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March 21, 1997

Martina Hingis


DEBBI EDWARDS: Questions for Martina.

Q. Too windy for you?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think it was too windy for my mind, yes. It's hard to come out after a couple indoor tournaments and then you think you can hit the ball as you did indoors. It's a big difference. I think she almost didn't make any mistakes in the first set, also afterwards. I just gave her the chance to play her game. Maybe I like it also if it's a little faster, from indoors. She just played always the slice and you couldn't do anything from it because it was so slow. I just couldn't find my timing really today. It's always good to win a match like this, I think.

Q. Martina, how frustrated were you getting with yourself? You looked, particularly in that first set, as if you were not at all pleased with yourself?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I mean, how can you be pleased if you're losing and playing so badly? It's not as bad as it was one or two years agony, because I know I can play tennis. If you play sometimes just a little worse than you're used to, just try to get out of it, play the best you can at that moment. I was just trying to keep the ball in the game, and I won it, so it's good.

Q. Was that the most important thing, the way you came back and took control so well?

MARTINA HINGIS: I had my chances when I was leading 3-2 in the second, then it was 30-Love and I lost my serve from that point. I thought I had it already, but it wasn't. Later at 3-All, she had 40-Love at that point. It was maybe one of the most important games.

Q. Were you getting nervous at any stage?

MARTINA HINGIS: I wasn't nervous at all when I came on the court, when I step out in, because I knew it's Patricia playing against me, and I've beaten her almost like three years ago at the US Open, one and a half. It was a tough match there. I thought I improved a little bit from that time. It was a hard match against, but I was just fighting against myself on the court today. That was maybe the hardest to get out of.

Q. What does this tournament mean to you, bearing in mind the ranking that will be at the end of it, come what may?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, it's not black and white on a paper yet, so I can't say anything about it. It's just a great feeling to go out there, be seeded No. 1. If you play as I played today, you don't feel very happy with yourself, so. We'll see what's going to happen in the next couple days. They're for sure going to be better matches. If I want to still compete in this tournament, I have to improve for the next matches, I think.

Q. Are you now getting the feeling you're the big one to be shot down by all the others?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, for sure, everybody wants to play me now. Everyone, for sure, wants to beat me. It's the same thing I want to do, or what I wanted to do when I wasn't on the top. It doesn't make a difference for me. When I was a junior, I always had this feeling to go out there and everybody wants to beat me because I was the best.

Q. Martina, can you give your impressions about you'll play either Venus or Jennifer Capriati in the next round, can you give your impressions about both of those?

MARTINA HINGIS: Jennifer I played in Sydney, in the finals. That was a really good match there. It was very hard to play her. She had one of the best matches there, I think, in Sydney. Venus I think improved a lot since I have seen her when she played Brenda. She played great in Indian Wells. I'm looking forward to see that match. One of these girls will win and play against me.

Q. Any preference?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, it's hard to say. One day I would like to play Venus actually because it's going to be just a different game. For the spectators, it's going to be a lot of fun out there, I think.

Q. What did you do in the rain delay? Since you've been playing indoors, you haven't had to deal with that lately.

MARTINA HINGIS: Indoor tournaments you have to wait much longer than outdoor tournaments, not because of the rain delay, but there are so long matches sometimes. What can you do? The players' lounge is full. You just trying to get out of it. It was hard because sometimes it was raining, sometimes less. Then they step on the court, they came back. It's hard to go somewhere because our apartment is just across the street, but we couldn't go there actually.

Q. You've surely been asked about this before, but can you talk a bit about the feeling to reach No. 1 after the tournament? What does it mean to you and how emotional?

MARTINA HINGIS: I think for every sport, it's a great thing to became the best in what you're doing. That's what I was working for all my life, and now it's happening to me. It's a great feeling to be the best tennis player in the world, especially at my young age.

Q. Is it frustrating that it's happening this way, because of Graf not playing here, or does it not matter?

MARTINA HINGIS: It doesn't matter to me. If she can play, compete at this tournament, actually it's not my problem. She has to be prepared and try to play at these tournaments. If she's not able to, somebody else is going to step there.

Q. Do you feel in your heart that you're the best player in the world?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, right at the moment, I can't say that. I want say that. I think I played four tournaments in a row, I didn't play badly, why shouldn't I say that? If Steffi is going to come back and play well, I'd like to play her once again. It's a long time I haven't played her, since New York. I had a great time.

Q. What are your expectations for yourself as you climb up in the rankings?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, it only came like half year ago that I started to win the tournaments, started to play a little better than I was before. For one and a half year almost I always been in the ranking like between 15 and 20. Now it's just such a big difference to be in the top, getting better, improving in the rankings. It's a big difference.

Q. Do you think that your life is going to change right now?


Q. Do you think that your life is going to change right now?

MARTINA HINGIS: No. If you don't change it -- if I don't change it by myself, so it's not changing. It's just like a little dream comes true right now, all the life you worked for, it's getting true, you're becoming the best tennis player in the world, so it's the greatest feeling you can get really.

Q. What is the most annoying aspect of your position today? Is it the fact that when you step on court, you can only do what's expected of you? You cannot do any more than that? Is it off the court, too much attention? What is, in your opinion, the most annoying aspect, if any?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, for sure it's not tennis. Maybe I've never had so much fun out there as I had last couple weeks. Not today actually (laughter). If you play well, you know, you can beat almost everybody in the world, or you can beat everybody if you feel in a good shape. It's great to go out there and play in front of 10,000 peoples. That's very nice to go out there. Sometimes, though, the hardest thing actually is if you do -- as I had the finals at the Australian Open, it took like almost an hour, but the press conference later, three or four times as long as the match was. That was harder.

Q. What part of your game do you think needs more attention now? What do you want to improve?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I'm trying to improve everything all the time. But maybe my movement because I put a little weight on during the indoor tournaments, as many girls have the problem with, especially at my age right now. I just try to get my movement back, play the same as I did in Australia. I think you always can improve everything in your game.


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