Re: Lleyton's Press Conference
June 26, 2012, R128
J. TSONGA/L. Hewitt
6‑3, 6‑4, 6‑4
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton Hewitt.
Q. What did you make of that performance?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I didn't do a lot wrong really. Yeah, considering where I've come from and that, probably as good as I could have done today really.
Yeah, I don't know how many breakpoints. In the end it would have been close to ten, I reckon, something like that. Yeah, I didn't get too many looks at second serves at all and didn't get a chance to get into the point at all on any of those.
Yeah, so it would have been nice to at least build some kind of pressure on his service games, because otherwise obviously, similar to playing Karlovic, he goes around and just slaps a couple of balls on your service games and you're under the pump all of a sudden.
I felt the balls that I could get my racquet onto I returned pretty well today. I felt the sharpest I felt, but he served too well.
Q. You received a wild card for the Olympics today.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Someone just mentioned it, the ATP guys, just walking in. Obviously I've just walked off the court, so I didn't even know that.
But, yeah, next thing, back here. At least I get to play here again. It's a bonus.
Q. Are you disappointed you didn't make doubles?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. Yeah, I am disappointed. I can't work that out for the life of me. I heard that, as well. I guess playing as much Davis Cup as you do doesn't count for everything.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about the support you have here and being such a crowd favorite? You've won this tournament. Do you feel that Jo has what it takes to win this?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I get good support here from the Australians every time I play here. The English, as well. I've always enjoyed playing here. Had great success here and Queen's down the street, as well. The support always helps out.
Jo has a chance. He can beat Federer, came back from two sets to love down last year in a big match and beat Rog, you're putting your hand up.
The tough thing for him, deep in the tournament he's going to have to beat at least two, maybe three good players in a row probably. Yeah, he still comes a little bit in and out of matches I think mentally. But obviously if he's serving well then he's going to be very tough to beat.
Q. How confident are you that you'll be back here next year?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. At the moment I've been focusing on getting back this year, doing everything right with my foot and rehab to get back to here, you know. So I'm proud of myself of what I've been able to do, all the hard work it's taken to get here. I'd like to be back here, absolutely, but we'll have to wait and see.
Q. A general question: You're a student of tennis history. If you could go back and play any of the great legends for the fun of it, what player would you enjoy playing against?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. Probably Rochey.
Q. Because of his great volleys?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Just because we'd have fun on the court (smiling).
Q. When you go out fairly routinely in the first or second rounds of tournaments, does it make you want to compete more or less?
LLEYTON HEWITT: You're obviously disappointed at the time. You know, it's like missing the cut at golf, any golf tournament. I'm sure that disappointed as well to be in the business end of the of the tournament in the second week.
I can only go out there and do what I could do out there today. I didn't get handed the best draw. I'm sure there's a lot of guys in the tournament that I probably could have got through today.
That's how it feels. You bounce up, bounce back. Obviously the Olympics is the next focus, and then just take it step by step.
Q. This is the first time an Aussie hasn't been in the second round of Wimbledon since 1938. We've heard that Australian sport is on decline. Is that justified?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know about that. In terms of tennis‑wise, I can only comment on the tennis. Really obviously the boys didn't have the best day today.
But, yeah, who knows. Matchups, there's a lot of different reasons it could have been. Draws, matchups, whatever.
But at least three of us, the three guys that played today, I know we could have beat a lot of guys that are still going in the tournament. That's just how it falls.
Q. If I could invite you to talk about cricket in the Olympics as well, because obviously these are big things.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think we'll go all right in the Olympics. We've never been too afraid of the POMs, I'll say.
Q. And the cricket this summer?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, got a good skipper.
Q. We see a lot of older players playing right now, but we don't see a lot of younger players or very old players winning majors. Do you think the window of opportunity has been squeezed to a smaller age race? And if so, why?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure. I don't know why. I really don't. For sure there is, at the moment, the dominance of those top three guys at the moment, and before that the top two guys: Roger and Rafa.
You know, it's hard to say there's a reason why there's not many young guys that can really push for a slam. Late teens, sort of early 20s, you can't see that many guys that are going to be in the semis of slams. I can't put my fingers on exactly why.
Yeah, there are a lot of big hitters out there these days. You look at how Jo played today. For an 18‑ or 19‑year‑old to come and play against that, that's pretty tough.
Q. Given that you don't know when you're finishing up, Lleyton, there's occasions like this that you sort of let yourself allow to look around or an extra special kind of instinct regarding...
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. I was just trying to focus on hanging in the match really. Yeah, you know, I'm an athlete. You never love losing. I'm still playing the game to compete, be out there, and keep going in the tournament.
I walk off the court the same as the year I lost first round to Karlovic: disappointed and wish I was still in the event.
Q. Bernie came in before and said he hadn't been working hard enough and seemed all over the place. Do you have any advice to give to him to continue what he did in January?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I didn't see much of his match today. I saw a couple points on the TV. The other guy looked to be playing pretty well, from what I saw. Yeah, he didn't miss too much.
Yeah, it's tough I think that sort of next year after you sort of break through to keep it up and continue doing it. Everybody obviously had massive expectations for him to do well. This is his best surface.
Even though he lost here today in the first round, he could beat a lot of guys comfortably in the first and second rounds here and push deep into the tournament.
Training‑wise I don't know what he's been doing. I wouldn't have a clue. He's obviously had a frustrating last couple of weeks.
Q. Can you share with us your memories about winning against Nalbandian?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It was fantastic. Obviously, yeah, winning the tournament was one of your dreams come true. So for me it's the biggest tournament there is.
As an Australian, so many great Australians have done well here in the past. It's one of the most special things I've ever done in my career.
Q. There's some who suggest maybe the depth on the men's tour isn't quite what it used to be. Can you talk about the depth of this group right now compared to the previous generation.
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I sort of disagree. I think the depth's better now than it used to be. I reckon you saw a lot more comfortable first‑round wins in slams and even Masters Series events years ago than you do now.
Even the top three or four guys, they've got to be on their game right from the start. You know, Roger against Falla a couple years ago here in the first round. Doesn't matter who you are, so I actually disagree with that totally.
Q. Why are the top three so dominant?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Because they're so good.
Q. You're a veteran. How satisfied are you that the doping policy is working and keeping the sport clean?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I don't sit back and dwell on it too much. Yeah, you got to be I guess pretty satisfied. There's a couple things that pop up here and there, but I don't know all the in and outs of all the guys that have been done and come back. So I don't know enough about it.
Q. The grass court season being extended for three weeks, is that something you're in favor of?
LLEYTON HEWITT: One extra week?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. Well, I think the grass court season's always been too short anyway. Considering how much is played on hard court and clay throughout the year, then absolutely. I think it should be as long as we get on grass and obviously what fits in.
It's pretty tough for guys like Rafa, Djokovic, and that to bounce back a couple weeks after the French and expect them to play their best tennis a couple weeks later.