Re: Lleyton's Press Conference
January 21, 2012
L. HEWITT/M. Raonic
4‑6, 6‑3, 7‑6, 6‑3
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You looked really emotional after you won tonight. Why does this mean so much to you?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, well, you know, obviously a couple of months ago, I didn't know if I'd be able to play. Yeah, obviously I didn't play much tennis last year. I always wanted to play this tournament. I've done a lot of hard work. It's only my close friends and team that know what we've done to get here.
Yeah, that's probably why it's very satisfying.
Q. Is there a degree of disbelief winning this match?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. I never write myself off. So, no, not really.
Q. Milos said the pressure from you tonight was consistent. Was that the plan, to try to grind him out?
LLEYTON HEWITT: As much as possible. It's never easy playing guys like Milos or, you know, Roddick, big servers. For quite a while they'll go through their service games, if they're making their first serves, it's hard to get into those games and put much pressure on. It's about trying to build as much pressure as possible.
The games I was able to break, in the second set he hit a couple loose shots purely because I was getting his first serve back. Yeah, you just have to find a way of getting it back sometimes. As the match went on, I started returning a lot better.
The game I broke early in the fourth set was a great game. I started off, hit a 215, 220 or something serve. I hit it at his shoelaces to start the game. I really tried to step it up as the match went on.
Q. Talk about the third‑set tiebreak.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was ebbing and flowing sort of both ways. I was on serve. I probably had a small opportunity. I was in one of his service points early on. We changed ends at 3‑All.
Then I played really well to get up 6‑3 serving. Just couldn't quite find the spot. I hit one first serve in. The other one I missed the first serve.
He played a little bit more aggressive on those two points, sort of went for it a little bit. Then at 6‑5, I got a little bit lucky obviously with him missing a high volley.
But under pressure, nothing's easy out there.
Q. Do you think he didn't know when to go for it and when not to? He obviously had to attack. Did you feel that he was nervous about attacking you?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure. As I said, like the last game, even when I had match points there, I didn't play bad points. I made him come up with unbelievable shots. He was sort of going for a lot more when he was down.
But, you know, he's human as well. He got a bit tight in the tiebreak there. I just, you know, felt like I had to put as much pressure on as possible, especially if he missed his first serve. I really had to stand in and try to take it to him on his second serve, try and win a lot of those points.
Q. Rochey looked nervous sitting up in the box. What did he say after the match?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I think he was pretty proud of me and the effort that I gave. Yeah, Rochey and I, he's not just my coach, he's one of my best mates. Yeah, it means a lot to him, as well.
Q. You mentioned that final game. When he had the advantage, you pulled out the big serve, what sort of confidence does that give you going into a match against a player like Djokovic?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know (smiling). I wasn't thinking about Novak when I hit that serve. I was just thinking about trying to get out of an awkward situation.
So, you know, obviously I went for it and it paid off at the time. I served pretty well in that last game. Even the match points I had, I made my first serves. As I said, he's got a long wingspan out there. Even when you hit a good first serve, he's able somehow to get a return back in play and he would float it deep, then you're sort of back in the point with him. That was obviously a key serve to come up with that good one.
Q. How do you consider your form at the moment compared to 12 months ago? What do you think you're going to need to improve on for your next match?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, it's hard to say in terms of form. Yeah, had match point last year on Nalbandian and didn't quite win.
I won Kooyong the week before, was playing pretty well coming in last year. I wasn't in bad form last year, and I had a lot more matches under my belt than this year. I don't think a lot of people would have given me a lot of hope when the draw came out to be in the fourth round going into the second week.
I've done everything right so far, laid it all out on the line.
Q. Were there any signs of inexperience you noticed on his end?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. You know, I think from what I saw from him not only in the Australian Open last year but San Jose and Memphis, really the only time I saw him play, yeah, he's pretty experienced. He's got a good head on his shoulders in terms of tennis knowledge.
Obviously when you have such firepower as he does, it's pretty easy to go out there and have a go on your opponent's serve because he's going to hold serve so many times.
Q. You said most people wouldn't have expected you to get this far. How about within yourself?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I was hitting the ball well in practice. It was a matter of the body more than anything. Yeah, wasn't an easy draw. Steeb in the first round, I didn't know much about him. He's a helluva lot better player than where his ranking is at the moment. Then obviously Roddick and Raonic. So it hasn't been easy.
Yeah, it's pleasing to win matches like that over five sets.
Q. What about Djokovic, do you give yourself a shot at that one?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'll prepare as well as possible again. I'll do all the right things. Yeah, he's the No. 1 player in the world for a reason at the moment. I'm going to enjoy going out there and having a crack.
Q. Do you think the kids will watch the tape of this match in the morning?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't know. My son might still be up watching it. I don't know.
Q. Did you prove something to yourself or is that like always?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Did I prove, did you say?
Q. Prove something to yourself.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think in terms of how much pain and stuff I played with last year, it's really only my team and people close to me and probably the Davis Cup boys sort of know what I've had to deal with.
So, yeah, it's pleasing to come through like I have the last three matches.
Q. Do you credit Luczak for the doubles yesterday? A good hit out for this game?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know if that's the reason I won tonight. Yeah, it was good fun, it really was. He's one of my best mates. It meant a lot to go out there and be on the court for his last match.
Yeah, it was special. Didn't matter if we won or lost. We had fun out there. We competed. It was a great atmosphere. We actually played pretty well. We came pretty close to winning the second set. He reckoned he deliberately lost it so I didn't have to waste another set of energy. But, no, it was good. It was really good.