Celebrated Martina Hingis, announced her retirement after illustrious professional tennis career amass twenty five Grand Slam Titles (twenty doubles and five singles). But after a losing note is a big disappointment for herself as well as her fans.
The top seeded Hungarian French duo Tímea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic displayed high quality game to conquer the finals in their favour 6 – 4, 7 – 6.
Q. Martina, how does it feel now that it’s over for a third time and probably the last?
MARTINA HINGIS: Awesome. Of course it’s disappointing to finish a tournament like this. I’m sure we both wish for a better ending and, you know, winning the trophy. They were just too good today. They started off really well. I mean, they probably served like 90% first serves. Not much you can do and not just like pushing in. Played really well.
Going double break down was a bit too late to fight against it. We were constantly under pressure also on our serves.
Yeah, I think overall we tried to really give it a great fight. We tried to come back. We had our chances, but every time — you know, like even I feel like in the second set when I had that break point, I hit the tape and it would slow down instead of maybe being up 3-1. Again, it worked — a lot of things were working against us, whether the lets, the calls.
But, I mean, they also sometimes that’s what happens. We had a lot of matches like that that went for us, and today it didn’t. That’s what happens. This is life. This is tennis. This is the game (smiling).
Q. Leticia, can you talk a little about this experience of playing with Martina and how the year was.
YUNG-JAN CHAN: I mean, this year, the whole journey, it’s been incredible. I mean, today it wasn’t the way that we wanted, but still, we have a great year, great season, winning nine titles together.
And then to reach No. 1 together — I mean, she was my idol since I was 8. And to be able to play with her and then to have this incredible run, it’s unforgettable.
Hopefully I can continue the performance in a level that I have, and then also the things I learned from her.
Q. Was it a bit different to be on the court today, knowing that maybe it could be the last one? Were you thinking about it at all, or it was just business as usual?
MARTINA HINGIS: No, there was probably more in the first match, because you feel like you step on and you don’t know — like, every year it’s just, we pretty much play one tournament a year indoors. So I think that’s why they also served better, they played better, you don’t have the wind, the sun, and all the effects that are disturbing in the game.
I think, yeah, once you’re there, you don’t think about it anymore. You just try to find a solution to the game. I think we tried everything that we could, but it just didn’t work.
But like I said, we can’t be too disappointed about it. We still had an awesome year. Winning nine titles, going all the way, coming here, qualifying for the Championships, I think we can be still very proud.
I wish her all the best for the future, because if she can carry on in the next years like that, from what she learned in this year and also before as an opponent, she was a great player, got even better, I’m looking forward to watch her in the future.
Q. Martina, does it feel kind of weird knowing you won’t ever have to go through the processes of training and going on and playing a match?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, this is definitely one thing I won’t miss: waking up, having to go train, like doing all of this over and over again.
It’s something probably I won’t miss at first, definitely not, having to answer questions in the media. I mean, this is nice when you win. Maybe today is not as pleasant. No, you guys have been amazing over the last 20 years. I think, you know, you gave me joy and tennis gave me so much happiness.
Sometimes, yeah, you have defeats. It still gives you a lot. I think it’s been an amazing journey and amazing career that I can be proud of. I’ll definitely miss it at some point in my life.
But like I said, it’s not really good-bye. I hope I’ll still be part of the game. We already made plans. I mean, if she needs me, I can come and be a hitting girl or whatever at some point (smiling).
No, it’s like I definitely will come and watch and be still part of this tour and whatever you want to call it.
Q. Martina, since you made the decision earlier in the year, every tournament you were playing must have felt like the last time I’m here and the last time I’m there?
MARTINA HINGIS: Exactly. So that’s why it’s not as much, yeah, as…
Q. How were you able to put that aside and play such great tennis?
MARTINA HINGIS: Because I have a great partner. That’s, like, one of the reasons. We felt really good, and we felt a lot of the time, like Leticia said, we find a way to win and we find a way to cover each other. Sometimes she’d play better; sometimes I’d play better. But we found a way to win. It’s not like we were steam rolling all the time. But we won 10-8, 11-9, match points down, and sometimes easier matches.
Where I felt it probably more was the last chance to win a slam was the US Open, but we did so well in the quarterfinals, semifinals was a tough one against Sania and Shuai Peng, and in the finals it felt, like, yeah, we were already there and we beat that team a couple times before. That’s why we did like today, we felt like, but I think it’s different circumstances.
But, no, I think we were really growing as a team as it went on. So I felt like we really had it in our hands.
But that’s probably the one time I felt, like, I want to help Leticia doing a slam.
Q. Martina, you have played with two Indians, Leander and Sania. Can you talk a little bit about those partnerships.
MARTINA HINGIS: No, yeah, I will be forever grateful to have had these partnerships, because without Sania, I wouldn’t have come back and had that feeling again. When we won Wimbledon, it was pure joy. And getting back to No. 1 was one of the things. I couldn’t have done it alone. You know, the times as a team were incredible.
So were the ones with Leander, winning four slams more. Like I said, I couldn’t have done it without them. Adding 10 more slams to my career in the third kind of journey was pretty cool. Every single partner I had on the way, whether it was now Leticia and Jamie, as well, it’s been amazing time to be on court.
Q. Martina, you have had a lot of highs in your career and a few lows, as well. Do you reflect on the lows as well on the way out?
MARTINA HINGIS: Not really. Not the time to talk about it, either (smiling).
But, I mean, they are part of me. That’s what makes you stronger and better sometimes. That’s where, yeah, what you reflect on. Thank God for that I’m grateful to have a lot more positive. I think it’s like probably 95 to 5% most of the time.
Even when you lose, you push each other to another level. When I played the Williams sisters in singles or Davenport, Seles, Capriati, all these girls also in the doubles, you just make your — even though opponents make you better as a player and you try to evolve and work on things.
Q. Leticia, obviously you must be in great demand for next year. Do you have plans of who your partner is going to be? I’m sure you’d like Martina to stay, but she says she’s going.
YUNG-JAN CHAN: Yeah, I tried to convince her to stay, but, I mean, if I was her, I would make the same decision. Yes, I need to find a new girl to be playing with. Otherwise I have to play singles. Don’t laugh. (Smiling.)
Yes, I have been talking to a few girls, but we are here still competing with each other, so I don’t think that’s the best moment, you know, to really commit with one special girl. It would be weird to play against each other. Maybe later this year or beginning of the next year you’ll see or I will announce it.
Q. Martina, if you can do the time travel and to tell, three years ago, younger you, advice you would give her.
MARTINA HINGIS: I didn’t understand. Like 30 years ago, 3 our 30? To myself?
Oh, good question. I think that’s a pretty obvious one. It’s like always listen to your parents, right? They know better.
No, I think also the times that you make mistakes, like you said, before is the losses, you make mistakes. The intelligence makes you, whether you learn from them and make yourself better, so I think I picked up on the things I did, the mistakes I did, and I got back stronger sometimes.
Q. So if there was one moment in your playing career you could do without, which would it be and why?
MARTINA HINGIS: I think I shouldn’t have any regrets, because like I said, there is lot of matches you play, a lot of things on and off the court that happen. They happen for a reason, and like I said, they are positive, great. If not, you learn from them.
I don’t think I have any regrets, because, yes, of course there are matches I’d like to play over, but some of them, I imagine I also got lucky to get away with wins, whether singles, doubles, any time. I think overall I’m very proud of my career, and I wouldn’t change with anybody for anything.
Q. You have been a part of the tennis community for so long and seen and done so much. Do you see yourself working on a book in the future to sort of catalog all these experiences and memories?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, that would be a very long story. I think at this point I’m not thinking about it. Of course there are times I was, or I — I don’t know. We’ll see. It’s not something that I’m really interested in at this point, yes. I mean, there is couple of books, biographical ones, matches things, and not as personal. I’m sure that it’s a possibility but not at this point.
Q. Any immediate plans, vacations, I assume, now that you’re all finished?
MARTINA HINGIS: I think after traveling 10 months of the season, and it was a pretty intense season — like, when you win a lot, I think you also don’t have that much time for yourself, which was pretty cool, though. I enjoyed winning a lot (smiling).
But, yeah, I will be just happy taking a step back and being home, enjoying my horses, going skiing and just enjoying, like, a little bit of down time. When I feel the tingle again, I can go. I’m not too worried about that right now.
Q. You came from an era where 14-, 15-, 16-year-olds like yourself and Venus were playing at a high level. I think you became No. 1 at 16. Nowadays it seems to be taking the girls a little longer, and they’re not coming out that fast. Do you think it’s a healthier environment today or just depends on the player?
MARTINA HINGIS: I think it depends overall and the education that you have, whether it’s the education — tennis on and off the court I think is very important. I also feel with Leticia we had a very similar upbringing. The education was to not only tennis but everything else was also very important, whether you have manners at the table, you have manners when you go places. I think that sometimes has been taken away.
I think this is also a part of who you are and what you do. I’d say this is very important. I mean, it was important to my family, and I think sometimes that’s been a little bit forgotten. I think this is the reason why we were so good, because we were also very educated not only on the court but off the court, as well.
I think that’s part of the parenting, which is important. I think that’s why we were very mature with what we did and consistency and discipline, and that’s why we were that good at young age, because we had all of this. I think this is why it’s taking, whether it’s the rules and all of that, but we were, yes, we were given the chance to play early, but you also have to be smart and good enough to handle these situations.
Thanks ASAP Sports.