Hingis wonders about lack of top players from India
Kolkata, Sept 19: After registering a comfortable win in her first competitive match on Indian soil, 'Swiss Miss' popped the million-dollar question: why doesn't the world's most populous nation have that many top tennis players?
"There are so many people in india. So why don't you have so many tennis players," she asked in the post-match media conference after steamrolling past Hungarian Melinda Czink in the opening round of the USD 175,000 Sunfeast Open.
In contrast, her country Switzerland had tennis clubs everywhere.
"We are fortunate that in Switzerland we have tennis clubs everywhere, in every village. Everyone gets to play," she said, explaining the success of players like Roger Federer and herself.
Asked how she rated Sania Mirza, Hingis said "she is very talented. She has great groundstrokes. But she needs to make use of all her shots as part of a right strategy."
"She has to improve every day. The other girls are not sleeping," Hingis said with a chuckle.
Hingis, who won the Australian Open mixed doubles title partnering Mahesh Bhupathi, said that she enjoyed playing with the lanky Indian.
She said that due to the gruelling schedule, however, it was difficult to play both singles and doubles.
On the French Open, where she left Bhupathi after playing only the first round, Hingis said: "I was very tired."
"And this is the reason I am playing only singles here," said the former world number one player.
Hingis said she was satisfied with her form yesterday. "I am happy with the way I played," she said.
On how she motivated herself after a three-year injury-induced sabbatical, Hingis said: "It's because I missed it (the circuit) so much. It's great to be back in the circuit, to know that people have missed you. I have friends all over who have welcomed me."
Hingis said that she was aware that Czink had ended Sania's run here last year. "So, I did not want to disappoint the crowd."
Hingis said that she enjoyed playing indoors. "It's a smart move rather than playing outside in the heat here."
With the world of tennis having changed from the time she was the numero uno player, Hingis said "I have to work hard. I worked out for six to seven weeks in the pre-season to get into the groove.
"The girls are much fitter now. The trend was started by Martina Navratilova, then Steffi Graf. The Williams sisters had the perfect technique."
On whom she would love to beat to regain her number one status, Hingis said: "Sharapova, Mauresomo, Henin-Hardenne, Clistjers when she is fit.
"All these girls are great opponents and I need to beat them in order to get back."