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August 6, 2013

Daniela Hantuchova

Martina Hingis


6‑4, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Can you tell us who's responsible maybe out of the two of you for this partnership?  How exactly did it come about?
MARTINA HINGIS:  She is.  No, but when I was coaching, helping Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, I think that's when she approached me and said, Oh, don't you think to play doubles it would be great?  You still got it.
And she encouraged me ‑‑I needed some time to think about.  But then, you know, I was closer to the game again with Anastasia.  It helped me definitely to play, practice with her and see the game, see the matches that, you know, practicing also with her now in the last week, that helped a lot to kind of gain confidence to be able to play against players like we did today.

Q.  Has anyone else over the years since you have retired tried to get you back out on the court?
MARTINA HINGIS:  Oh, yeah, there were a few players.  She was the one who made it.
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  I mean, I think you guys heard me over the years, even though when Martina already retired, I have been saying it so many times that tennis is missing somebody like Martina and her game and the style she plays.  You can see the fans love her everywhere she goes.  I just thought it would be a shame to not have her around, and I'm really glad and honored that she's back.

Q.  How has the game changed in your mind since you left it?  And I'm just wondering, is there a spot now for older players, maybe more experienced players?  With Marion Bartoli not winning Wimbledon till she's 28 and Venus and Serena still playing at a high level, has the game changed that regard?
MARTINA HINGIS:  Well, in one way, yes, and the other, no.  That's why I wanted to see and check out, like how it's still going to be like to play the young up‑and‑coming players.
Petra Kvitova is still Wimbledon champion, and it's only two years ago she won it.  I think it's probably more physical that we had the tall girls like Serena, Venus, Lindsay already back on the tour when I played, but I wouldn't necessarily say it's gotten smarter.  That's why I felt like there is still this opening, and I'm glad that I can play with Daniela and the chemistry is working.
I hope we're going to get even better and better by playing more and every match should be better.   I have to‑‑ like this is my part.  I have to get the confidence back like playing players.  I mean, in the last six years I haven't played matches at this level, but still I felt like there is this little slight opening that not that many singles players are playing doubles anymore.

Q.  You were always extremely competitive, so having now played a couple of tournaments, do you have any sort of goals in mind?
MARTINA HINGIS:  I was already asked last time, and I think the goal is to produce the best tennis that we can.  You know, we did really well in the last‑‑ like last week it was unfortunate that I think even if we had beaten Spears and Kops‑Jones that there was opportunity.  You know, who knows what happen afterwards, but I think we definitely can become competitive.
I think it's now the belief and getting together and getting all our qualities out there and play the best tennis that we can.

Q.  What's the best thing about coming back?
MARTINA HINGIS:  Playing some great points, being on the court with Daniela.  I think we had some ‑‑even today in the match, even if not everything was perfect, but there were some great rallies, some great points that, you know, people enjoyed it.   So did we.
I mean, it's a pleasure to be out there on the court with Daniela.  I mean, I think we both have the qualities that we can feed off each other.  That's the biggest contribution that we bring out in the game.  It's hopefully going to get better and better, yeah.

Q.  You're a couple matches in now.  Besides the confidence that you mentioned, is there anything in your game that you feel like you need to work on still or do you feel it's all there?
MARTINA HINGIS:  Well, I think it's like step by step.  I mean, it's like I have to get used to it.  Like today I think it helped me mentally really a lot, and, you know, one is No. 7 and the other 8 in the world, that I can rally with them pretty much no problem from the baseline.
In the beginning I was a little bit not like overwhelmed but like the feelings like to be playing crosscourt, and I think now I will be ‑‑for me it has to get normal, like after six years to play players like of today.  And I think the last three, four games, that really showed like what we have together.  That's when we produced the best tennis, when we are more relaxed and sure of each other.

Q.  Do you guys hope that this lasts beyond the US Open, or is it just a temporary thing for this year?  And, Martina, are you feeling any pull towards thinking about singles down the road?
MARTINA HINGIS:  No, I think like we already talked about like the future tournaments, but I think this is always the one that we talked about, like playing Cincinnati, US Open, and there is not that many tournaments left anymore.  It's almost the end of the season, but looking forward to playing probably beyond that.
It's also the results, I think.  That all has to come together and feeling comfortable with each other, that that's the biggest ‑‑I think that's the most important thing.  Then we will decide what we'll do.
The other question?
MARTINA HINGIS:  Singles?  No, I already said that last week.

Q.  So even if the doubles return were very successful, you would not consider coming back maybe in singles at some point?
MARTINA HINGIS:  No, it's total different ball game.  You can't compare singles and doubles.  That's why I decided to play doubles, because if I wanted to, I could have done that in the past and I didn't.
Even the doubles already took me like six years.  So, no, singles, physically it's so much more competitive.  Every ball, every game.  It's just like completely different.  I'm not 17 anymore.  (Smiling).

Q.  Obviously you have known Daniela for a long time.  How many other players are there that you used to know back when you were playing last time?  Are you able to sort of have a different relationship with them now?
MARTINA HINGIS:  Like with who?  We already play‑‑ with Daniela we know each other since a long time.

Q.  A lot of new players have sort of come along.
MARTINA HINGIS:  That's normal.  There were even new players on the block when I played still.  Half of the draw, especially in the Grand Slams, they were like players that I didn't know even in my second comeback.  And now it's even probably I know not even a quarter of the players definitely that I played.

Q.  Is that a very different feeling?
MARTINA HINGIS:  Doesn't matter.  I think it's like if you go on court and you're competitive and you want to win and you want to play well, it doesn't matter who's on the other side.
I think we have the level pretty much and we believe in each other.  Then I think we have the level of going out there and competing with anybody.

Q.  You're mentioning that there were some moments that were not perfect through the match today.  Could you give a few examples of those moments that you experienced when things were not perfect?
MARTINA HINGIS:  Well, it's different.  When I played there was no 3‑All ‑‑like those deuce points, like the ads, where you always had advantage and deuce.  I think that's like the biggest difference, those key points that, yeah, they're really important that you have to be ready and try to do the best of like to be 120%, not just like 50, you know.  I think that's the biggest key.
In our game, even today or in the last two matches that we played, for me that's the biggest difference, that you have to be spot on.

Q.  Daniela, you spoke about how nice it would have been when you approached her to have her back, but is this more like a strategic partnership, kind of like who is the best player out there, it would be her, and you want to win another doubles slam, or was it just kind of more of fun?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  For me it was all about just having fun and just being able to, for people to see what Martina still can produce on the court.  I have been on the tour since she left all these years, so I knew exactly what her level is and what I see in today's tennis, and I wouldn't say or suggest it if I wasn't sure of it.
I'm really glad she's able to show it, because I always said like once we are champion inside, you always going to have it in you forever.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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