Monday, January 15, 2007

Martina Hingis in Smash Magazine

Hilarius again! Hingis in Smash Magazine
Translation of a new "old" interview by Michael Hasler, Smash magazine no 1/2 of 2007

Translation of an an interview by Michael Hasler in Smash (Swiss Tennis Magazine) in the January/February number of 2007.
The interview dates apparently from a pre-tournament press conference of the Zurich Open in October 2006. I think I had read the bigger parts of this interview in other papers or websites in October 2006.
Furthermore I noticed that the interviewer is not always accurate. I don’t believe that Martina said the following “My Asian tour. Seen from the point of sport I was very successful”. Martina knows exactly how she played in Seoul and she will never say such blunder.

Smash: Martina Hingis, this interview is made at the Zurich Open. It must be a satisfaction for you to return as as top ten-player to your home country after such a fine come-back year.
Martina: Satisfaction is not exactly the right word. I am rather proud what I achieved in the last months. When I decided to return to the Tour after a 3 year break, I did not know, where I stand today.

Smash: Did you even surprise yourself?
Martina: At the beginning of the year, yes. I prepared very seriously, but I had only a small match practice. Really, I didn’t dare to think about a QF at the Australian Open. This was great.

Smash: Did the Australian Open give you the necessary self-confidence for the rest of the first half year?
Martina: Yes, you can say so. I started into an uncertainty and saw that my feel for the ball and my comprehension for the play still worked.. And what is much more important: my body endured the strains.

Smash: You had rather doubts about your body?
Martina: Yes, I am no teenager anymore. My body needs more recovering as formerly. I prepared myself very carefully and I had always again breaks. But I still had concerns, that my body just cannot swallow the strains.

Smash: Upto to the US Open you had apparently no problems with your body?
Martina : I also made again breaks before the US Open. I t looked as my timing was not perfect. Later I found out that I had a deficiency of iron. Today I know how to react to phases of weakness. Experience is a great help too. Apart from that, I am satisfied with my fitness.

Smash: Was it difficult to train again every day?
Martina: No, quite the opposite. Formerly this was a element of my life. In my three years away from the tour I lacked a clear structure of the the day. Partially I really enjoyed to have again a daily routine. And I always loved to play tennis, also before my come back.

Smash: How do you experienced your come back seen from the sport side.
Martina: I perceived that the pace increased during my absence. I had do get used to it first. But with the new material you can do things, which were formerly not possible. Technically, I play better than at the times before my retirement. I had mainly to adapt to the tactics. The women tennis was getting much more aggressive. Defensive “artists” do not longer exist.

Smash: And how did you feel to be again on the stage?
Martina: Great. It was just unbelievable, which echo may come back caused, especially with the media. But also the public reacts differently as formerly. I think the cause is, that I am older. When I was the no 1 with 16, I was a teenager. Now I am a woman and more mature.

Smash: Do you experience the tour now as an “adult” differently?
Martina: Yes. As I already said, I was a teenager in my first career. I live now more consciously. I also try to witness more besides the tournaments.

Smash: Could you give us an example?
Martina: My Asian tour. Seen from the point of sport I was very successful (sic!). But the poverty in these countries touched me. One of the highlight was the visit to the home of Mother Teresa.

Smash: Why did you risk to destroy your own myth when you returned to the tour. Which was the basic consideration?
Martina: Wistfulness and wishfulness. I commented matches and was ambassador in Zurich. I was also near to the Tour and especially during the Grand Slams I had the feeling that I wanted to play again. And finally I decided to return to the Tour.

Smash: And you trained with Patty?
Martina: Yes, she was the first player, who was informed of my plans. We trained together in Wollerau and it worked well. I informed her about all, so that she was prepared when the media suddenly where interested for my person.

Smash: But nevertheless you both go separate ways?
Martina: Yes, but not because of a rivalry. That we do not train together has a simple reason. We play just at other tournaments.

Smash: How important is it for you to be No. 1 in Switzerland?
Martina: To be honest? This is not so important.

Smash: Patty travels with her husband and coach around the world. You just separated from your mother. Do you search a new coach?
Martina: Two points are important. First, I separated with my mother without any quarrel Secondly, I consider my mother to be the best trainer. I am now 26 years old and I dare to know what I need. I am not looking for a coach.

Smash: Did you ever question your come back this year?
Martina¨No, I had three years to enjoy my life, to do what I wanted and I have become aware that my backlog demand was not so great. Upto now I have not regret my decision.

Smash: From the bottom into the topten. As a former no.1 do you imagine to be no 1 again?
Martina: I was asked this question again and again this year. I think the people look at the facts not intently. It is a long way from the no. 7 or 8 to the no. 1. I do not think at the no. 1, but I shall prepare for the next season as well as possible.

Smash: Ho do you like the life as a Tour player? And how does the home matter you?
Martina: My home has a greater importance for me now. When travelling I am not only interested in the tennis places, as I want to see also other things. But most of all I enjoy my own home and my life in Wollerau.

Here a pic from the website of Smash. In the printed edition there are 3 more: 1 from the Zurich Open(probably 1st round), 1 from the James Bond-première in Zurich and a double page pic in the middle of the magazine.

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