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September 6, 1998

Martina Hingis

Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. Feel lucky to have escaped?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I haven't escaped. I'm just kind of escaping every day, kind of. No, but I started off very well this tournament. I was motivated when I came here to do well again. Kind of instead of getting better, I'm getting worse is what I have the feeling right now. It's not very easy. When I play like Mauresmo or Dechy, they both are from France, but they're not like top players. You have to go play against them. It's like you think it's going to be easy, but all of a sudden you're out there on the court, everything is fine, but you just kind of can't hit the ball in the court. So that's a problem. It was kind of very windy. I had so much trouble, I just couldn't hit one serve in. Probably like 20 double-faults. Can somebody tell me how many I made?

Q. Nine.


Q. Seven in the first.

MARTINA HINGIS: Only nine? Wow! (laughter). I was like four in one game or so.

Q. Is it because of the competition that you feel you're not playing as well as you could be, getting to the point where you need to be this time next week?

MARTINA HINGIS: I expected playing like Sugiyama maybe in the fourth round, someone who's tougher. You go out there, think everything is fine. You're very confident, but it's windy, you just kind of looking for everything. Just kind of can't find out the reason. It's complicated, all this. I don't know.

Q. How much do you have to raise your game for the next match? If you can, describe what you've seen in the way Monica Seles is playing right now?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I was like ready when she was up -- the first set was 6-1, 4-1 up. I was like, you know, I had my skirt on, my head band, everything was set. Then all of a sudden it was like 6-4 Po. You still saw that she has to go through three sets. You just kind of wait there, hang around. I guess she didn't have the best day either today.

Q. How much does that wind affect you? Monica talked about how it swirls, you think you're hitting it here, it goes two meters.

MARTINA HINGIS: I had trouble, too. Just my serves, return, the ball comes right at you, all of a sudden it's like two meters next to you. You kind of want to hit the ball already, and it's going away and away. You feel like, Hey, what's the matter? You just kind of have to be very focused and concentrate on each point. Sometimes it just comes directly to you. You think it's going to be an easy shot. Boom, you hit it in the net or something goes wrong.

Q. Is that worse than it's been today?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, the wind was terrible today. It was spinning around. You always thought, you know, from this side you're going to have the better side. The sun is not against you. You have wind in your back. You're going to make the shots. You just kind of control the game. All of a sudden, everything turns around against you. It wasn't very easy. I'm in the quarters again, top eight.

Q. When you're struggling in a match, do you tend to talk to yourself?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I just kind of try to find out a solution about all this. You know, I was there, I tried to be aggressive, control the game. She played -- she kind of used my power sometimes. She was, like, the better angles I would play, the better she moves and hit it better back. I just kind of tried to hit the ball in and stay in the game.

Q. When you're trying to find a solution, do you actually talk to yourself?

MARTINA HINGIS: I guess everybody talks to herself.

Q. What language do you use when you talk to yourself?

MARTINA HINGIS: Like Swiss German, and also in pictures. You kind of have the pictures of what you could do, how you could do it better. Then suddenly it doesn't happen again and again.

Q. You said you haven't been as inspired in the last couple of rounds, not playing the top players. But now you're going to play a top player --


Q. -- who has had some pretty tough matches against you.

MARTINA HINGIS: If I'm going to continue playing like this, it's not going to go anywhere. I definitely have to raise my level. I know that I lost against her the last two times we've played. I played a pretty good match against her in Montreal. I just kind of couldn't go through the whole match. She was just very tough. She hit some great shots. You know, she won the whole tournament later on. I hope this is going to be a different story.

Q. Is she playing better now than at any time since she's been back from her absence that you're aware of?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I don't think so. Like today, I don't think it was one of her best matches. She always kind of is saying that her back's bothering her or something. She also lost like against Lindsay the last two times in California. So I don't think she's on her best, but me neither. So we'll see.

Q. Kimberly Po suggested that she would expect Seles would beat you when you play in your next match. What do you have to do to prove Kimberly Po in that match, specifically against Monica, what's the key for you?

MARTINA HINGIS: It just has to be faster. She's got like unbelievable angles, she has a very fast game. She's always attacking you. So you just have to be faster than her, trying to move her around, just be faster, be quicker.

Q. This is a two-part question. One, do you pay any attention to the personalities of your opponents, or don't you have time to think along those lines?

MARTINA HINGIS: Personalities?

Q. What they are as women, so on.

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, we know each other pretty well because we travel like so much together at the tournaments. So you kind of know a little bit how this person is. But, I mean, nobody knows me a hundred percent. You always have some secrets about yourself.

Q. Do you find the American women players tougher in any way than some of the others?

MARTINA HINGIS: The American overall they're very confident, whatever they do, very self-confident. If you ask someone, "Can do you this and that?" "Yeah, sure, I can do it." That's what you don't really do in Europe. You say, "I'm okay." Someone asked me, "How do you ski?" "I can go down a hill." It's like, because in Switzerland, it's a very high level of skiing. That's probably a little bit different about being European or American.

Q. If you were going to grade your performance so far on a scale of 1 to 10, where would you approximate put it?

MARTINA HINGIS: (Indicating with a waving hand.) I don't know, like 6, 7, maybe like that.

Q. Is that going to be good enough against Monica?

MARTINA HINGIS: No. It's going to have to be 9 or 10 against her.

Q. Do you feel right now that your fitness level is where you want it to be, especially if you're going to go into a tough match against someone that runs you around a lot?

MARTINA HINGIS: I felt pretty good when I went on the court. When I had to start to move, I was kind of stiff, especially like in the match against Amelie Mauresmo the other day. When I had to change directions or something, I saw it. But my legs were going like somewhere else in my mind. It was strange, because I didn't really have these problems like last year or something, that my body has changed. I'm in a different position, definitely. I've been working on it. It's better lately, but not like in the last two matches. In the beginning, it was better. Now it's going down. Hopefully, it can't be worse.

End of FastScripts….

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