Saturday, December 18, 2010

Martina Hingis post marriage interview

SI: Martina Hingis, when a couple gets married after such a short time, the bride…

MH: (Laughs). No, I am not pregnant. When Thibault proposed to me in September, we thought the 10.12.2010 would be a good date. Our marriage is for many people a surprise, but it was pre-planned for a long time.

SI: Weddings of stars and princesses are mostly in white and the bride arrives in a horse-drawn carriage.

MH: That we will do later. We plan a big wedding next summer – under the open sky. It should be really romantic.

SI: How romantic was the marriage proposal?

MH: On my birthday Thibault gave me a diamond Bulgari ring as a gift. We had a classy dinner in Bruxelles, when he gave me the ring. Whereby he said that this ring shows his love for me. And we both thought that it sounds like a marriage proposal. And so my birthday gift was the engagement ring.

SI: Why is Thibault the man whom you marry?  

MH: Even if we sometimes disagree, and I get annoyed at him – I only have to look him in the eye and I know that I love him. When I have to travel without him, I miss him already in the plane. And: (laughs) I can always wear high heels. Thibault measures 1,92 metres. I feel comfortable with him.
SI: Could you describe your husband.

MH: He is very attractive, eloquent, with a zest for life. He has humor and energy. He comes from a good family. He is very charming.

SI: Did you already succumb to his charm during the first meeting?

MH: I realized immediately that he has that certain something. But he is French, I am Swiss – we do not have the same mentality.

SI: And how does that work?

MH: Very well. Our interests and ideas about life are the same. We are playful and stimulate each other. Between us is always a small competition – whether on horseback, in ping-pong or something else.

SI: Who is the better rider?

MH: Thibault began later, but he is stronger.

SI: To compete constantly sounds somehow tiresome.

MH: That is our nature. Thibault encourages me. I am a strong woman and need a strong man who defies me.

SI: Your name will be Hingis even after the marriage and not Hutin – How does a proud Frenchman deal with it?

MH: There is no problem. The French are progressive. I keep my name – it is a brand. But to be called Madame Hutin in the private life, that I like too. 

SI: Do you use nicknames?

MH: We seldom use the first names. I call him often „Chéri“. He calls me „mon amour“.  Most of all I like „Ma petite ciel de mer“.

SI: You have sold your house at the lake in Hurden.  You moved into your husband's apartment and learned French.  Are you now a „Parisienne“?

MH: No. In January we will intensify the search for a home in Switzerland. When I had to collect the documents for the marriage, Thibault accompanied me to Truebbach – a journey into the past to my roots. I love Switzerland. He knows it. We want to live in Switzerland.

SI: And so he has no troubles?

MH: The Parisians are peculiar. And even if they cannot imagine it - there exists a world outside of Paris.  Thibault wants to get to know something else.  We only have a chance when we are together. Therefore I could also imagine a future in the Romandie [French part of Switzerland].  To compromise belongs to it.

SI: Something new for you

MH: Right. Previously this was not the case. In the tennis world there was no room for compromises.

SI: You still play on the tennis courts – Exhibitions in Europe, Assia and the USA. You still keep trying?

MH: Absolutely. It gives me great fun. I play doubles with Anna Kournikova or mixed with Pat Cash.

SI: Do you play for money or for fun?

MH: The pleasure is great. The money I earn I spend on the horses.

SI: When you led the world tennis rankings, Thibault was eleven years old.  Did he know who you are?

MH: He knew my name.  But for him I am Martina and not Hingis the tennis star.  In Paris there is so much more than tennis.  And at Roland Garros I was not particularly successful.  Thibault is my Paris-win.

SI: You are six years your husband’s senior.  Does the age gap bother you?

MH: Surely I was contemplating. But we were often living on a confined space for a longer time. So I realized that it could work with both of us.

SI: How is your living together?

MH: Very traditional.

SI: But have you ever seen your husband with a vacuum cleaner?

MH : (Laughs). The household is my business.  Thibault was spoiled by his mother.  She has a big heart and did everything for him.

SI: So she has done you no favors.

MH: The way he loves and respects his mother, he does it to me too.  Thibault has great respect for his mother. And I really like his mother. I like to spend time with her. She was also there, when I bought my dress for the registry office. It’s nice to have a second family.

SI:When will you raise your own family?

MH: I would like to wait one or two years. Then I must also get pregnant. Now we enjoy the togetherness.

SI: After the wedding is the wedding night

MH: This was organized by Thibault's mother!.  She booked the Presidential suite at the the George V as a gift – including four-poster bed and rose petals. That was really great.

by Bettina Portmann and Urs Heller of Schweizer Illustrierte No. 50 of December 13, 2010

Transcribed and translated by hilarius from  

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