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Mark for Martina
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:17 PM
Hingis puts usual suspects on notice: Maria first on hit list

By Linda Pearce
January 5, 2006

MARTINA Hingis has questioned the credentials of another former Wimbledon champion and world No.1, Maria Sharapova, the player the provocative Swiss most wants to meet on her journey along the comeback path.

"It's always been, 'I wonder what she's got, Sharapova?', because I don't see that she's got something that special," said Hingis, who has previously admitted she relishes the prospect of confronting Sharapova.

"Her serve is great, her groundstrokes, but I can't tell until I play her what makes her so exceptional. Or do you know? Can you tell? What's so exceptional about her?"

When it was suggested that Sharapova - who on August 22 became the fifth-youngest No.1 in history behind Hingis - is a powerful shot-maker, mentally tough, and plays the big points well, Hingis agreed that "sometimes one point here, one point there, that's the difference".

She should know, for so it was yesterday at the Australian Women's Hardcourt, with Hingis too steady in the clutch moments for 35th-ranked Klara Koukalova. The 6-3, 6-2 result sets up a winnable quarter-final against Spain's Nuria Llagostera Vives, who upset second seed Francesca Schiavone. Thus, more than three years after her last serious match, Hingis is yet to drop a set.

The day after Lindsay Davenport warned in Hong Kong that her contemporary would find it tough to return to the top after such a long sabbatical, Hingis was also delivered some more welcome news: that her old aura is still worth something in the currency of tennis respect.

"One thing I realise is that still some of the girls they do have respect, that's nice to see, now I have to take advantage of it," she said. "Sometimes it seems that opponents are pulling back rather than going forward."

Yet one problem has been closing out sets, and Hingis needed to save three break points at the end of the first, and another two at the death in the second, as her reworked serve became a little tight and tentative and Koukalova decided to attack what is still a vulnerable second ball.

Hingis said she was happiest that it was "the winning spirit which got me through today, that I really wanted it more because we were pretty flat, both of us, at the end and I just really had more to give". "And at the third match point I was like, 'please, thank God, you know, it was over'. So that anticipation's coming back and every set I feel like I'm shaking off a little bit of the rustiness of the last three years. Overall I think it was a pretty solid performance."

Had Hingis been offered a semi-final appearance before her comeback event started, she surely would have taken it, and Schiavone's departure opens up the draw nicely. Vives has the dubious honour of being the only player to lose in a WTA Tour event to lowly-ranked Australian Sophie Ferguson, at last year's Australian Open, and Hingis was scarcely trembling with apprehension ahead of today's match.

"She's a little girl, running, so she's hopefully not going to overpower me - that's one thing," said the five-time grand slam winner. "You just have to be patient. She gets a lot of balls back, she runs down a lot of balls. I don't think she really has a big weapon, but neither does she have a weakness."

Later, speaking in Swiss-German, a typically forthright Hingis said of Llagostera Vives that while her next opponent is a good claycourter, "frankly, she shovels the ball back".

The remaining quarter-finals will feature top seed Patty Schnyder against Lucie Safarova, No.3 seed Dinara Safina versus Anabel Medina Garrigues and fourth seed Flavia Pennetta against either Tatiana Golovin or Sybille Bammer.

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I just love her honesty... :D

CJ07
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:21 PM
:lol: welcome back Martina

Lita's Ex
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:22 PM
Back in true Hingis form. :lol:

Mark for Martina
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:29 PM
Oh... 3 years... I missed this...

starr
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:35 PM
She was probably speaking in German, wasn't she? I think she wouldn't be speaking Schweizerdeutsch in a press conference.

Anyway, Martina is always so candid. She speaks to reporters like they are her friends. Of course, they aren't! I wish she wouldn't be so entirely candid, but I can't help but adore her. :)

AsGoodAsNew
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:36 PM
Oh... 3 years... I missed this...
It's great isn't it! A player who actually says what she thinks! Welcome back Martina - you were so missed!

FoxyliciousKhat
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:40 PM
I really wish Martina would just shut up, I've had enough of her yapping. I'm not a fan of Maria but I sure hope she beat the crap out of Hingis when and if they play.

DragonFlame
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:42 PM
damn this is nice, she's still got her arrogant but classy way of talking. glad she's back! :D

SilK
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:43 PM
:devil: it's good that she hasn't lost her touch... and I am not talking about her tennis :D

DragonFlame
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:44 PM
I really wish Martina would just shut up, I've had enough of her yapping.

had enough already?, believe me there's a lot more to come :lol: she surely brings some spunk into tennis back with her that's for sure :)

Sweep
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:46 PM
I like Hingis. But I would like to see Sharapova defeat her when they finally meet.

Mark for Martina
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:47 PM
And.. We have our first detractor already... Good times! :drool:

DragonFlame
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:50 PM
And.. We have our first detractor already... Good times! :drool:

it is, isn't it? this year is going to be so much fun :bounce: she surely is motivated to beat maria isn't she? :devil:

Libertango
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:50 PM
Welcome back Martina! ;)

FoxyliciousKhat
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:51 PM
How is what Martina says classy??? You guys have knocked other players for far less, yet all I've been hearing about Martina's comments is that they are so welcome, they are such fun, they are so classy, good for game etc. It is amazing how people can be so hypocritical.

azinna
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:52 PM
Thank God. Some honest-to-goodness-and-backed-up trash talking. Rewinding the clock.....

slydevil6142
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:52 PM
I love that hingis is spicing things up. Quite frankly the tour has needed her spunk and playing style and Im exteremly excited about the prospect of a maria/hingis match... and if its on clay hingis should def come out the victor.

moby
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:54 PM
Oh, Martina! :haha:

starr
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:55 PM
I got the impression that Martina was asking for information. She can't see what's special about Maria, and thinks she will have to wait until she plays her to feel her game. She was asking if somebody else was seeing something she wasn't. When she was told Maria was a great competitior and played well on the big points, Martina agreed that was what many times made the difference.

Of course, if you just read the parts that were highlighted you get a different impression. Martina talks very bluntly. Maybe she was trying to put Maria down, but I didn't get that impression from reading the whole thing.

DragonFlame
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:59 PM
How is what Martina says classy??? You guys have knocked other players for far less, yet all I've been hearing about Martina's comments is that they are so welcome, they are such fun, they are so classy, good for game etc. It is amazing how people can be so hypocritical.

lol if you're already red-headed about these little comments you surely shouldn't watch tennis this year :p

Philbo
Jan 4th, 2006, 05:00 PM
hahahah.. I loved that article.. I didnít like Hingis before, but I must admit, Ive really missed her and love the way she trash talks.. as long as she doesnít step over the homophobe line again..

Goo Martina!!!

Mark for Martina
Jan 4th, 2006, 05:11 PM
The press is loving all of this... they can twist
any athlete's words any which way they want to make their story news worthy... with Martina's casualness and honesty, they are having a field day... and they were quick to pick this up again for sure...

This is only going to draw a lot of attention to the sport. That is great! She has unmatched insight of the game and those who play it... ;)

bw2082
Jan 4th, 2006, 05:12 PM
Martina :lol: :worship:

Hopefully karma won't be a bitch and she draws Maria in rd1 at the open :tape:

starr
Jan 4th, 2006, 05:15 PM
Martina :lol: :worship:

Hopefully karma won't be a bitch and she draws Maria in rd1 at the open :tape:

That would be funny wouldn't it? :lol: :lol:

lynch79
Jan 4th, 2006, 05:16 PM
Oh, I love this girl!

FoxyliciousKhat
Jan 4th, 2006, 05:21 PM
Thank God. Some honest-to-goodness-and-backed-up trash talking. Rewinding the clock.....


LOL what has she backed up??? Did I miss the game that they played? OH you mean the two players she's beaten that she was suppose to beat! LOL! Martina has always been a bitch that craved attention, reason she tried to turn against Anna for the attention Anna was getting. She's only attacking Maria because she feel that although the spotlight is on her, Maria's still right there and it is killing her.

BTW like I said before I'm not a fan of Maria, and I do think her game is overrated but Hingis should wait and see how she fairs against others before attacking her.

Mark for Martina
Jan 4th, 2006, 05:21 PM
That would be funny wouldn't it? :lol: :lol:

Imagine if Masha talks back ala WWE and they have a trash talk bout leading up to the Austrailian open...

The first round meet would be featured as "Monday Madness!" with sold out crowds, balloons and action figures... :D

FoxyliciousKhat
Jan 4th, 2006, 05:23 PM
lol if you're already red-headed about these little comments you surely shouldn't watch tennis this year :p


Oh I'll watch as tennis is unpredictable, hope you stick around when the beatdowns starts.

marmite1
Jan 4th, 2006, 05:26 PM
I will admit I do like Martina's game and have always admired her as a player; however, I abhor her personality, although her bitchy comments are sometimes funny.

thrust
Jan 4th, 2006, 05:39 PM
She sure has made the early season very interesting! I kind of agree with her concerning Maria. I would not be shocked if Hingis did beat Maria in the I^st round of the AO. Maria has not played much lately and the pressure would be on her to win, which would be a big advantage for Hingis.