Re: Lleyton's Press Conference
January 11, 2001, QF
Lleyton Hewitt - Fabrice Santoro 6-4 6-1
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton.
Q. How different was it playing at night, tonight? What were the conditions like?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, it's very windy out there. You know, it's always tough playing a night match, I think, just sitting around all day, especially coming in from, you know, it's a good 45 - 50-minute drive to get in here around peak hour traffic sort of coming out of the city today. It was pretty tough. I'm just happy to get through in straight sets.
Q. Do you still feel you're progressing a little with each match?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I think I've played probably the three strangest players on the Tour just about in my first three matches. None of them have really given me too much rhythm I think out there and it's taken me a while to sort of get my game going. I feel like I've gotten better and better with each match. I think tonight, Fabrice, you know, I lost to him in Cincinnati, early in the first round of Cincinnati at the end of last year. He's a tough player to play against. Not a lot of players on the Tour play like him. I felt like once I got that rhythm and got the break back in the first set, I felt like I could really step forward and, you know, (inaudible).
Q. At this point after, what is it, six matches in less than two weeks, do you feel that you've got a Grand Slam title in you at the moment?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's hard to say. I feel like I'm getting match fit. I'm starting to get match hard, which is nice. I think it's been very good preparation so far. If I was going to go out there and lose tomorrow or lose tonight, I think it was, you know, it's given me very good preparation going into the Australian Open. It's totally different preparation than last year, but that's due to the fact that I hadn't played so many matches at the end of last year.
Q. Your next match, semifinal, Lleyton. How do you see it?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Sebastien's a great player, no doubt about that. He had a very good win there today against Federer, who's another up-and-comer. I'm going to have my work cut out. I beat him here in the first round last year. Hopefully, it goes the same way tomorrow. But, you know, I can't take him lightly at all.
Q. Dramatically contrasting sets, tonight. I mean, the first set a bit scrappy to start. Then once you got the break, you completely raced away with the second. Was it the momentum that got you going? Was it the crowd? What was it?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, a lot had to do with the crowd. I think they, you know, they definitely fired me up out there. But Fabrice is a totally different kind of player, as I said. You know, he doesn't give you a lot to work with and you got to be very patient, you got to work for the points out there. I felt like I just started working at his game as the match went on. In the end, I played some of my best tennis.
Q. Into the semifinals, are you happy with the way your game is going?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. You know, I still got areas of my game that I got to work on. But, you know, so far so good I think. I'm getting better with every match I played since the first round when I played Wayne in Adelaide, then played that young German qualifier in the second round. So I think I'm getting a lot better the last week and a half.
Q. How did you spend the day?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Today, I came out here and practiced. Went back, put my feet up and watched cricket. I was lucky, I drew a night match when the cricket was on.
Q. Does playing at night affect your sinuses more?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not really. Doesn't make a big difference.
Q. Felt good today?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I felt the same as usual.
Rusty - always # 1 in my heart