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 hingis.org