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August 30, 1997

Martina Hingis

Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. Martina, is it good for you to have a tough match like this in the first couple of rounds or would you rather have ones like the first ones?

MARTINA HINGIS: They asked me at TV last time, would you rather have a longer match? Now you got it. It was a pretty tough match against her. I remember still that match from Key Biscayne where she gave me a hard time. I had a three setter. It was very hot there. I almost could have lost there. You know, this time it's still in the back of my mind, you know, it's going to be a hard one either.

Q. You like that better, though, than maybe 2 and 3?

MARTINA HINGIS: You don't like it if it's so hot out there as it was today. I could make it easier myself, up 4-2 in the first, 4-3 and serving. But you always make life a little harder.

Q. Why were there so many service breaks in the first set?

MARTINA HINGIS: I don't know. It's like you always typical women's tennis, easier to return than serve. I was just a little stiff in the morning already. It just kind of wasn't my day. I knew she was going to give me a hard time out there. I was just maybe a little nervous, I didn't serve as well. That's what happened. It's also pretty windy. You kind of feel helpless when you play against the wind, you have to hit so hard, so the ball at least gets behind the service line.

Q. In the pregame notes, it said with this win, you would have more than $4 million in earnings for your career.

MARTINA HINGIS: I don't know where the money is (laughter). I didn't know that. That's nice to hear something like that. Only this year or just all over?

Q. In your career.

MARTINA HINGIS: In my career.

Q. Is it somewhat mind boggling to you that at age 16, you've already earned more than $4 million?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, I think it's nice for me, though, no (laughter)?

Q. Martina, there's a lot of talk that the older players are a little bit -- a lot of animosity towards the younger players. Have you seen that?


Q. Anger, maybe, that the younger players are coming in and kicking the old players out.

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, they can't stay up there forever. I mean, they also get older. You know, everything gets faster in women's tennis. Everyone is improving. You can see the changes in three months, half year, that everything, the girls, they get more athletic. Everyone wants to be on the top. Everyone is getting better.

Q. Have you noticed bad feelings about that? In particular?


Q. Yes, from other people.

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I'm one of the younger players, so I like it. No, I think it's great that you see new faces, as Mirjana Lucic is going to play tonight, or Venus won last night. I think it's very good.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about your relationship with Lucic?

MARTINA HINGIS: I practiced with her last year before the Open. We had great results. She won the junior competition, I'm in the first time semis. Now before the French Open also. I made the Finals, she made the Finals there in Strasbourg when she played very well against Steffi, just the whole tournament. I think she's even better than Kournikova and Williams. She has a very high potential of a game, when she starts playing more.

Q. I heard you had her over to your house?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah. She was at my house practicing.

Q. Did you guys do anything besides playing tennis? Did you take her out on the horses or anything?

MARTINA HINGIS: I don't think she would do that, but she was watching me (laughter).

Q. Would you consider playing doubles --

MARTINA HINGIS: We just went rollerblading, high up at the mountains.

Q. Would you consider playing doubles with her when she's on The Tour a bit more?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah. I'd love to when she will be able to play more. That's why I don't think the rules are great, you know, the youngsters can show she also can play tennis. They show the results and they can play well, so they should change the rules or something. Later on, I think we're going to play doubles together.

Q. How do you think she'll do against Jana tonight?

MARTINA HINGIS: It's hard to tell. For her, it's her first Grand Slam. She had two great rounds. I think she just wants to show everyone she can play tennis like she really does. I think that's going to be a really good match. It's hard to tell. You don't know, like mentally, it's not easy to play at night on centre court for the first time.

Q. Martina, does she come to you for advice at all? Would she ask your opinion on different things?

MARTINA HINGIS: About the other players?

Q. About anything?

MARTINA HINGIS: About anything? What? No, we're very good friends. We also practiced last Sunday together before the tournament started. Just when I can help her, I always do, because you always want to have a friend, be friendly with someone on The Tour.

Q. What would she ask you, like how to play a certain player or where to go shopping? She must look up to you for certain things?

MARTINA HINGIS: We would just talk about normal things. She has her own people here which can tell her where she has to go, what she has to do. I don't want to tell her, "You have to go there and there." That's not my business.

Q. Do you talk about boys together?

MARTINA HINGIS: Of course. That's one of the most important things, you know (laughter).

Q. About what boys do you talk?

MARTINA HINGIS: That's mine and her business.

Q. The other day you told us what you liked best about tennis. What's the one thing that you least like about The Tour, about the game itself or playing?

MARTINA HINGIS: There are no things I don't like about The Tour. It's just sometimes it gets hard when you play two, three weeks in a row. It's hard when I played in California, like three weeks in a row. I lost at the end because I was tired. But it's just great that I also can lose. No one can just win every tournament you're playing in. Everything gets harder. I love The Tour, I'm No. 1. What else I want to have? I travel in the world. I love what I'm doing.

Q. Martina, you've talked a lot about your confidence. Does part of that confidence come from a knowledge that you have greater concentration, it seems, than just about any of your opponents? Late in the second set today, she lost her concentration, and that really closed out the match.

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I started so early, so I already played so many matches in my life at early age. Just experience. I'm third year on The Tour. It's like I have no reason to not be confident. This year I only lost two matches, so every time I step on the court, I feel good out there and I know I can win or I can beat everyone in the world. That's a great feeling if you can go out there like this.

Q. Why do you think there's so many more young women players than men players?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, in every sport I think it's like the best age for a woman to be on the top or where she is physically, you know, really ready, it's like from 16 till 22 or 23. Amanda Coetzer, she practiced a lot. She's always in the fitness room. Arantxa, too. She just has so much experience. That helps their game. But I think in every sport they get younger and younger.

Q. Martina, what part of the match today did you feel like you were the most in trouble and how did you mentally get out of that?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, when I was up 4-2 and all of a sudden it was 4-All. I didn't like that score.

Q. How do you keep your concentration for that?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, you just try, you know. I was serving, I think, by that time. Just tried to put the ball in and make her game.

Q. Martina, you're not playing mixed doubles this year in the tournament. Is that because of what happened?

MARTINA HINGIS: I had enough last year playing three semifinals.

Q. It was too much last year?

MARTINA HINGIS: It was a great experience last year making three semifinals. But I was pretty dead at the end.

Q. Would you want to have played, though, this year anyway, just because you did have so much success?

MARTINA HINGIS: No. That's why I didn't play. I would have the opportunity to play with some men's players, but I don't want to play.

End of FastScripts….

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