there are some pretty interesting things like the part where she says that she perhaps doesn t play as loose or as free when she plays against the WS,Lindsay or Jennifer than when she plays against the other players,including Justine and Amelie
. Can you recall being bageled and bouncing back like that?
MARTINA HINGIS: Not really, no. Can you tell me? Probably.
Q. I can't.
MARTINA HINGIS: I can't either. If I've been bageled, I've been bageled twice (laughing).
No, it's -- I don't know. Every time we step out there, we've played like so many times over and over. I don't know, probably 25 times. You know, we played two weeks ago in Warsaw. But, still, probably those expectations which are put on us, you know, because playing the semis or finals of Grand Slams, you know, and it's been five, six years that we've done that, you always expect more, you know, against a player like Venus. You feel like you have to do something special, and that's the respect we have for one another and that's the rivalry we've had. You know, it's a long story.
Q. What were you thinking after you lost the first set and then 1-Love in the second set?
MARTINA HINGIS: I mean, I felt like even the first game, I felt like I could have won that. I could have won the second. I felt like it's just that everything, I was missing by like this much. It wasn't like, you know -- finally, I just have to put it like 10 centimeters inside the lines and not just like always miss by a little bit.
I felt like I was pressuring her, so I didn't feel like I was over (indiscernible). So I still had hope. I was just like, "Please, just put the ball in." That's what I wanted to do at this point.
But, I mean, we just have such a long history. That's the thing. I don't know. It just -- I was so nervous. I don't know. Just playing her, it's always something special. I don't know. I told her I prefer playing other players because we have such a long history and so many great matches. Sometimes I feel like that was the past, you know. We just should keep it there and leave it there and then not do it over again, you know (smiling).
Q. Nervous, frustrated, embarrassed? What was the different --
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, that's quite a vocabulary you put there on me (laughing).
At least I won the last point. That's what the match is about, right? That's tennis. It's a good thing that it's not lost if you lose 6-Love in the first set. And I was still fresh. That was the upside of it. I wasn't even tired by losing 6-Love. So I knew, "Okay, now two more sets to go," and it's not like three more to go (laughing).
But it's just really -- I don't play as loose or as free maybe. Hopefully, next time I play her. There's probably only two or three other players where I feel like that. Playing Lindsay at Indian Wells, or maybe her sister, or Jennifer. These are the only two or three other players where I feel like that.
But the rest, it's just like, I don't know, it's new, it's refreshing, even for me. A lot of players I haven't even faced before. And maybe playing Justine and Amelie, it's also different than those three players.
I don't know. You have an explanation for that? I'm not a psychologist. I don't know why my brain functions like that. What do you think? I really don't know (laughing).
Q. No, but I think you said when you came out of the court on TV that you were almost crying. I don't know if I heard something like that, or it was wrong. You were close to tears.
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, yeah, I mean (laughing)...
Because I'm like, "I can't be that bad." I'm not that bad. It's just like lose to Venus, and I didn't even feel like she was killing me on the court. That was the thing. If she was hitting winners all over the court, aceing me, then I probably understand why I'm losing 6-Love. But not in that occasion.
But, I mean, it was the other day, I played Francesca Schiavone. I kind of feel like the same thing, probably. I wasn't making any special things, but no errors, and that was enough. I guess when you're a little nervous, you play in front of a crowd, and she played at home, I guess that's what I went through today. I don't know why. I really have no explanation.
Q. When she started missing backhands in bunches, did you then start to feel better and say, "This is more like it"?
MARTINA HINGIS: No, but I started to keep the ball in play. I mean, that was the first thing, you know, get some serves in. She probably missed some returns. Get the body serve going. I mean, in the third set it was not the greatest, but it was, thankfully, good enough.
But, no, once -- I just tried to really make her move and not give her too many opportunities, too many angles, but just played straight at her and just fast. And then she started missing some as well.
I'm like, "Okay, now I can start to control and not just go for corners and winners all the time." But once she missed some of the backhands, and also forehands, I was over -- I felt like I was always dictating compared to Warsaw. I'm like, "Okay, that's more like it." But I was just missing in the beginning, and then it started coming in.
Q. What happened in your previous encounter against Venus? You was up but then you lost.
MARTINA HINGIS: Where, in Warsaw?
MARTINA HINGIS: I was up 6-4, 5-4, 30-Love, yeah. In that service game she double-faulted twice. That's why I was up 30-Love. I'm like, "I don't know why." But then she won the next four points.
But even in the third set I had chances, 4-All and serving. I had a couple advantages. Maybe you have to watch the video and then you see what happened. I don't know. I really can't recall that match.
I was happy once I was up. I broke her 5-3 and then was able to serve it out. Much better couple games, yes.
And the third set, at least there was some good points, some good rallies, and I was able to, you know, dictate and come in and just put more pressure on her.
Q. Save a breakpoint in the third game of the third set. Is that really probably the critical point?
MARTINA HINGIS: At 1-All, third game. Yeah, probably that kind of got me going, and then I was 2-All, 3-All. It was more -- I don't know how it felt for you from the outside, but I felt like, Okay, I was able to hold my serves, and then was just a question of time and I'm going to be able to break her because I was always close to break her, like 30-All, deuces. And then was just more, yeah...
Q. Would you rate this as your biggest victory since you came back? Is this one of the reasons you came back, to beat players like Venus?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, it's definitely one of the reasons, yes. I mean, playing her in the semifinals. Now I'm going to play tomorrow the finals against Safina who I beat in Indian Wells. So that feels kind of nice. Definitely going into tomorrow's final with good spirits, you know.
Last time I lost to her, and last couple times, as I remember. Hamburg was like five years ago, four years. I don't know. Before I stopped playing.
The other matches are always against the top players, like Maria Sharapova and Amelie, Justine, Kim. I mean, those are always -- I know that's even for the spectators. I mean, Berlin was just an awesome week of tennis. Women's tennis was just really at the top. I haven't played Petrova yet, but hopefully soon, you know.
Q. This is the second final for you this year. Do you think you consider this one more important than the one in Tokyo or not?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I played Dementieva there last time. Safina won already this year, so it's probably -- I feel like I have better chances definitely playing her. But she's had -- can you stop? Sorry. I mean, really.
I mean, it's just... I lost track now. Sorry.
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, Tokyo against Dementieva, it was just too much. It happened too soon that I wasn't just able to produce, and she didn't let me. That was a great tournament for her, great victory.
And against Safina, hopefully, you know, I can -- she's gonna show some respect, but I can't count on that, right?
Q. Out of the 30 wins that you have this year already, when do you think you played your best tennis, and were you close to the Hingis of before? Do you think you are even doing better for some reason? Personally, for instance, I think you are serving a little better.
MARTINA HINGIS: I think there were two or three great matches I've played already this year. Was the one in Tokyo against Sharapova. Even the previous one against Kirilenko was a great match. But, I mean, the one who everyone noticed was against Sharapova. It was a fast surface.
Another one, even though I lost from having matchpoint, was against Kuznetsova. It was another great match.
And against Amelie last week. I mean, the first couple sets was just great.
This week it just feels like I have more confidence, you know, because I've played well there last week and it's all coming kind of together before the French Open. And I'm happy that I was able, you know, to take my chance and that Amelie pulled out and was able to go, get to the finals, yes.
JOHN DOLAN: Two quick notes before we go. Martina has played Venus 21 times now. You've beaten her 11 times, but this is the first time you've come from a set down to beat her in all those matches.
MARTINA HINGIS: So it's 11-10? What's the score?
JOHN DOLAN: It's 11-10 in your favor now.
MARTINA HINGIS: Yes (laughing).
JOHN DOLAN: For only the second time in your career you've come back after losing the first set 6-Love. When was the other time? Against Serena in Montreal. You've done it against both the Williams sisters.
Q. When was that, John?
JOHN DOLAN: That was in the 2000 final of Montreal. Serena retired in the third set, but Martina --
MARTINA HINGIS: I was up 3-Love already.
JOHN DOLAN: Yeah, you were 3-Love in the third set, but Serena was up 6-Love