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ACE Tennis Magazine (Aug/Sep 2010-issue)
ACE Tennis Magazine< (Aug/Sep 2010-issue)

June 2010

 

 


feelings about reunion:
Anna: "You know somebody's your friend when you can just pick up where you left off."

Martina Hingis: "It's like it was 10 years ago."

How did you both come together as a Doubles pair back then?
Anna: "I think I asked you to play. Martina was already No.1 in the world in singles and doubles and had won a bunch of tournaments, so it must have been me that asked her."

Martina Hingis: "It was one of the best parts of my career when we teamed up. You have a partner and also a friend at the same time; you're not alone on the court. We would joke around a bit, but be serious when we needed to be."

How it was bursting onto the tennis scene as teenagers and current rules and restrictions:
Martina Hingis: "On the way up it always seems to be easier because you have nothing to lose against the top players. When I was 14 I was beaten by Mary Pierce 6-0, 6-0, and I was like 'OK, there is probably some room for improvement'! I wasn't tired, or traumatized, I learnt from it. I was pretty much full time on the tour at 15. But there are rules and restrictions now, which I don't personally agree with. You learn more when you're 15 than when you're 18, and young players don't get a chance to learn."

Anna: "It's too strict, there needs to be a balance."

Martina Hingis: "It's once you have to come back to those events that you have won, and you have to prove it all over again, that's the hardest situation to be in. For both of us, we were very young when we got to the top; I didn't have the fear. The fear came later, my comeback; I was afraid of the expectation, and I put more pressure on myself."

The benefit of teaming up with each other:
Anna: "I think it really helped us that we were close in age, and we could go through things together. Sometimes I didn't know how to deal with the fame, certain matches, certain things. Martina would help me, and I'd help her. We knew we could rely on each other and relate to each other in a lot of things."

Martina Hingis: "We understood each other very well, we were different, but similar. We complemented each other, I think."

About the 12 Singles encounters (Martina vs Anna):
Martina Hingis: "It was nice when we played. You have the partnership and then you play each other. If you make a big deal of it you're in trouble."

Anna: "There's always going to be tension when there's 120 girls in one locker room who have to play each other. It's completely normal, just like in any office building. But when you are really good friends, and we've known each other since juniors, you understand what's on the court and what's off."

What do you think about the current generation?
Anna: "They're triple the size and strong. We look like tiny little girls. The game has definitely changed."

Martina Hingis: "We just had a different style. Everyone had their own style. That made it unique. I think they just don't teach it anymore."

Anna: "Now it's about the power. I think it's very, very individual. It depends on your development, how fast you can develop your skills, how fast you mature in your head. It depends on the player, it depends on the game, it depends on what country you're from. There are a bunch of factors that affect what time you'll peak. Jana Novotna won her first Grand Slam..."

Martina Hingis: "...at 30!"

Anna: "And Francesca Schiavone won hers two weeks ago. She was on the Tour when I was on the Tour."

Martina Hingis: "I played her in the French Open quarters in 2001. "

comeback thoughts, injuries and new priorities:
Martina Hingis: "I would be wrong if I said I hadn't thought about it. It's normal and only natural that when you see another player coming back, you think about it. But I've already done my comeback. I was very happy with it. I lived through all the emotions. Now it's different. I think I've played enough tennis in my life. Doubles is a different story, but not full time. If I could play in my back yard, maybe."

Anna: "For me, it would be impossible. If I had to return, I would have to live in the trainer's room for three hours every day. I have five different things wrong with my back, from two herniated discs to the four cracks that I have. The right side is smaller than the left side."

Martina Hingis: "I don't want to hear it."

Anna: "People don't realize how strenuous tennis is on your body, and how hard you have to prepare to be on the court. You're not just working out by being on the court, you have to put in a lot of hours off the court to get ready for tennis. It's one of those sports that is full body, you have high impact on every single joint, you use everything, it's always stop and go. It's like running sprints! And we've been putting our bodies through 15 years of that for six to eight hours a day."

Martina Hingis: "When you get older, you have different priorities, your lifestyle changes."

 

 

 

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 Find out more at Anna's offical website:
kournikova.com