2004 Martina Hingis News Archive (Sports - Tennis)


  Martina Hingis News Archive, 2004 (Sports - Tennis)

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(Jan 27, 2004) Martina Hingis is spending her 2nd week in Melbourne as a TV commentator for the Seven Network (Australian TV) at this years Australian Open.
Today, Martina told a group of young tennis players that horseback riding is keeping her occupied during her retirement from pro tennis. Martina has been showjumping in Switzerland on her new horse Lytizia, competing in regional competitions and claiming a few prizes. Martina said: "It was really important to get a life off the court and for me it was horseback riding."
Last week, Martina told reporters that a comeback to WTA play was no longer possible for her. Martina said: "It's not possible to train for four to six hours. It's OK to live my life and to live a good life, but there will be no comeback... Sitting at home all day made me a little bit crazy. I still keep a house in Florida and I was only there once last year. I want to keep traveling as much as I can. I've been away for the last 14 years and I could never just be doing nothing."
3-time Australian Open winner Martina Hingis in Melbourne on Saturday, Jan 24 while watching her 2nd-seeded compatriot Roger Federer play

The "Swiss Miss" covered last year's WTA Championships for Eurosport and last month's Australian Open for the Aussie Seven Network, and Martina will be working for Eurosport again at the 2004 French Open.

Martina appears to be following the course of fellow horseback rider Maureen "Little Mo" Connolly, who was a tremendously successful player (9 singles and 2 doubles Grand Slam tourney titles from age 16 to 19) until suffering an injury while riding in 1954. Mo then went to work for the San Diego Union newspaper.

Martina said: "I love commentary. This way I make it to the finals no matter what."

Maureen Connolly and friend at her home in San Diego in July, 1953.
The photo appeared in TIME Magazine that month.

(Feb 11, 2004) Martina Hingis, interviewed by Britain's The Guardian, said once more that it is highly unlikely she will ever play pro tennis again.

Martina said: "I have no regrets about my career and I shouldn't have, because otherwise you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life. Even now people ask 'could I come back?' But you have to get it done and over with, otherwise you'll have a frustrated life.

"I started at a very young age and you always have a high in your career. I had it when I was 17. Justine has it now, when she's 21. It doesn't really matter what age you are. When you are at the best of your game, you carry yourself on that wave. Some last longer, some less. Sometimes it lasts less long because your priorities change or because, in your mind, the motivation goes. That's why I admire players like Andre Agassi or Pete Sampras or Steffi Graf who kept going but, in the women's game, you see that less and less. Physically you can only keep up with everyone for so long. Players will dominate for one or two years at the most.

"For me, to struggle with injuries, have three operations, come back when you are not sure what's going to happen and be in pain all the time . . . I don't want to live like that. Having to live on painkillers and worrying about your health, that's not the lifestyle I want because once you struggle with your body then it stops being fun. I never knew that when I was 16, 17. I was just playing easy out there and winning things. But all of a sudden my body was in my way.

"My foot gets inflamed all the time, when I play for like four or five hours, so I could never get back into professional sport like that. It's good enough for the daily business but it would never stand playing week in, week out and I would never want to be just another one of the 128 players in the draw. It's not really my style. I'd rather get better at something else."

(Feb 28, 2004) Martina Hingis, conducting some coaching clinics in Dubai during the WTA tourney there this week, talked again about her retirement from pro tennis.
Martina said: "If I wasn't around I'd miss it more, but it's still nice to be a part of it and integrated with the game. On the other hand, there's still the travel. But now I don't have to be physically 100 percent and I can sleep in. I don't miss the travel, but I can't stay home for more than one month. I need to leave." About the pain and inflammation of the ankles that led to her retirement, Martina said: "It's nice to have the luxury that's it's really not a must for me to play and go out there with pain... I still work out a little bit and do what I can, like running. That's very limited, but I do horseback riding. It keeps you in shape more than you'd think... It's all restricted times. Usually after half an hour I'm in pain and I stop. Now I don't have to push it to the limits and walk like I'm on nails." About her current lifestyle, Martina said: "I can start my own life doing things that I want to do, and also be able to pay for it. I'm not like a student that has to struggle for the rent. We've got a new house and we've decorated it. It's my first house, in Zurich on the lake."

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Martina with a racehorse in Doha on Tuesday
(Mar 3, 2004) Martina Hingis is in Doha, Qatar this week helping to promote the WTA tourney there. Before leaving Dubai for Doha, Martina spoke to reporters, commenting that junior players are now at a disadvantage because they cannot play in as many pro tourneys at as young an age.

Martina said: "At 14, 15, you can still change things technically and strategically, but when you're 18, 19, it's almost too late. The players today are almost not getting the time to learn the game, to practise and play matches as I did, and Steffi [Graf] did, and Arantxa [Sanchez-Vicario], Monica [Seles] and Jennifer [Capriati] did. All these girls had the time to improve and to learn."

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Martina at Mondays opening ceremonies in Doha

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Martina in Paris
on Sunday, May 23

(May 26-June 6, 2004) Martina Hingis, looking great, as usual, is working as an analyst for Eurosport TV at the 2004 French Open, as she did at last year's WTA Championships. Some of Martina's reports are once again available online, and you can access them with the links below. In the her latest report (the top link) Martina plays some tennis on the Lenglen court at Roland Garros. Martina reiterated that she has no plans to return to WTA play. But since the pain in her ankles does not set in until 30-60 minutes of hard play, she does still play recreationally.

Eurosport Martina Hingis Videos:
Martina plays some light tennis
Martina's semifinal preview
Martina shopping in Paris
Martina on Maria Sharapova
Martina previews 4th round play
Martina on the Henin upset
Martina sums up 1st round play

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(June 20, 2004) Martina Hingis was photographed on Sunday watching players practice for Wimbledon. Martina is working as at TV commentator for ESPN at Wimbledon this year, so those of us who are stuck with US TV will at least have the pleasure of hearing her, along with the excellent Mary Carillo and Mary Joe Fernandez.

Martina at Wimbledon
on Sunday, June 20

(June 22, 2004) Martina Hingis was interviewed by ESPN.com about her work for ESPN as a Wimbledon commentator ("after a whirlwind negotiation") and about her current life in general. She also said she hasn't completely ruled out a comeback--if she could play without pain, and play well--but it isn't very likely.

Martina said: "I'm a rookie here. I take whatever I can from the announcers. I'm not afraid of criticism... Sometimes, I have a hard time being on the point. But, I really like it. It makes me feel closer to the game. I was in the commentary booth on the court yesterday and, oh, the smell of the grass. It was so green. It makes me want to play a lot more.

About the possibility of a comeback, Martina said: [I'm] waiting for a medical miracle... I wish I could play just the big tournaments, that would be great. But I always needed to play a lot of tournaments. The longer you're away from the game, the longer it takes time to come back, maybe three to six months. That's tough... I wouldn't come back if I couldn't be the best, couldn't be top five or challenge for Grand Slams. Practicing four, five hours a day and being in pain, I was not happy. This is better, I think."

Meanwhile, British wild card # 186 Anne Keothavong credited advice from Martina with helping her in her 6-3, 6-1 upset victory over # 39 Nicole Pratt in the 1st round on Monday. Keothavong, who is of Laotian descent, attended an adidas camp in Phoenix in December, 2003, and Martina was there training players for 10 days.

Anne said: "[Martina] was great. She helped all of us girls. She gave a talk, any questions, anything we wanted to ask her, she was happy to answer, just about the tour, how to deal with everything. And she was really good fun. We spent on court with her, off court with her. On court, she's very good. She's still a great player. I mean she pretty much duffed all of us up... Off court, she was really relaxed. Everyone got on well with her. It was just nice to have someone who has been so high, at the top end of the game around to help and talk to us."

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(Sept 23, 2004) Martina Hingis will be in Hasselt, Belgium next week to open the new Ethias Arena, the venue for a new indoor WTA tourney, the Gaz de France Stars. Martina will open the Arena on Sunday, September 26th, and main draw play in the tourney begins on Monday. The event will also include former WTA # 1 Kim Clijsters return to the WTA tour after being sidelined by a left wrist injury for much of this year.

(Oct 17, 2004) Retired former WTA # 1 Martina Hingis is attending this week's WTA Swisscom Challenge in Zurich. Martina participated in the draw on Saturday, looking excellent in both health and attitude, as usual. Martina bought a new house on the lake in Zurich early this year, so she will likely be at the tourney all week.

Martina on Saturday

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    (Jan 7, 2005) Good News: Former WTA # 1 Martina Hingis, who last month announced that she will play the Volvo Women's Open in Pattaya, Thailand (Jan 31-Feb 6, 2005), now says she is considering a comeback. In an interview with Le Matin, Martina said: "The tournament is a test. I don't know how my body will react... I was a bit rusty, in the beginning [of training], with some pain in my calf muscles, but that is part of the game. The state of my preparation is a question of mental preparation above all."

    The outdoor hardcourt tourney has a $170,000 purse and a 32 player draw; Martina will be playing to raise money for several Thai charities. Martina's last WTA match was at the Kremlin Cup in October, 2002; she has won 76 WTA titles.

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