Re: Lleyton's Press Conference
WESTERN & SOUTHERN FINANCIAL GROUP MASTERS
August 20, 2009, R16
L. HEWITT/S. Querrey
6-1, 2-6, 6-3
MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How tough were the conditions out there today?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, tough conditions for both of us. Yeah, got really gusty breezes out there, and it was hard to know really at which end or which way it was coming from a lot of the time. It was more having to play smart tennis out there and play the percentages a little bit more.
I was able to play a really clean first set there, but he obviously picked up his first serve in the second set and put me under a lot more pressure and started going for a bit more.
It was a tough third set to get out of.
Q. You must be pleased with your return. You seemed to return well in those conditions?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, no, I put a lot of pressure on his serve. I was happy the way that I hit the ball out there today. I played a smart match against him and tried to keep him off balance as much as possible. Yeah, put a lot of pressure on him. I came into the net quite a bit as well.
Yeah, try and make him come up with the big shots on the big points. That was probably the difference.
Q. This tournament can be really hot and perhaps a lot more humid than what it was. Have you found it not being so taxing, the conditions in terms of how you're feeling?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely. The past years I've been here, 2007, the last time I was here, was an extremely hot year here.
So, yeah, it's been nice get through the quarters and not waste a whole heap of energy. Obviously the first match was a tough, grueling match against Soderling where I had to retrieve a lot balls and, yeah, grind out a lot of points out there. The last two matches haven't really taken a whole lot out of me.
Q. Roger Federer talked about playing you and how much he enjoys. He even said today that to play you would be the match he would've wanted to play because you've had such a long rivalry over the years. Do you see it the same way?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely. He's the benchmark. He's obviously the in-form player at the moment and the guy to beat on any surface, especially after winning the two last big majors.
So, yeah, we have had so many big matches over the years in a lot of situations, whether it's Masters Cups or Davis Cups or Grand Slam semis and finals. It's always a privilege to play Roger, especially at the business end of the tournaments.
Obviously bot our focuses are gonna be on the US Open in a week's time and trying to hone our game as well as possible for that. Yeah, if I can go out there and execute, hopefully it's a good match.
Q. If you can beat him, the confidence will be lifted not only for this week but also for the US Open.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely. As I said, he's the benchmark. He's where it's at. He had tough match today against Ferrer, who obviously pushed him to 6-4 in the third. Hopefully I can go out there and do the same tomorrow.
Q. Can you talk about your relationship with Roger? Kind of building on what you said, you grew up together. Are you guys friends off the court?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think so. Yeah, I guess in this sport you don't get that close to your opposition quite that much, I guess, purely because it is such a one-on-one battle.
Yeah, the respect that I think that Roger and I both have for each other is huge. We have grown up together and played a lot times together. He's a great guy. He's very down to earth for the success that he's had.
Q. Looking at the head to heads, 2003 was obviously a pivotal match that you came back and won. Since then, he's pretty much dominated that. What are you gonna need to do to play him to turn the tables on him?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. Something different, obviously. Yeah, he's had the wood on me the last, yeah, quite a few times now since then.
Yeah, he obviously want wants to dictate play and play on his terms. And he's very good that, and possibly as good as anyone out there. I'm gonna have to try and mix it up and go out there with a good game plan.
When I last played him back two years ago here, it could have gone either way. I led a break in the third set there and ended up losing a tiebreak in the third.
So hopefully, yeah, I can get my teeth into the match and play on my terms.