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March 11, 2007

Martina Hingis


Q. You had like a 3 a.m. in Dubai or 2 a.m.?
MARTINA HINGIS: Till 1:30 we played, yeah, like 1:20, 1:30. Like, for another two hours, you can't fall asleep anyway, till you go do press, you get to the hotel and everything. It's like --

Q. Then you can go back to the Gold Souk again, like, the first time?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, we tried, but it was a Friday or something, so...
That was after the match, it was closed, yeah.

Q. Didn't you have to play the next day, when you had that late match?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, of course. Second -- like, not before 4:00, but still, I mean.

Q. And that's when you lost, right?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yep. No wonder. Not against Jankovic, maybe somebody else, maybe some easier round, but not even then.

Q. So what worked well for you tonight?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, the first four points, the games, it was unbelievable. I mean, that's what I've been practicing since the Middle East tournament, and it almost scared me, you know. It was like for 16 consecutive points until, yeah, 4-Love, of course, and I was thinking about it, and I had to double fault (smiling). I mean, it's just I didn't miss. I mean, everything just went perfectly, and, yeah, then I started thinking at, 6-2, 4-1, what happened last time, you know.
But at 4-all, it's like, "Okay. You've got to dig deep now." It was a different opponent. It's not Hantuchova, but I'll play her next, again. So I'm looking forward to that.

Q. So were you thinking at 16 straight points, maybe I can win 48?
MARTINA HINGIS: No, I wasn't thinking that, but I'm like, I need to, like, not lose one. But then, you know, it's more like, "Okay. You've got to break this streak," because it's -- I don't know what the record is, but because you start thinking about not missing a point at all, you start being defensive because you don't want to miss, and you kind of do that. You'd just rather lose a point and then start from scratch again.

Q. Talk about Hantuchova.
MARTINA HINGIS: Yep, we have a history here.

Q. Yeah, you do. That was her break-out match.

Q. Good memories, huh? You played her after that, too.
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I have still something open here, so...

Q. Just talk about her, Martina. What kind of problem does she present for you?
MARTINA HINGIS: I mean, for me, she's similar to, you know, someone like Lindsay or Serena, you know, that type of player where you don't have much time. They're very good ball strikers, good serves, where it's, you know, you have to start to dictate from first point. It's just that she's more vulnerable, you know, mentally. I mean, otherwise, I wouldn't be winning 6-1, 4, 1 in Doha, but she can play the game, yep.
I don't know, sometimes, what's about her, but she's playing better now again. Sometimes it feels like she needs to get that confidence level that she could break through, but it's been a long time now, so I don't know.
She loses those close matches. I mean, she wins, but it seems like she kind of wins in straight sets almost. She always has to play three sets, three hard fought sets, and she wins 6-4 in the third against the lower-ranked players. Against the top players, it's always like this little bit missing, but she's always a dangerous opponent, yeah.

Q. Did you think in 2002, after she beat you, that she'd get a lot higher or have a more consistent --
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, she was No. 5, so not a lot higher. I mean, how much higher can you be, you know, but...

Q. But to stay at No. 5 because she wasn't in the top 10 for that long. She was more or less in the top 20.
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, but I don't think I was the only one who was thinking that she could stay up there in the top 10. But I don't know. Yep.

Q. Is it strokes with her or is her movement or is it mental?
MARTINA HINGIS: I think, to me, it's -- I see her with a confidence level, I think. You can't -- I mean, I can't go out this against her and think, "Okay. She's going to break down at 5-all, 30-all," because she beat me last time we played. I mean, she was able to make that happen. But like in Dubai, she almost beat Amelie. It was, like, 6-3 in the third, or 6-4, or...
Yeah, but she won, like the hard-fought match before against (indiscernible). I don't know. Sometimes, really, it's, for me, she's not an easy opponent. That's all I know.

Q. When you look back to Doha, now, what happened in the second set?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, but, I mean, that was -- facing somebody else, not Hantuchova, which, I mean, for me, like I said, she's not an easy opponent, because she goes for her shots and, you know, sometimes it feels like they're either they're in or out. She served well. She loosened up in Doha, you know, after she broke my back. At 4-all, she won the second set, so she had the momentum, and she was flowing with it.
I mean, she was missing beforehand. Definitely I was pushing and playing well, but she continuously started playing better. Once she loosened up, she's tough, yep.
But like today, if I was thinking, maybe a little bit, but at 4-all, I got my things together, and there was no contacts anymore.

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