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Quotable Quotes: More From Martina

Who was her biggest inspiration? Why did she always do so well in Australia? What kept her motivated? Martina Hingis talked about it all at the International Tennis Hall Of Fame this weekend.

Published July 16, 2013 12:00

Quotable Quotes: More From Martina
Martina Hingis

NEWPORT, RI, USA - Who was her biggest inspiration? Why did she always do well in Australia? What kept her motivated? Martina Hingis talked about it all at the International Tennis Hall Of Fame.

On her biggest influences...
"The biggest influence for me was always my mom, because she was a professional player herself. She's the one that taught me how to play tennis when I was two years old. Rod Laver told me yesterday that he was one of the big influences on how she wanted me to play. Another one was Martina Navratilova, obviously - she gave me the name, so that was the destiny, that was kind of programmed. I did a lot of different sports when I was a kid, but tennis was always the priority."

On the 1994 US Open junior final, which she actually lost...
"I loved that match. It was my first time in the States that summer, and I lost first round in the pre-tournament, and I was crying. I was like, 'I don't feel it.' I had never played on hardcourts. I only grew up playing on clay, and then I played on grass and carpet. But I was crying. My mom was like, 'Don't worry. You'll make it.' We practiced like four hours a day, so I was happy to make it into the finals of the US Open. Afterwards we built a hardcourt, so I learned how to play on it better after the tournament.

"I lost to Meilen Tu in the girls' final at the US Open that year. Now she's Azarenka's manager. So she's had a great history in tennis too, and she was a very good player at the time as well."

On her 1997 season...
"The Australian Open was my first win at a major tournament, and I loved going back there every year. I was fresh and always prepared to go there, that was the main reason why I always did well there, after having a break, a little off-season. One month of practice and then Australia. Then the French, Wimbledon and US Open - playing Venus in the US Open finals, we were the youngest finalists at that time. It was the only time I was ever nervous. I couldn't sleep probably the entire night before. I just wanted to go out there and have it behind me, but I came out and played a great match."

On the lessons she learned from her playing days...
"I think tennis is one of the most emotional sports, because it's week in and week out. I don't see any other sport that's as fast-living as tennis is. One day you win Wimbledon and then the next day you lose, and you're like the biggest loser again. It's an emotional rollercoaster. But then again, when I lost the '97 finals at the French, there was Wimbledon right around the corner, and I was even more hungry to try to win that one. So there are chances, and then pluses and minuses to it all as well.

"And the '99 finals at the French - if I had won that one easily, no one would have talked about it."

On what kept her going...
"I love the game. I always did. That's what kept me out there for many years. Thanks to my mom for teaching me that, and I'll be forever grateful. I'd much rather go out there and run behind the little yellow ball than just go for a jog or go biking or anything else. I just really love the sport."

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