because I won
two and the other one, I just wasn?t ready at that point. But now I think the
confidence level is much greater than I could think of. And now I just hope
to continue to work hard, and things will continue to go well.
Q: To keep your interest in tennis always fresh and alive, you seem to have
diverse interests outside of tennis, like boxing. Are you doing anything else
MARTINA HINGIS: Boxing no more, I don?t want to
get hit by Tyson or someone like that. It?s dangerous. I can?t wait to go back
home and maybe go roller-blading and then in the States, maybe some golf. I
am just going to relax for awhile. Rest, I have three weeks off before I play
the next tournament in Scottsdale, and then Indian Wells. So, it is nice to
do nothing for maybe a couple or three days. I don?t think that I can sit still
for longer than that. I always try to be active one way, maybe horseback riding,
just enjoy the things now. Even go play tennis, but just for fun.
Q: Going back again to last years injury, obviously you had to take some time
off, and even prior to that it had been awhile since you have won a Grand Slam
title, and of course, all the strong players all around you. Were you fretting
to get back into the game and how do you think it has affected your game?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, it is not a matter of winning
a Grand Slam. I haven?t won a tournament, so that was the first step to take.
Just coming back and winning Sydney, it felt great, and then continued in Melbourne.
It felt like I had almost already had that tournament too, but hopefully the
next one will be mine. Definitely, you always have doubts, but it is not a matter
if you are winning or losing, sometimes you just ask yourself if you are still
good enough for the game and everything. I was just working really hard and
very disciplined and now I hope I don?t lose it now. Like you said, the motivation
and everything. But I think now because I did so well and everything has paid
off and success comes with everything. Now it is easier to continue the game,
because I believe in it.