Re: Lleyton's Press Conference
January 14, 2010, QF
SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES
M. BAGHDATIS/L. Hewitt
4-6, 6-2, 6-3
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. That's obviously not the way that you were wanting it to end. After getting the first set there, you a good position in the second set. Where did it go wrong?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, he picked up his game, for starters. Yeah, he started to cut out some of the cheap errors he was making, especially on the big points. He served a lot better as the match went on and my serve probably went off a little bit. Yeah, didn't quite hit the spots when I need to do, especially trying to consolidate that break early in the second set, which would have been good to try and to keep that momentum.
Yeah, his ball-striking got better as the match went on.
Q. The lifting in intensity and your inability to go with it, do you think that's sort of good for your preparation?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Ah, yeah, as I said, the first set and a half I was hitting the ball pretty well, and I was happy with my ball-striking. Even after that, my ball-striking wasn't too bad.
Yeah, as I said I didn't quite execute what I needed to do. Yeah, gave him a little bit of confidence halfway through the second set, towards the end of the second set, and then he really started to fire up and find his spots.
Yeah, as I said, I didn't get too many look-ins on his service games either.
Q. He was getting a lot first serves in.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, yeah.
Q. Does a result like that leave you disappointed, or what do you take from it?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not that disappointed, really. I was trying a few different things out there today and mixing up the game a little bit. And, yeah, hopefully it'll hold me in good stead for next week.
I still gotta go out there and trust, yeah, how I was playing. The first set and a half I played well. You know, tried mixing it up a little, bit serve and volleying, slicing a little bit more, and doing a few different things.
Hopefully it'll payoff next week.
Q. How did you find the conditions? Windy?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not too bad. Yesterday was a lot more windy than today. Better conditions for ball-striking today.
Q. You prefer it a bit hotter?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Probably. It was pretty heavy out there today. You know, it was hard to really get a lot off the ball, especially if we were just in a rally.
Q. It's been two years since you played Marcos. Did you see any differences in his game, any areas that surprised you?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. You know, I've played him in a couple of big only two times I played him before was in Grand Slams over five sets, so slightly different. Yeah, he's always been a great ball-striker. He's a bit of a momentum player as well. If he's serving well, his whole game sort of comes together. If his first-serve percentage can drop off, he can start throwing in a few doubles, and, yeah, make those cheap errors like he perhaps did in the first set a couple times.
Q. Looking ahead to the draw tomorrow, you're obviously in a better position than last year with the ranking now.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. In the hands of gods. I can't do much about it. Just a matter of, yeah, wait and see. I don't want be looking past the first round.
Q. Probably nice not to draw someone higher up.
LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm obviously not gonna draw those guys in the first rounds. That's something I don't have to worry about tonight.
Q. Couple of foot faults there at crucial points cost you. Frustrating that they came in?
LLEYTON HEWITT: On the second serve it was frustrating, because I don't reckon I've ever been foot faulted on a second serve before. So that was frustrating, especially serving for the first set. I was able to block it out though and still grind it out.
I had to save a breakpoint in that game as well, so I was obviously happy to have dug out that first set.
Q. Serena is not the only one to get foot faulted.
LLEYTON HEWITT: No. It happens to a few of us.
Q. Any messages to your fans out there from today's match that you want to pass on in light of the Australian Open?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Umm... (laughter.) Obviously it's gonna be a great atmosphere. You know, I love playing in Melbourne. It's a place I've been going to -- I get goose bumps walking into Melbourne Park, so for me to play on Rod Laver Arena again is gonna be a lot of fun.
Q. Today's loss. Is it a hiccup rather than a major drama?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's definitely not a major drama the week before a Slam. Yeah, a lot people question whether playing four or five extremely tough matches in heat is the best preparation anyway. For me, it's not a huge drama.
Q. Niggles okay?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, fine.
Q. How many more Melbourne Parks do you think you've got in you?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Playing or spectator?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. No idea.
Q. How much more, Lleyton, have you got to step up now, even though you're gonna get a good first round?
LLEYTON HEWITT: You always gotta step up in Slams anyway. That's what I pride myself on, and always tried to play my best tennis. After you come back from injuries and you've been world No. 1 and won Slams before, that's what drives me, tournaments like next week.
Yeah, I'll be doing everything in my power to get through the first week, and we'll see what happens.
Q. When will you go to Melbourne?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Probably Monday.