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October 24, 2015

Martina Hingis

Sania Mirza

Singapore, Singapore

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Martina, can you talk about how different this second career is for you from the first career. Is it more enjoyable? Less stress?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, no, it's much more relaxed obviously because the practice hours are not as intense. I mean, they're very intense with Sania, but we play like one and a half, two hours a day. We do some gym. The rest of the day is little bit more chilled. You can enjoy the sights.
I've never been to Singapore, for example, before. Like a little stroll in the gardens, just visit the city. There's many more things that I have time to do now.
When you practice for singles, it's so much more stressful. You have to relax more also. So I'm enjoying it in a different way. I'm also 35 now, so I think you take a lot more credit for what you're able to do and enjoy the moment, live in the moment.
Especially when we were able to win Wimbledon this year, I mean, you could see the joy on the court already that we had to win the title. That was definitely more of a relief and joy at the same time.

Q. Both of you, you played Lucie and Bethanie I think twice this year. They've won two slams. You've won two slams. It would be nice if you played each other here. You know them both very well. Talk about them overall.
SANIA MIRZA: Well, for me, I used to play with Bethanie, but she's also one of my best friends on and off the court. She's a great player. Lucie is a great player. She's had an amazing year to qualify for both singles and doubles.
For us, every time we go on the court, we've won a lot over the last few months obviously. They've been a little injured, as well.
Yeah, I mean, I think it's a great competition against them because they have won the other two slams, and we won the next two. I think at one point before Lucie got injured, we were probably the two best teams of the world on paper and just the way we were playing, as well.
Yeah, it would be great to play them in the final, hopefully if we make the final, to play them there. I think having won two each this year, we kind of have earned that spot to be here, as well. But it would be great to play them in the final.
We've not played them on any other surface except clay, which is not our best. So, yeah, we're looking forward to indoor hard.
But I think every team is so tough here, it doesn't really matter how anyone's been playing. The scoring format is a bit different, as well. We just have to take one match at a time and worry about that later.

Q. There were two players in the singles field who have also qualified in the doubles, Lucie and Garbine. Do you think there's a chance girls can start playing both singles and doubles regularly again? How would that impact the doubles game?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think you kind of missed that the singles players have been playing a lot of doubles, just maybe not as successfully as they are doing in the singles, so that's the thing. We've had great players play both in the past, whether it was myself, the Williams sisters, Lindsay Davenport, Kim Clijsters. We were all No.1's in both singles and doubles. Now lately it's been probably a little more different because they've been focusing more on singles only.
I think also the other reason is because it's not only the physical impact being too much, but they've been not very successful in the doubles. It's a little bit different event, you have to play differently, have to train for that, as well. You can't think just because you play singles you come into doubles and win that title as well. It doesn't fall from heaven, like everything else.
I think you see a little bit more specialized in doubles, the teams that are here. Yeah, only two singles players are playing, and the rest are more or less also doubles players, but most of them do play singles, as well.
It's a mixed group of players. I think it's going to be a great event.
SANIA MIRZA: Sorry, I just want to add, if you're going to ask the teams that have qualified, whether it's the ones that haven't qualified for the singles, whether it's Bethanie or Carla, I don't think they're going to count themselves as doubles players. I think if you ask them what they play, they'll say they're singles players.
I think it's a bit of a myth in women's doubles that people don't play. We played finals in Shvedova and Dellacqua who are singles players, we played Wimbledon against Makarova and Vesnina.
It's really like Martina said, it's not so much about whether the singles players are playing doubles, it's how they're playing doubles. They're not getting to the semis and the finals and the quarters, to this event.
I think it's a bit of a myth that singles players don't play doubles. We used to play singles obviously, and we stopped. But everybody plays singles and doubles in women's tennis.
MARTINA HINGIS: You see like Kvitova and Halep have tried to play some doubles events. Of course it's probably not their priority, but they haven't passed the second or third round of an event, a doubles event, so...

Q. Martina, I'm wondering, I recall Chris Evert saying back in the summer that the problem with women's tennis at the moment is that Serena is just too good for the rest of them. I wondered your take on the competition in the singles here with no Serena. Do you think it makes for a more level competition?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, definitely. I mean, you've seen until the last week, there were still three, four options that players could have qualified. So like they said yesterday in the press, during the draw, that it's never been as tight. Even three or four weeks before the Chinese swing, there were 27 players who could have qualified for it. I don't think it's ever been this open. I think that's what we can expect from this event, as well.
I mean, there's definitely players like Muguruza, I like a lot lately the way she played. She probably has an edge right now. But can she pull through it? Can she win an event like this? That's another question. Is she mature enough? I think so.
But you never know if someone like Sharapova, who hasn't played much in the last three months, playing here, she's done well obviously in the past. And Halep made finals last year. So I think these are the two, three favorites to me who can do well. Also Kvitova on a given day, she's very dangerous.

Q. I know it's been an incredible year for you and your husband. Obviously you No.1 in the world, two majors, and he's suddenly back in the Pakistan test team, scoring double hundreds. Do you inspire each other? How difficult is it for the two of you, given the fact you're both competing full‑time at very different sports?
SANIA MIRZA: Well, I mean, the biggest difference for us is that he plays a team sport, which has 11 people. I always say, You can blame each other all the time (laughter).
MARTINA HINGIS: You're so nice (laughter).
SANIA MIRZA: But it's tough for me to blame her. No, I'm just kidding (laughter).
No, I think it's great. Obviously we try and push each other. But it's great that he's doing so well. He came back in the test team after five years. To make a double century, it was incredible at any time, but at the time he did.
We try to push each other a little bit. Yeah, it's tough to have two athletes playing at the highest level in their sports, competing. We're playing in very emotionally charged sports all the time. Our professions are very emotionally charged.
We have some disagreements which were emotionally charged, as well (laughter). But, no, I'm so happy for him, that he's doing well. Yeah, it's been a great year for our family.

Q. Both of you obviously have played singles for a long time. There's a lot of players now who aren't healthy. Would you do something throughout the year so they would never be healthy?
SANIA MIRZA: They're unhealthy? What did you say?

Q. There's a lot of singles players that are healthy. Would you change anything for all of them?
MARTINA HINGIS: I think it's been an issue for the last 40 years, since the WTA has been founded. You have a long schedule. You try to shorten it. Now it's a short schedule. I think it's pushed too much now in China to play three, four events in a row there, just after the US Open. I think this is a little bit of a tight one.
Now you have two more leagues in India, IPTL, and everyone is playing anyway. Most of the top players are trying to play there. So I think it's an issue.
You have to choose the best schedule for yourself. I mean, I always played between 20, 22 events a year, which was great for me. I think every single person has to know what their best schedule is for them.
You learn by mistakes. I think once you're on the tour between three and five years, if you haven't found out then, you're probably doing something wrong.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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