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March 25, 2007

Martina Hingis


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Well, what's next?
MARTINA HINGIS: I think I have to think some things over, and yeah, next would be Charleston on clay courts, so maybe that's helpful.

Q. When you say think some things over, can you expand a little bit more?
MARTINA HINGIS: It's not usually about the other player. It's more about me. Whether I'm feeling it or not, or playing my tennis or not. So I think that's been usually with all the top players, the case.
And I just wasn't able to, you know, pull it off today. And it's not the first time, and it's been like that the last three, four weeks of the tournament. I'm getting a little bit tired of losing matches which I'm supposed to win, so...

Q. Could it be that when you came on last year, you were full of so much excitement to play, that maybe you've, this is an accumulation dating back even to last year?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, but I started off the year pretty well in Australia again, and also in Tokyo. So it wasn't that I was excited playing over again.
But since Tokyo I probably got a little bit overexcited, you know, winning a tournament and playing well. Since then I have been only like a few days home.
I think more or less I need to recharge my whole body, and mostly my head.

Q. Will two weeks be enough before Charleston to make you feel comfortable?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I don't know that. I mean, I'm up for Charleston, and I have two weeks, so it's not a hell of a lot of time. So I have one week more now because losing so early, so it's one week, two weeks, three weeks. No? Three weeks?

Q. This is the second week of this tournament.
MARTINA HINGIS: So it's two weeks only, yeah. It's not a lot of time. But it's not like I don't feel like there's that much missing. I mean, if I had made the set 3-1, you know, not missing that spinning volley, if that was in, I would have been 3-1.
But still, in the end, I don't like playing in the end when I feel like I'm the better player, or I can do more about my game than the other.

Q. You stay in Tampa or go back to Europe?
MARTINA HINGIS: No, I'm going to Tampa, yeah. Probably. Well, I'm still in doubles, so I have to stay. I'm becoming a doubles player now, yeah, again.

Q. Radek won almost at the same time that you lost. What happens between the two of you, when someone loses and one wins on the same day like this?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, you know, we try to cheer each other up. Whoever goes on we can support each other. And now definitely he'll be the priority for this event. In past events sometimes it was me.
So, you know, it's not like I want to go straight home, because there was nobody waiting for me at home. But, yeah, it's a great win. I'm happy for him. I try to support him, and that's the good thing about it. I'm still in doubles.
And like you said, it's only two weeks to Charleston, so I still -- this is the start of, you know -- this is a new beginning for me in two weeks to get ready.

Q. How often do you hit together?
MARTINA HINGIS: Together? We've hit a few times in December a little bit. Or, you know, in Madrid we hit. He was my sparring partner for that tournament. We were sparring partners. But not that much. I mean, it's nice.
He was injured. It's not that great for him, but I could take some advantage of that, you know (laughing).

Q. He has a very unusual style.
MARTINA HINGIS: Who, him? Yeah. Sometimes I have to laugh, the way. But he's more of a serve and volleyer, anyway. He has great volleys, great serves, so maybe I can learn something from that.

Q. Why didn't he play Davis Cup?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, you have to ask him, you know. That's a very --

Q. -- touchy subject?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, touchy subject, exactly.

Q. You reached the $20 million milestone here. You're only the fourth woman to do that. Is that significant?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, it's not great doing it this way, but yeah.

Q. Is that a significant achievement?
MARTINA HINGIS: I thought I already had it, but I guess it's not. But the prize money is increasing all the time, you know, like year by year, so it's a great thing for women's tennis. Today you can make so much more money than even when I started. It was already great money then, but you can make a living, and it's just amazing opportunity.

Q. You've come back and fought your way back into the Top 10. But there are so many good players out there now to play a young former junior star like this, and to know that a year from now she's going to be that much better. How difficult is it for you to stay in the Top 10 when you have so much young talent coming up?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, for sure. But like I said in the beginning, I probably underestimated her a little bit also. She played well. I've played against the No. 2 junior, and she's played better.
I've seen her in Dubai. She didn't have that many great wins either. Sometimes good. She's very much up and down. But she played very well today, and she took care of her chances.
Definitely she has potential in the future, but it's getting more and more difficult, because, like I said, it's sometimes more about me. It's not like I didn't have a chance against a youngster; I was up a set.
Like if I had been down at 3-1, or even later on, it wasn't like if you lose games like 40-Love or 40-15, it's just you don't allow yourself to do that. Not against nobody anymore.

Q. Two calls for the coach after the second and third set -- second set, I guess. Did it help any or hurt?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I was up in the second. You know, he kind of encouraged me to move in and play my game. And sometimes that's the difference, from when you watch the '99 matches like they've been showing yesterday.
There was a fear and all that factor. It's a little bit different than when you're winning matches. I was able to do it sometimes today, just go for my shots. But then it's like 40-15, 40- Love you don't want to miss and you can't do that anymore. Back then I was fearless. I knew I was going to do it, and hit it.

Q. When you came back, everything was sort of on the up side for you on the points and just moving up the rankings. Sort of the first difficult match you've hit maybe. I don't know if you feel like you've plateaued a little bit. But having been away from the game and coming back, is it easier to absorb these periods, or does it feel like the first time?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I feel like I've had this kind of after French Open, I went a little bit. Wimbledon wasn't the greatest. I thought I could do better there. And the US Open series was kind of a roller coaster.
So I don't know, maybe a little bit of the hard court thing that I did well in Australia, and rebounding where it was a little slower. In slow courts I did very well, and indoors where it's either slow or fast. But this thing in between, I struggled also last year a little bit.
I've got to change something about it and do better, because I know where my problems are, so I'll work on that.

Q. So at this sort of surface speed, you're playing too defensive and not aggressive enough?

Q. And you haven't figured that out yet?
MARTINA HINGIS: Some points. Some points I played really well: Coming in more, being more aggressive. But it's not always my mentality. And on clay or on the Rebound, I can always defend myself better. Or indoors, it's a fast winner. So I can always tell myself, Okay, I need this point. I'm going to make it.
Like no matter how I can always get the ball back. But here it's like, yeah, they make the points faster like those girls today. You know, like the loss against Razzano at the US Open, I think this is the most difficult surface for me to find the path in between, yeah.

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