September 3, 1999
Flushing Meadows, New York City
WTA: Martina wants to say something before we start.
MARTINA HINGIS: I heard this morning that a certain person always asking for my autograph over and over at every tournament. I'd like to give something to that certain person, it's important to me, to Richard.
RICHARD WILLIAMS: Thank you, very much.
MARTINA HINGIS: It's pretty big, huh? I'm sure it's going to fit you. It's extra large. You don't have to ask me anymore.
RICHARD WILLIAMS: Thank you, very much. God bless you.
WTA: Questions for Martina.
Q. Do you have any of your grade school report cards or anything to show us? They were saying that you didn't have any education.
MARTINA HINGIS: I don't have any education (laughter)? I mean, I chose something else, education, going every day into the school. I think I learned still enough on traveling. I don't think I'm that dumb (laughter). I'd like to see some other people talking in three languages. It's not always easy. It's a little misunderstanding sometimes what I say. I don't always mean like to hurt anybody.
Q. Do you ever miss actually having gone to school on a regular basis and having a formal education?
MARTINA HINGIS: Never missed that. I was always very happy about, you know, the thing I'm doing right now. I don't think the money's too bad either (laughter).
Q. He's really always asked you for your autograph?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, basically every single tournament when I saw him when the girls were playing, yeah.
Q. And you said no every single tournament?
MARTINA HINGIS: He was always showing his arm. I was like, "Why waste it? If you take a shower, it's going to go off anyway," so....
Q. Did he ask you to sign his arm?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, he wanted me to sign his arm, yeah. I never do that (laughter).
Q. Was this sort of a truce offering because it happened this week that there have been a few words between the two camps that you decided that this is the time to give him the autograph?
MARTINA HINGIS: I think it's perfect timing, yeah.
Q. Did you read this in the paper yourself?
MARTINA HINGIS: Somebody, like the players, told me, then I got the newspaper. I just really quickly, you know. Serena came in before I had to go on court, and we both were kind of laughing about it. She came like straight at me. She was like, Did you read that? The people, they always blow it up. They just try to make something big out of nothing really. You know, it was just things happen. Between us, I mean, there is great relationship basically. I mean, we have fun when we played Arthur Ashe Day. We talk normally.
Q. Earlier Richard Williams said that he loved you and that you were a good human being. What are your thoughts about Richard? What do you think of him?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think just the whole family... I mean, the girls, they play great tennis. They bring a lot to women's tennis, athleticism, the whole thing. People talk about them. They talk about women's tennis, so in that thing, I think it's a great deal having them on Tour. They're also playing great tennis. Also you can't really say it's boring right now.
Q. So you're not tired of him saying, "We're going to have another all-Williams final"?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, if it's going to happen, it's not too good for us, for me. But, I mean, he said it once. In Key Biscayne it happened. You know, I mean, people are free. I mean, this is a free country, so they basically can say whatever you want. You know, I still am going to try to beat them.
Q. When you say that things are okay between you, we hear you say that they kind of have a big mouth.
MARTINA HINGIS: No, it wasn't them. It was like him. He always has his comments. You know, it's fun. Because I'm better than them so far, I'm the No. 1, and not them.
Q. How do you get motivated to play Arantxa, given that she's only gotten eight games off you in the last three matches?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I mean, I know -- I saw her. She was watching my match today. Kind of surprised me how she beat Patty. I thought it's going to be a lot harder for her to play her. You know, I guess Arantxa always gets there, where she's supposed to get. Especially on the younger players, she lectures them almost like sometimes. You know, just go into that match, you have to take her serious. But I know I won the last matches quite easily, so that's why I kind of can't go out there and think, "Yeah, it's going to just happen."
Q. Are you happy with your performance today?
MARTINA HINGIS: Not really in the beginning. I was a bit nervous. Also like the long waiting around. I didn't know. We were already ready to go on court. You know, fourth set, fifth set. Didn't happen. I was like trying to get my rhythm. Like I missed a couple shots, so I was a little bit, you know scared - well, not scared, but tried to make the points and the shots. Then the second set, I was getting better.
Q. What were your thoughts about not playing on Ashe Stadium today?
MARTINA HINGIS: That's fine with me. If they have better matches out there, of course. I don't care where I play. It's just you get a warm-up by just walking down there.
Q. I understand you're going to get some Canadian Mountie boots today.
MARTINA HINGIS: Today? I saw her, the tournament director. She wants to take a picture first with the boots.
Q. What's the origin of that? How did that come about?
MARTINA HINGIS: That was in Toronto that I saw them at the ceremony. They both were standing there, and their uniform. Actually, I saw like two or three days before on TV when they had their parade with the horses. I thought they're going to present the most special horse to the queen and all that. I find that interesting. I'm also a passionate rider, so they're going to find their place in my collection.
Q. You've gone through a lot of changes recently in terms of your apparel. What does it mean to you to be with Adidas?
MARTINA HINGIS: I love it. I like their clothes. I feel comfortable playing with Adidas. I also think it suits me better. I just feel better.
Q. How do you feel better? How does it suit you better?
MARTINA HINGIS: It's just the shape of the T-shirt or the skirt. It's different material. The sweat, it takes it off, takes it away. It's younger also.
Q. What do you say to Richard about the words that go back and forth? Do you joke with him about it?
MARTINA HINGIS: Today I saw him for the first time. I saw Serena, though. I mean, I don't take it that serious, though. It goes back and forth sometimes. But I don't want to become this is the main thing. It's still tennis. That should still be the No. 1 thing people should interest about.
Q. Does he ever tell you to your face that they're going to be in the finals?
MARTINA HINGIS: That's not what he said after I beat Venus. He said, "Why did you beat my girl so badly?" In one way, he's also responding, you know, that he appreciates or he respects me, the way I am and the way I play tennis. You know, next week I lost to Serena. So it's like they're great competition.
Q. Did you pick that hat up in New York?
MARTINA HINGIS: I got it, yeah, here from Adidas (laughter).
Q. Do you think the Williams sisters will be your primary rivals over the next few years?
MARTINA HINGIS: I think they're pretty strong, but still you can't forget about Lindsay, you know, Monica, Mary. There are a few players which play some good tennis out there.
Q. Since you're about the same age, at some point Lindsay and Seles --?
MARTINA HINGIS: She's not that old, I think. She's still No. 2.
Q. You're almost halfway through the tournament. Are you enjoying yourself out there?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, round by round, you know, just we have to try to feel better the court, just the atmosphere by going out there. You know, maybe the last two rounds were kind of easier, so just have to get through the first week, as I always say, you know, then taking on the better opponents like in the tougher matches.
Q. What's it like living in Saddle Brook?
MARTINA HINGIS: It's nice. It's a great area. I mean, especially the resort. The area around I don't know that much about. It's a little bit, you know, boring. But getting out there and playing the tournaments, the more you appreciate being, you know, away. But I love going back there. It's great for me to work out and practice. It's perfect conditions for me.
Q. Do you practice with Jennifer down there at all?
MARTINA HINGIS: I would hit with her a few times. There's no other girls.
Q. What's your feel being how well she's playing now?
MARTINA HINGIS: I think she improved a lot. I mean, she gained the level she probably had before. It's just sometimes believing in it takes a little while. You have to win certain matches to gain a confidence. I think she's picking up on that.
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