The US Open Sessions - Hear music made with tennis dataFind Tickets Online at ticketmaster

An Interview With: Martina Hingis and Flavia Pennetta

Thursday, September 4, 2014

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please. It was a nice victory there. Can you just comment on the win and where this places you in the tournament?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I'm enjoying every second to be out there. I said that two days ago already. We make the semifinals. I think we beat some really great teams on the way to get there. We proved it again today. They were No. 3 seed, right? So they are always contenders to win a Grand Slam. Cara has been there, done that, you know. So I think we really deserve our spot to be in the finals now.

FLAVIA PENNETTA: I agree. (Laughter.)

Q. What role can playing World TeamTennis have in your success here this year, do you think?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I just felt like, to me, it was a great team that I was able to be in the last couple of years, you know, partnering with Leander and with Anastasia, having Murphy as a coach. He also came out there today to watch and support. The owner was there today, as well. You really feel the team spirit. He made it possible this morning. He was still in Washington in a meeting and he came to the second set.

FLAVIA PENNETTA: I didn't know that.

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, yeah. I think it's just really like the emotions are there. It's a great preparation, as well. I mean, any title is a great title to have, whether it's TeamTennis title, a Grand Slam or being No. 1. It's always another steppingstone in a career, and, you know, now we're here in the final. I'm really happy.

Q. Is there a physical payoff, three weeks, short period of time, just prior to the US Open?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, we played a couple more tournaments after that. One week off and just being fresh into the Open. I always take the one week to really prepare and mentally be ready. I think that like after TeamTennis you're ready for anything. It's just like really draining. You're there, you're there for your team, you know, and it's just everything. After, it's a great relief. I think nothing can throw you off ever anymore. I think for every rookie it's a great thing to do. I have been doing it for the last six years. Whenever you feel down or anything, it's like those moments I think on the court that really pays off. To me it's always been great, you know, TeamTennis in the last years that I have played. I think now being on court -- and every victory gives you confidence. The last two years it definitely gave me confidence to play some great doubles.

Q. You have had obviously so many great moments at the US Open. How great does it feel to be back and be part of the theater of this event and now to get into a final, you know, here again after all the years that you have been here?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, it means a lot to me. I mean, obviously, like you said, I only won one title here in doubles. That was a while back in '98. I made some good matches, like some great memories, but it's been a while. So it's like I really cherish this moment because I have had some great matches, but also in doubles I didn't feel like I had too many opportunities. I lost to players that actually I beat in this tournament now again, like whether it was Peschke, you know. So it felt like really far away. Also in the beginning of this tournament I think we had a really tough draw. So I think we really deserved our spot. I think this tournament it all came together for me. I played a lot better than in the previous tournaments. With Flavia I feel really comfortable being out there. I think that's the key to success.

Q. Great situation for Flavia. Flavia, have you ever thought of playing TeamTennis, too?

MARTINA HINGIS: The owner was after her.

FLAVIA PENNETTA: Not for the moment.

Q. Do you realize that you lost I think never more than seven games in each match? I think you won each quite easy. Which was the most difficult, and did you expect that?

FLAVIA PENNETTA: I mean, like she said, the draw was really tough from the first matches. We had luck in the first one because Rybarikova, yeah, she wasn't able to play. She was injured. But since then I think we played really well. The second match was amazing. Safarova-Pavlyuchenkova was really good. Like she say, we really feel comfortable on the court. We like to play together, and always we have a different -- in the important moments or when we are down, we always come out with some different things. We have always the energy to come back.

Q. Do you guys remember the first team that you beat when you partnered up this year?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, next ones, of course.

Q. Does that give you confidence?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think you have to play -- Makarova played really well this tournament. I mean, it always helps for you, you played really great tennis at this tournament. Because also playing well in the singles, it definitely helps.

FLAVIA PENNETTA: They play really well. It's gonna be tough.

MARTINA HINGIS: We have to come out with our best. I mean, if they beat us, too good. If it's not gonna be enough, even better.

Q. Do you know that there would be Davis Cup match between Switzerland and Italy in one week?

FLAVIA PENNETTA: That's true. In Geneva.

Q. I'd like to know...

MARTINA HINGIS: I was invited.

Q. Switzerland should win 5-Love or there is a chance for Italy?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I hope Roger and Stan, they're gonna win, of course (Smiling.) I mean, they are a great team if they want to win one time in Davis Cup it's now. Now is the time to shine. Definitely I'll be there rooting for them.

Q. Flavia?

FLAVIA PENNETTA: It's gonna be tough. Really tough.

Q. Martina, you have worn many hats: coach, World TeamTennis, doubles, mixed. Is this where you feel most comfortable? Maybe not here in press, but on court.

MARTINA HINGIS: If I have to serve it out that's not the most comfortable moment. I mean, I made the game 5-4 and then we couldn't return. I don't remember, 4-All. I was so happy I held serve. But, no, there are definitely moments when I think we build our moments or our strategy. Definitely she's very powerful obviously from the baseline. As long as I'm at the net I feel comfortable, you know. That's my time to do things. I think we just really click together at this moment even better than any other tournaments that we played together. Obviously the first time we played together at Eastbourne was also -- right away we beat three top 5 teams. In the end probably our gas tank was a little low in the finals.

FLAVIA PENNETTA: But we played really well.

MARTINA HINGIS: Now we have a day off.

Q. You were flying everywhere, catching everything. It was almost a ballet.

MARTINA HINGIS: It's like you want to keep that momentum. It's scary, because we already play like amazing first set. Like the first games was everything was like perfect, right? She hit, I'd go short crosscourt volleys. Everything. Yeah, so you just want to keep going and keep the momentum.

Q. Martina, you played doubles with many different partners in the past. What kind of comparison you can do with Flavia? Flavia, who played with Gisela Dulko, there is nothing easy to compare with Gisela with Martina because they play completely different.

FLAVIA PENNETTA: Not really. Gisela, she has -- in the net she was really good also and good eye and moving. I mean, that's why I play good with her, because I stay more in the back and she stay more on the net. I play more or less in the same way I was playing with Gisela. I feel comfortable in the same way.

Q. Martina, with your partners?

MARTINA HINGIS: They're similar. It's like I always had also like players who could hit and strike the ball from the baseline, good serve, and I think, you know, overpowering the other players. I mean, even if you play Gajdosova-Tomljanovic, she can hold her own from the baseline and I try to scare them at the net. That's very similar to me. All the partners I had in the past, except maybe Novotna -- I mean, she's great at the net. Even match point two days ago I was like so happy she has great reflection. So I don't have to be scared like someone on the second serve, they are going to shoot her off the court. It's not gonna happen. I know when she's there she's there. She can move. She can cross. I think that fits our game. We can adjust to each other in the moment.

Q. Can you compare the depth in the women's game right now to when you were in the prime of your singles career?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, I don't want to talk about singles. It's hard. I have been doing these answers and questions the past two weeks. I'm not gonna do that.

Q. Brava you say the last moment or other words?

MARTINA HINGIS: No, I think that was always my words since we play together.

Q. Just brava?

FLAVIA PENNETTA: I talk with her more in Spanish than in Italian because she's boyfriend is from Spain. (Martina slaps Flavia.)

Q. Finally inside information.

FLAVIA PENNETTA: No. My boyfriend? Spanish also. He's Spanish also.

Comments