Saturday, February 25, 2006

Martina Hingis' post match comments after defeat against Sharapova


Even losing doesn't really upset the Swiss Miss. Despite crashing out to Maria Sharapova in the Dubai Open women's championship quarter-finals, Martina Hingis was her usual bubbly, giggly self at her post match interview yesterday.

Hingis, the former world No.1, had beaten Sharapova in Tokyo a couple of weeks earlier. So what happened here? "She (Sharapova) played really well. She's tall and that gives her the advantage of being able to hit some great top spins. I came up short at the end," said Hingis, ranked 50 now.

"I wasn't concentrated enough today. I made quite a few unforced errors. But she played well (even though) the crowd was carrying me today."

Dubai loves an underdog. In the first round around 5,000 throats roared for Sania Mirza when she played Hingis. Yesterday, the show court crowd raised their voices for Hingis. After all the Swiss miss was playing a world number four and seeded third here.

When Hingis was asked if Sharapova's grunting affected her own performance, Hingis giggled and then said: "Actually it was quite funny.

"Hingis, who got a wild card for the Dubai Open, said her short-term goal is to get into the top 15. "I need to get seeded for tournaments so that I don't have to play (Amelie) Mauresmo or (Justine) Henin in the first round.

"Over the past few days, quite a few of her rivals said Hingis is playing at a level within the top 20 in the world. "She could easily be in the top 20 or 15," said Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova, a former US Open champion.

Hingis also said doing things a bit more carefully these days to stay injury-free. It was niggling small injuries that forced Hingis to call it quits three years back when she was top gun in the women's draw.

On her relationship with her mother, Hingis said with a big smile: "We don't fight as much anymore. She's getting older too and I'm trying to keep her stress-free."

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