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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

French Open

May 28, 2012, R128

Lleyton Hewitt

B. Kavcic/L. Hewitt
7-6 6-3 6-7 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You made a lot unforced errors, but your movement and everything else looked reasonably good.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I had to start somewhere. Yeah, I'm sure tomorrow I'll pull up pretty sore. Yeah, it was good for a lot reasons to go out there and play.
Yeah, lasted nearly four hours and physically felt fine. Pretty amazing too when you haven't played any matches on this surface.
There are positives to take out of it, and more so probably confidence moving wise. With the surgery I didn't know how I was going to come back.

Q. So that was most pleasing aspect, the way you moved?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I wasn't 100% moving, but a lot of it is in your mind too. I've been compensating for the last couple of years, so you've sort of got to change your mindset as well out there.
In some ways this is a tough surface to come back on in terms of moving wise, because your moving is so the points are so much longer and you're getting stretched and back behind a lot more than probably a grass or hardcourt.

Q. So of the positives that you take from today, what are you going to work on between now and grass court season?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Just keep hitting basically. Obviously moving is going to be totally different, but at least it was nice, yeah, not to have pain. It was a good thing.
So, yeah, the last couple of years every practice, every match has been painful. It's more just adjusting now to the mechanics that I've got.

Q. You are rich, pretty famous. How do you get the motivation to keep fighting to spend four hours on a small court against a guy not so famous and put your guts on the court?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, you know, after you come back from surgery, I was still hungry enough to have a shot. I feel like the last couple of years has been ruined by surgeries and trying to come back and playing within injections and the works.
This was a last effort surgery that I had straight after the Australian Open. I don't know, a lot of people didn't think it could be done, and here I am at a Grand Slam.

Obviously there is a lot of different motivations. Wimbledon is obviously a priority for me in a couple of week's time. Today was about coming here and physically getting ready for that, I guess, and playing five sets.
We've got a Davis Cup tie on clay in September that's in the back of my mind as well.

Q. You and the whole New Balls generation, you conquered the world of tennis. Why do you think it's not happening now? Why are there no young players in the top? It's just a problem of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic playing that good, or it's deeper?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, they're playing pretty well at the moment. Yeah, apart from Tomic, Dimitrov, Harrison, there is not a lot of other 19 , 20 year olds out there.
But, yeah, obviously those top four guys have sort of made a pretty big statement. It's pretty hard to crack into there is as teenager, I reckon.

Q. Have doctors told you you'll be pain free for the rest of your career in terms of your toe now?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's different. There will be probably be little other niggles more than anything, but the actual spot where I had surgery will be pain free, yes.

Q. It's a bit of a miracle, isn't it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, it's probably the one surgeon I went to and trusted that sort of gave me any chance.

Q. Same one as the hip?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not the hip. He did my foot last year.

Q. Just following on from that, is it the surgery that allows to you play pain free, or do you have injections or therapy or anything?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No injections. No one would give me more anyway. That was just to get through the Australian summer. It was ridiculous.
Yeah, after that that was it. I had to bite the bullet. Yeah, so it was a last ditch effort. Hopefully it gets better and better from here and I get more used to it as well.

Q. I just wanted to you ask you what makes the French Open so special? What is unique about it, apart from the clay compared to the other Grand Slams?

LLEYTON HEWITT: (Smiling.) The scores are in French. I don't understand. I've got to look up at the scoreboard to know what the score is.
No, it's a different Grand it has a different feel, a lot more European feel, I guess, here; whereas Wimbledon it's obviously the more traditional feel.
Out of all the slams, I probably get more of a difference at the three other slams compared to the French. I think what they're unique stands out a lot more than the French to me.

Q. You talked about Tomic. People say he has a bright future. How bright? What do you think?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's hard to tell. Yeah, he's high 20s in the world at the moment. You know, French Open is not going to be his best Grand Slam by no means.
Yeah, he can definitely push those guys. Everyone saw that at Wimbledon last year.
His biggest strength is that he's a big match player.

Q. Do you see any other successors of your Australian legacy?

LLEYTON HEWITT: He's obviously the standout at the movement. You've got James Duckworth, Ben Mitchell, Luke Saville after that. But they're a bit of a way off from Bernhard at the moment.

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