November 20, 1997
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK
Q. How well do you think you played?
MARTINA HINGIS: How well I played? Well, I guess I can't give you the answer right away, because I don't know, myself. Of course not a hundred percent. She played better than I expected. She just moved a lot better, because she had a little break before she played this tournament. And her ground strokes improved, for sure, and I was just all the time pretty defensive in the match. If you play a player like Mary you can't do that.
Q. So how disappointing a defeat is this?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, the year is over before I expected.
Q. Is it the kind of disappointment you're going to wake up tomorrow and be really down or can you get over this pretty quickly?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, of course I wanted to win this tournament, also. But I've lost tonight, so you just -- I know this was the last tournament and it was maybe my expectation to win this tournament. And you get a little tired at the end of the year, and if you're not really ready for this tournament you lose. And you maybe saw the other players, there have been a couple of other unexpected losses, too, so I'm not the only one.
Q. Did you lose the game or did she win the game?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, she made the points. I just didn't make anything. I just was kind of running at the baseline, and trying to do the same as Arantxa did maybe the last -- last night. But she was a little better.
Q. Martina, the last two occasions you've played Mary you didn't lose more than two games in a set. The way she started today, did that really shock you and surprise you?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, it didn't shock me the way she came on the court, she just did everything she did usually. When you play her two or three times the ball back she would miss it and today she was just a different person on the court.
Q. Did you feel tired out there?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, of course I'm not hyper, but I thought maybe I will have a chance. And actually I played better in the second set, as long as she wouldn't make the game so fast, so I was already there. But she just kept playing in the third set much better than she did in the second. In the first I had no clue what to do. It was kind of too fast.
Q. When you got the break back in the third set did you think you were going to win?
MARTINA HINGIS: In the third set when she broke me back?
Q. When you got yours back?
MARTINA HINGIS: She was up 2-1?
MARTINA HINGIS: I was up 4-2 serving, and I'm not going to forget that moment so quickly. But it just happened, and life is going on.
Q. Martina, you were up 5-4 and she ran off three games, is that about the first time that you've ever had someone run off three games in a match?
MARTINA HINGIS: She just threw it very well at that point. I missed the first return, which was maybe a little easier to just put in the game, and she just served very well there, and I didn't have that many chances to make the game, but in the whole match I was just too defensive. She was just always the player who made up the game.
Q. Martina in that last game were you sort of sitting back calmly, waiting or hoping that she would crack?
MARTINA HINGIS: I was kind of hoping that the whole match (laughter.) But she didn't do it. I had a couple comebacks already last week, and just the whole season. And I can't always come out of the point when I was losing, but today she just made it to the end. And especially when I was up twice, I could make the break back, and she made an ace, so what can you do there?
Q. Were you disappointed that the crowd was more on her side?
MARTINA HINGIS: You always expect that the crowd is going to be for the underdog.
Q. Does that affect you at all?
MARTINA HINGIS: No way. When I played in America, at the U.S. Open, there was a great crowd, but whenever I played against Monica I was much worse, so it's no big deal now.
Q. You haven't had much time to reflect on the year, because it came to an abrupt end, but when you look back on the season and as you look ahead to 1998, is there anything you can do to make it even better?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, win the French Open.
Q. Is this a difficult tournament for you?
MARTINA HINGIS: Last year I made the finals, so I can't say it was difficult. I played so much matches and as I said before, if you're not ready any of your matches, you're out.
Q. Can you explain, Martina, why in the last couple of months by your standards you've tended to struggle with some of the matches, there have been a couple more losses as compared to the rest of the year?
MARTINA HINGIS: I guess we just scheduled a little bit around the end of the year, and I just played maybe too much. I should take off a couple more weeks, because I was kind of -- after the surgery I didn't know how I'm going to play, and so I scheduled a couple more tournaments I shouldn't do. But you always learn from mistakes. And I hope I will do better next year.
Q. Where are you going from here?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I have to stay here until Saturday, and pick up the Player Award.
Q. Any vacation plans?
MARTINA HINGIS: Vacation? Yes, a couple of days, like one week, and then there is an exhibition in Germany, Frankfurt, but after that, no more tennis for a while.
Q. Are you going to horseback ride or ski?
MARTINA HINGIS: I don't know yet. If there is snow, I will ski, yeah.
Q. When do you start planning for Australia and when do you start working for Australia?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, it depends on how I feel, I guess, because everything is a week later next year and I'm not going to play the Hoffman Cup, so I'm going to have enough time to relax myself, like two or three weeks before Australia I'll start practicing again.
Q. Does she hit the ball harder -- tonight did she hit the ball as hard as any player, any woman you've faced?
MARTINA HINGIS: Lindsay Davenport, she hits the ball very hard and flat, also.
Q. As hard or harder than Mary?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, probably the same difference, but more flat. It's very straight, Mary's balls are very straight. And maybe Monica Seles when she's in good shape. She hits the ball very hard, too, with an angle, also.
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