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No more tantrums
Hingis vows she won't lose temper at Wimbledon
Posted: Friday June 18, 1999 05:13 PM
EASTBOURNE, England (AP) -- As Martina Hingis prepares for her No. 1 seeding at Wimbledon, she promised Wednesday there would be no more tantrums like the one in the French Open final loss to Steffi Graf.
Hingis smashed her racket and then marched around the net to dispute a line call. She also served underhand and climbed the umpire's chair to make another protest as she threatened to be defaulted in the Grand Slam final.
Hingis stalked off the court after losing to Graf and allegedly struck an official on the WTA Tour before being led sobbing back to the court by her mother Melanie Molitor.
"There's no way that could happen again," she said at Eastbourne, where she is playing doubles in the grass-court warmup for Wimbledon.
"I'm still young and I hope I can learn from it," she added. "You can't do what I did and be happy about it
"I think I've been raised well. I probably lost a bit of control of my feelings and my temper, but it definitely won't happen again. The rules are made for something, and I didn't respect them. That's not right and that's why I got what I did [from the umpire].
"It wasn't the best behavior of course. I did things I wasn't allowed to do, like going on the other side [of the net], but I did them and these things happen. Now I just have to go on with my life.
Hingis was evasive when asked if her mother had scolded her for her behavior, but she said nobody else would have gotten her to return to the court.
"She understands me the best, so there's no need to talk about what happened," said the WTA Tour's No. 1-ranked player. "She knows how I feel. But I knew I had to go out there. It wouldn't have been fair to anybody if I didn't. It would have been too much."
Hingis fled to the sanctuary of her home in the Czech Republic to escape the fury afterwards -- riding horses -- and said she saw none of the headlines labeling her a spoiled brat.
"I didn't read any newspapers. We just cut the grass on some land we have there, and made a tennis court by drawing some lines, and played some volleys and serves and overheads."
She said she also sought refuge in several friends on the tour.
"I only care what the closest people to me say," she said. "There are not too many people telling you the truth if you're one of the best players in the world. But you have to respect somebody.
"Anna [Kournikova] and I are close and the relationship is building," she added. "She came to me in Paris when I was crying, and Nathalie Tauziat also."
And what about her reception at Wimbledon -- where she won two years ago -- after being booed off the court in Paris?
"I don't really know what to expect, but I don't think it [the jeering] will happen at Wimbledon," she said. "The crowd is more polite and the people here at Eastbourne seem to be OK.
"In a way Paris was a good experience. I didn't follow the rules, which I will definitely do this time. Wimbledon is different."
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