Re: Lleyton's Press Conference
TMS - LISBON
November 30, 2000, RR
Lleyton Hewitt - Alex Corretja 6-3 6-7(3) 3-6
MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton.
Q. With the way the crowd reacted today, was that a bit of a taste of what you could expect next week?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I think, yeah, definitely in the way the crowd was today, for sure. Playing neutral -- I suppose that's as bias as I've ever seen (laughter). It's a good piece of experience I think going into next week, for sure. I think I'll definitely be better for the match practice, as well. I still have errors in my game that I have to work on. I think today I just sort of, you know, struggled because I haven't had so many tough matches under my belt the last few weeks. I had three weeks off coming into this tournament. It's a big ask to come out here and match it with the best guys in the world. Who knows? If I made that volley at 2-1 in the tiebreaker, could have been a different story.
Q. Talked about taking things out of it positively. What can you take away from it?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I hit the ball pretty well, I think, especially the first two sets. I think it was high-class tennis. There weren't a lot of cheap unforced errors. There was a lot of close service games on either side. I was pretty happy with the way I actually hit the ball today. I felt like I dominated the match for at least the first set, the start of the second, and the end of the second set, apart from the tiebreak.
Q. How much extra feeling or intensity, whatever word you want to use, was there out there today given what's coming up next week?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I never -- the Davis Cup never came into my mind the whole match. I was out there. This is a totally different tournament, totally different surface. The closest thing was the crowd, I think. That's nothing to what it's going to be like next week. It's a small taste of it. From what Newc and Rochey are telling me, we've got to be prepared to go through worse things than we did in Nice last year.
Q. Can we read anything into the result?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't think so. I'm definitely going to raise my game next week. I'm going to be better for this match.
Q. Did you feel any more tired today? Looked like in the second and start of the third you were looking a bit exhausted at some points.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. Pretty much the same. I think it was just a totally different style match than I've been playing against. Even the guys I played against in Stuttgart when I did well, it was really only Kafelnikov, Ferreira the last two days where I actually played a baseliner. The others were big serve-and-volleyers. I haven't had a lot of matches against the clay court specialists, so to say. I felt like I adapted my game well enough today. You know, I think it's a little bit that I had to play three matches in a row, as well.
Q. Do you feel that you have lost the game or was Corretja the one who win it?
LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, it's hard to say. I think I got out of jail a little bit towards the end of the second set. He got the break halfway through the second set. He probably should have served it out. You know, to my credit, I kept fighting there, and I got it to a tiebreaker. You know, then I had an early chance. You know, even if I was 3-1 up, there's still a lot of points to go. It could have been a different story. You know, I think, you know, in one way I feel like I lost it a little bit, but he played good tennis.
Q. You'd have to expect him to be an even tougher opponent than that next week, considering it's going to be clay?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, for sure. It's really who is going to raise their game, you know, to the next level, I suppose. You know, we all know he's capable of it, especially it's going to be even a bigger lift I think playing -- I don't think Spain has ever won a Davis Cup final. It's in his home city. I think he's from Barcelona, as well. There's a lot of incentive there to play for. I've got a lot of things I'm playing for, as well. So far in my Davis Cup career, I've only lost one live singles rubber. I believe in myself in the big matches. I believe that I give myself every chance of coming through.
Q. Even so, would you have sort of taken a bigger psychological edge if you think you won today, given what happened in January in Australia?
LLEYTON HEWITT: He's definitely going to have a little bit more confidence today, I suppose. You couldn't be more down than his loss in the Australian Open. I wasn't expecting to go out and beat him Love and Love today. That's for sure.