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October 28, 2019

Martina Hingis

Shenzhen, China

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you feel about the whole tournament so far, especially the opening ceremony?
MARTINA HINGIS: I really enjoy being here. A big thank you for the invitation that I've been here. I've never been to Shenzhen before. I hope I get to see a lot more of it. Today, already this morning, we visited the Gemdale Academy. Also the opening ceremony was very pretty. That's how they want to bring over little bit of the Shenzhen culture. That was really nice.

I'm very proud that I can be ambassador to this tournament.

Q. As ambassador, what do you expect from this event for 10 years to promote the market?
MARTINA HINGIS: I think it's always important to have role models. I think they invest a lot into sports in general. To have a women's tennis tournament here, it's great for us, for women's sports, for women's tennis.

Like I said, if I can be a little bit of help to make it promote, so there's a lot of girls to play tennis afterwards in the future. I think they've already made big steps with Li Na, and Zheng Jie, who is from Shenzhen. We went yesterday to open her restaurant. I think you always need role models to look up to. Hopefully a lot of young girls will pick up tennis racquets in the future.

Q. A lot of fans in China are very curious about your current life. We know you once worked as a coach in the Mouratoglou Academy.
MARTINA HINGIS: I really enjoyed coaching. That's how I got involved with players like Pavlyuchenkova. Later I also was helping Sabine Lisicki, who is also coming to see my mom's training beforehand. She knew the drills and the system.

Yeah, something always I enjoyed doing. My mother has a tennis school. I play with 11- and 12-year-old kids there. Hopefully there are future champions like Belinda is. Belinda, we help for 10 years. My mother was training with her. Sometimes when I was home, I played with her.

Who knows? Maybe in the future. But now I have an eight-month-old daughter. Hopefully she will play soon. I can't wait for her to walk and play some tennis. She's part of the tennis school already now. We do the warmups together. She's there. She enjoys the children. Hopefully I can give it to her in the future, at least to play some tennis.

Q. You mentioned Belinda. Have you had a chance to see or speak with her yet?
MARTINA HINGIS: I mean, we're in contact obviously also through Fed Cup because I'm part of the Fed Cup team, as well, Fed Cup coach. I wasn't last year. When you're pregnant, it's difficult. But I still watched the matches.

Unfortunately I couldn't see last night's match because I had other activities. Yeah, they keep me busy here, which is nice. That's what I'm here for. Hopefully I'll see the next matches, the group matches, yes.

Q. On Belinda, what is it like, not only your legacy in Swiss tennis, but also your mother, to see that legacy carry on with her qualifying for the first time here, having the season she had?
MARTINA HINGIS: It's amazing. It's so nice to see her back playing well. I always, when I talk to her, say no one can take away the tennis from you. You need to be able that your body lets you do that. Unfortunately she had a few injuries that she couldn't play at the level that she does.

Now she's back. I'm very happy for her.

Q. I heard people talking about how the rise of Belinda, Coco and Bianca reminds them of the rivalries at your time. Do you actually catch a resemblance when you watch them play?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, Bianca is definitely a player I enjoy watching. Like I said yesterday, her and Ashleigh Barty, they have a lot of variety in the game, not just power tennis. I mean, they can if they need to. We saw Bianca against Serena. She was not overwhelmed by the power. Also she can add up to it.

She was actually using it well, counter-powering. Also she's not afraid of coming to the net, playing some dropshots. I mean, that's one of her strengths. It's really nice to see the full-court game again, whether it's Ashleigh or Bianca and Belinda.

I think women's tennis has really arrived to just not the power but also creating tennis again.

Q. We know Kim is coming back next year. Are you surprised with her decision? What can we expect?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, well, I think everybody was surprised to hear about that. She's 36 years old, three-time mother. I think that's a very ambitious challenge to come back. But I'm sure she won't come back until she's ready. When she feels she's ready, she'll play some good tennis.

I'm actually excited to see how she's going to do. I mean, speaking as a mother, it's not that easy after having a child and everything. Like I said, it's a very ambitious project.

But I wish her all the best. Hopefully she can come back and play some good tennis.

Q. Have you talked with Zheng Jie about future plans working together?

Q. The event last night. We saw the nice pictures.
MARTINA HINGIS: I think she's doing a great job. It's 10 years that she has this trophy, the tournament, helping Chinese kids in different cities to play. It's very young, 8, 10 and 12, the groups. Sometimes I say I wish we had so many kids in Switzerland to play tournaments. Under 8, you rarely find they can actually play tournaments.

I see kids, they play once, twice a week some tennis, but also they're playing a lot of other sports. Boys, they play soccer or they go to the hockey games or something else.

Here when they do something, they really put all the energy into it. Yeah, hopefully in some years' time I can come and play the tournament with my daughter. Definitely will keep in touch. Maybe, yeah, someday we can do something together.

Q. What do you expect from Kim? Would you be surprised if she would make an impact at a Grand Slam level again?
MARTINA HINGIS: Like I said, only she will answer the question. To me, I think the game has evolved. The last time she won was 2011 or 2013. It wasn't yesterday. After all of this, I mean, I played some exhibitions with her or against her, we also played in doubles, I think it's quite different.

I was not ready to play singles. For me, it takes physical condition to get there. I mean, she was a much more physical player than I was. For me, the doubles was good enough. I felt like, This is what I can do, still participate. I finished at No. 1, so it was nice to come back and play.

I felt like I would not be probably good enough for singles. Also I didn't want to put myself out there. That's why I said that it's quite ambitious to want to make that move.

I cannot answer this. She's a different type of player than I was. Hey, if I had Serena's serve, maybe I would want to come back in singles, too. It's not that physical. We'll see. Even for me it's going to be, like, interesting to watch. If she can come back to the game she finished off with, then I'm sure she can have some good matches.

Will that be enough to play in today's game? I don't know that. I mean, personally I can't see that she's going to go out there and beat Andreescu, Sabalenka, the people who qualified here. If she gets a chance, a good draw, she can get into it. Depends maybe on the first matches who she is going to face. As a wild card, if she's going to face Andreescu first round, you don't really know.

It will be interesting if she will get the chance to play someone out of the top 50 or top 100 first, see where she's at.

Q. Coco Gauff making a lot of waves in the second half of the season, 15 years old. As someone whose name pops up a lot, what advice can you offer to her or her family to help navigate what might be coming in 2020?
MARTINA HINGIS: I met Coco a couple years ago when she already won the US Open, right? Her dad, she was there. From Mouratoglou, I knew she always talk about her. I followed her career for the last two years.

It's great to see someone young and fresh in the women's game. Obviously at Wimbledon she was watched more than even Nadal. Everybody followed her. That was amazing. It's a great new face out there.

Yeah, I was always against the rules anyways. I thought we all were given the chance to play at 14. Maybe 18 is a little too late. Maybe somewhere in between, 16. You can drive a car in the U.S. All these rules, there are pros and contras.

I think if someone has the level, can play that game, hey, they should be given the chance. There's always special rules for this and that. I think at 16, yeah, they definitely should be able to proceed and do their job.

She's one of those that actually can play at that level and do well. They're good for the game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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