Here's her interview where she talks about acupuncture, the tour, rankings and her game and confidence.
March 9, 2002
PACIFIC LIFE OPEN
Indian Wells, California
M. HINGIS/S. Talaja
An interview with:
MODERATOR: Questions for Martina.
Q. How was the wrist?
MARTINA HINGIS: It was good. I mean, I had treatment, lots of treatment. Also after Scottsdale, my doctor flew in from Switzerland, so that was a big help. I'm very thankful, otherwise I probably wouldn't be able to play here.
I had acupuncture done. That kind of took the pain away. Lots of massage, things like that, just treatment. It was almost perfect today.
Q. Doesn't feel bad after the match?
MARTINA HINGIS: I mean, it gets a little bit tight, of course. Who doesn't have wrist problems in today's game when the power is out there. Those girls hit so hard.
I mean, I've had problems with my wrist in the past, but not this critical like it was this time. I'm happy to be over it. I just got to keep working on it.
Q. You must feel good how you played today. Give us a recap how you felt you did.
MARTINA HINGIS: I feel great, considering last week I wasn't quite sure if I'm going to play here. So that helped me also have an extra day, just practice. Like last week, I wasn't really able to practice the way I wanted to because I just tried to escape the pain, and it didn't work. Also in the matches, I had trouble.
So now I'm happy the way I played. Came out there today and played. I'm very pleased with it.
Q. Will acupuncture be a daily thing you get?
MARTINA HINGIS: No. Just like three points where the pain is, then just the wrist wasn't painful. You try to massage.
Q. Do you have to do it every day?
MARTINA HINGIS: No, that was just a one-time thing. I mean, he did it also to me in the past when I had the heel problems and also in the wrist. It was like two, three years ago. Different spots. I'm getting older (laughter).
Q. Does that give you immediate relief?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yes, the way he does it. He's the top of the top at these things. I mean, he also did my ankle. He's a surgeon normally, but he also does this, more or less to soccer players, they come in, hockey players in Switzerland. All the top teams, they always go by him.
Actually, I think Kafelnikov wanted to have him do something, too, the other day.
Q. What is his name?
MARTINA HINGIS: Heinz Buhlmann, H-e-i-n-z, B-u-h-l-m-a-n-n.
Q. Is this the same man who operated on your ankle?
MARTINA HINGIS: Exactly. He's been doing a great job with me, knock on wood.
Q. So you're keeping him busy all by yourself?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yes. He flew all the way from Switzerland just for this. It's a great effort. In an emergency, I can call him anytime. It's great.
Q. Is he sticking around?
MARTINA HINGIS: He left this morning. So he's been here for like five days. No, he left this morning. He knew that I'm going to be fine. Now it's up to me.
Q. What do you think your chances are? Obviously, Kim is already out. Justine was struggling in her match yesterday. How do you feel your chances are for this tournament?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think my chances are great. I mean, I've been playing well from the beginning of the season. Last week I wasn't too happy about it, but like for different reasons.
Just like I think at this point if I can keep it up, my confidence was rising since the Australian Open. I think if I can keep this level, I'm even getting better each time.
Q. When you have an injury like you had with your wrist, how do you block that out when you're out playing on the court?
MARTINA HINGIS: I mean, it wasn't that serious. Normally it's like tendonitis, you have to take two weeks off and play again. You would have to let it go by yourself.
But like this, the healing procedure was faster. I think it's difficult. Like even Kim, you can see these days anybody can beat you if you don't practice and you still are injured or something. I don't know how well her wrist is at this point, but I think it's still a little problem.
It just bothers you because the level of the other girls has gotten so much better, so closer. It's just impossible.
I mean, I realize myself last year at Wimbledon, if you just have a little thing, you're out.
Q. Does it seem strange that you're one of the veterans of this tour at such a young age?
MARTINA HINGIS: I consider myself like middle age, you know. There are still older ones than me. But there's like youngsters, Dokic, Henin, they're like three, four years younger than me. You have Sharapova at this tournament, first time showing up. It's interesting.
I think if I can keep my level up there and beat most of them, I'll be happy about that.
Q. Are you feeling more enthused or energetic about your tennis than you were at the end of last year?
MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, definitely. It's like day and night.
Q. What do you attribute that to?
MARTINA HINGIS: Just everything. I think the injury also, that I had some time off. I probably really needed that. Just sometimes it's nice not having to do all these things, just be for yourself like two months at the same place, no travel, no questions, no answers, nothing really to do. Just concentrate on yourself and have a little privacy, private life. It was nice not to be always stressed out, rush anywhere. It was nice.
Q. I noticed you weren't wearing the shirt with the long sleeve. Are you wearing that any more or is that gone?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, now I have two long sleeves. I don't know if you saw me last week playing, because it was so cold. It was nice to be covered. The one sleeve is gone, yeah. Now it's a two-sleeve. In this weather, I'll probably be boiling there.
Q. Do you like coming out here to Indian Wells?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yes, I do, very much. I mean, it's a beautiful place. Also the stadium, the first year it was like very raw and rough. But every year, it seems to be better and nicer. Just everything is so clean. It's like paradise a little bit. You almost think like, "What am I doing out here? It's like holidays, vacation, a little bit." But it's beautiful.
Q. You'll probably be back at No. 3 by the end of this tournament.
MARTINA HINGIS: Hopefully, yeah.
Q. Are you in the hunt for No. 1? How do you feel about the race to be No. 1 by the end of the year?
MARTINA HINGIS: I think I have pretty good chances at this point. Like I said, it's just the beginning. I'll jump back to No. 3 after this, hopefully. Now I think these tournaments are very important also, for myself, the confidence that this one and the upcoming one, because everybody's going to play there. Just see how it goes. The sisters are going to be playing, Jennifer, the top of the top.
It's nice to know where you're standing again.
Q. Do you consider it mostly a three-woman race between you, Jennifer and Venus for No. 1?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, you never know with Serena, and Monica. There's lots of girls out there. You can lose any time. Probably at this time, yes, Venus, Serena, Jennifer and me.
Q. You've been so used to being at No. 1. When the rankings were out, you dropped to No. 4, did that disturb you or frustrate you at all?
MARTINA HINGIS: I mean, I knew I didn't have the game last year. I mean, you can't expect with the results I've had that I'm going to stay at No. 1 forever. I just try to get, you know, myself back into that shape I was two, three years ago, try to get my place back.
But if it's not going to happen, I mean, I've been up there for four years. It definitely would be great. But at this point the other two deserve it.