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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


July 3, 2006, 4th Round

Lleyton Hewitt - David Ferrer 6-4 6-4 4-6 7-5


THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon. May we have the first question for Lleyton Hewitt, please.

Q. It seemed at one point you were playing a player who was about as stubborn as you were today. Did you find it hard to break him down at times?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he's a tough competitor. Uhm, I knew that going out there, though, so, you know, when I got the first two sets under my belt, I was pretty happy but I wasn't -- by no means thought the match was over, that's for sure.
Obviously, the way he came back couple days ago, and I've seen a lot of his matches on clay, he runs a lot of balls down out there. He adjusted his game extremely well to grass, though, and, you know, made me play well to beat him.

Q. There was a suggestion on television that you told him to cut his hair. Was that right?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No. He was he had a go at about -- I think he thought that I persuaded the umpire for an overrule, but the umpire had already overruled straightaway. I just asked him if he didn't hear it.

Q. Your thoughts on Baghdatis?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Uhm, yeah, it's he's had a bit of a strange tournament. He struggled in his first round against Alan MacKin, and today he beats Murray in straight sets. I think everyone's been put on notice of the kind of talent and flair that he possesses out there when he plays at his best, and that obviously was today.
So, uhm, yeah, he moves well from the back of the court, and all around the court. But, you know, he wants to try and dictate play on his terms as well. He's got good hands as well. So, you know, it won't be an easy one.

Q. How do you feel you match up against him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure. I've never hit with him. I never played him before. But, you know, he's not necessarily -- out of all the baseline guys, your Ferrers, Ferreros, Robredos, he doesn't hit the ball with as much topspin, he hits it lot flatter than those guys. But he's probably capable of hitting a lot more winners than those guys as well. He has days when he serves well, as well. He goes for flat first serves.
You know, it's a matter of me trying to get off to a good start again and try and work things out. That's what is good about five sets, you have a little bit more time to work things out.

Q. This is your eighth consecutive Wimbledon. The way you feel now, how does that compare to the previous ones?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Uhm, it's always nice to get in the last eight, that's any year. Sometimes you don't have to play your best tennis to get there, you just got to try and find a way to win against certain different opponents. That's been the case a couple of times, you know, over the last week and a half.
So, uhm, you know, obviously there's matches to go and I've got to get better if I'm going to keep going in the tournament. But, you know, so far I'm still here.

Q. Do you feel that sense of having more experience than some of your opponents, just being at this particular tournament?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think so. You know, but maybe it means more to me than some of the other guys, as well. So, you know, it's probably two ways of looking at it. Obviously the experience and the memories that I've had of playing here, but I think the tournament I probably hold higher than a lot of the other guys, especially some of the clay courters, I think. And that comes with, you know, have having success here and, you know, all the Australian winners before me and, you know, the tradition that Wimbledon has back in our country as well.

Q. Considering that grass has always been kind of the domain of the English-speaking countries, you're the only player in both the men's and women's draw left that came from an English-speaking country. Does that surprise you, and can you also address the fact that there are no Americans in the draw remaining, which is kind of unusual? Last year we had three of four finalists.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, uhm, well, it is a little bit unusual, I guess. English-speaking, there's not too many people that speak English on the tour at all anymore really. There's only a handful of us in the locker room.
But, you know, in terms of the Americans, yeah, that is surprising for sure. You know, you look at the success Roddick's had here the last three years, James Blake, you know, had a good -- has had a hell of a year, you know, came into the tournament playing well at Queen's as well. So they were probably the two bigger surprises, I think, on the American side.
For the women, obviously, Williamses and Davenport not being here, that obviously hurt the Americans a little bit more.

Q. Any thoughts on why that's transpired?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I've got no idea, you know. As I said, I would have expected Roddick and Blake, they were probably the two main guys for the Americans. I would have expected them to still be going.
Andy Murray played a great match, though, against Roddick. Blake, I didn't see his match when he lost. You know, obviously, he had a bit of a down day though.

Q. With a guy like Baghdatis, how difficult is it to prepare for a player like him, he plays by his own rules in terms of shot selection?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he mixes his game up extremely well. He's a little bit similar to an Andy Murray in a lot of ways. He'll, you know, play the percentages for a bit and then just pull the trigger on a big one. He's capable of producing those big shots when he wants to.
So that's obviously something that he did extremely well in Melbourne for two weeks. You know, he came through obviously in a lot of tough situations, too, in tough matches and came through that. So that's something I've got to be wary of.

Q. He's obviously rolling now in terms of his form in this match. Does that put an extra incentive or importance on the early games in that first set to get the thing on your terms rather than build up that sort of momentum?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's always going to be nice, you know, to get the perfect start out there and get the first set. But, you know, if it doesn't go my way, I'll be still trying to work out ways that I can put some pressure on him and turn it around.
But, yeah, you know, I'd love to get up a set. That's for sure.

Q. Talking about your expectation before, what about Nadal? Nadal still has to play Labadze today. Are you expecting him to make the semifinal, or is too difficult to say right now? How do you see him on grass?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm probably expecting him to make the semis, I think. I don't think he'll have too many troubles with Labadze. I can't see Labadze staying with him for too long.
Nadal on grass, as I've said right along, through Queen's and Wimbledon here, the guy's a class player. He's a great player on any surface. It was never going to take him long before he, you know, won some matches on grass and then started beating good players like Andre Agassi and these kind of guys on the surface. So, you know, doesn't surprise me that he's still in the tournament.

Q. With a guy like Ferrer, did you feel today that you could really get inside his head, particularly maybe in that sort of first and second set?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Uhm, not really, I don't think. You know, he's the kind of guy that keeps coming at you. I haven't seen him lose too many matches, you know, because of he's lost it mentally out there. So it was something that, you know, I wasn't really trying to focus on that too much. It was more just trying to get those sets under my belt, and obviously him coming off a tough five-setter two days ago, to try and mentally work on him as much that he's got to come back from two sets to love down again.

Q. How much better do you think you'll need to play on Wednesday than today to get through?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, it's hard to say. Ferrer didn't let me play my best tennis, I didn't feel, out there today, but I had to find a way to win, and I was able to do that.
You know, I want to try and step it up, though, a couple notches against Baghdatis. You know, the first set today, you know, I played pretty good tennis out there. Uhm, second set was a little bit patchy. You know, hopefully I can, you know, take the positives out of what I did today and try and keep it, you know, for three or four sets out there on Wednesday.

Q. Did we hear you correctly? Did you tell Ferrer to get his hair cut at one point?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I've already answered that.

Q. Inspired by Adelaide at the moment?

LLEYTON HEWITT: They're doing it easier than me.

Q. Pretty scary, really. You've been in contact with many of them?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Spoke to Tyson Edwards.

Q. What's he telling you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's routine (smiling).

Q. What will you do tomorrow to relax?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'll just have a light hit, yeah, basically just put the feet up, get a massage, look after my body.

Q. Be up to any shows?


Q. Australia will face Argentina in September in the Davis Cup semifinal. What do you think of that match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Should be a good match.

Q. Now that you're recovering your best tennis, are you motivated to play against Argentina?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I'm not even thinking about it right at the moment, mate.

Q. The ground is getting harder and harder with the sun. Did it feel unusually hot for you? Are you used to playing in those conditions? The fact that the ground is hard, does it help you at all in your style of play?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Uhm, yeah, it was hot out there, that's for sure. But, you know, playing at the US Open, the Australian Open, gets pretty similar heat to what we played out there today.
You know, the courts are getting harder and harder each day goes by, especially with this kind of weather as well. The back of the courts are getting a little bit more slippery as well, though. I thought Court 2 a couple of days ago was quite slippery when I played Rochus. Today wasn't quite as bad.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


July 5, 2006, QF

Lleyton Hewitt - Marcos Baghdatis 1-6 7-5 6-7(5) 2-6


THE MODERATOR: First question for Lleyton, please.

Q. How are you feeling after that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, you know, obviously at the moment a bit disappointed. Uhm, you know, it just didn't sort of happen out there for me today.
Obviously, I struggled to get into the match. And then, you know, didn't even play great when I got back in the match, but was still finding a way to hang in there. You know, I just didn't take my chances when I got them halfway through the third set.

Q. How do you account for the start? Is that just what you're saying about you just didn't get going today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Little bit. He played extremely well at the start, though. He didn't give any cheap points. From the back of the court, you know, he was hitting the ball extremely clean.
Yeah, even his serve, you know, every time -- you know, even in the first set. Lost it 6-1 but I had game points in another three games that I could have won. Could have been on serve there.
You know, he served well, you know, every time I got Love-30 in the opening game, then I had breakpoints later on and wasn't able to take them. I had Love-40. You know, a little bit of missed opportunities.
Then, you know, somehow got back in the match in the second set and through the third set I had two breakpoints and just didn't quite take it to him, you know, when I needed to.

Q. Part of that first set, having never played him before, trying to get to grips with the playing style or not?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit. You know, you're not really sure what to expect. I haven't seen a lot of him play either. But, uhm, you know, to his credit, though, he didn't give me too many cheap points out there. As I said, every game that I was sort of in, he came up. There was one service game where I did have game point at 3-love, he came up with three unbelievable shots in a row to end up going up a double break. The following game I have Love-40, he comes up with a few big serves.
As I said just before, it's sort of missed opportunities out there when I needed to step it up, you know. I didn't feel like I served well for most of the match either which sort of put me behind the eight ball.

Q. How do you assess your tournament overall? You seem to have some periods you were playing good tennis. Did you feel you were ever sort of motoring at any stage of the tournament or were you still that little bit shy of where you wanted to be?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Uhm, patches. Against Rochus I thought I played pretty good tennis for three sets there. You know, against Ferrer, it was a different sort of match really. Yeah, I came through it and did what I needed to. But, you know, ball-striking-wise probably wasn't as good as I would have liked. You know, today was a bit patchy all over really.

Q. I mean, is it simplistic to think of it as a bit of a progression in terms of your game building or doesn't happen like that, depending who you're playing, the day, the conditions?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Ideally you'd like that to happen so by the time you get halfway through the second week you're playing your best tennis and that's when you need to be playing your best tennis.
But, you know, it doesn't always happen like that, depending on who you're playing against as well. Uhm, you know, for me it was a little bit of up and down, sort of the first match I played well, second match was a bit average, and third match I played well again. I wasn't able to keep it going.

Q. How does a loss like this affect you? Do you mull over it for a day or two or at all, or do you move straight on to the next thing?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You're always disappointed. That's part of being a professional athlete. No one likes to lose, you know, especially in a tournament like this, you know, which means so much to everyone.

Q. There was one point there where you bounced your racquet, you were so frustrated. It looked like it was gonna catch you in the eye. Have you ever injured yourself with your racquet?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I haven't. No. Hope it doesn't happen.

Q. Make you hungrier for the U.S. circuit the rest of the year?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I haven't really thought about it just yet. Obviously, when it comes around I'll -- I always look forward to the U.S. summer and, you know, hopefully a good swing there again.
But, you know, right at the moment, I have a few days just to reflect on this and try and get it out of my mind and then try and get the positive thoughts going for the U.S. summer.

Q. Out of the last nine Grand Slams, the guy who beat you went on and won the tournament. Is he capable of doing that, do you think? Is he a good enough player?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't think win it, no. I think Roger Federer's gonna win it. Make the final, yeah. I think if he, you know, plays the way that he started off today, you know, he does have patches, though, when, as I said, halfway through that third set he gave me a couple of cheap points there. You know, that's when you've got to take it. Against a guy like Roger, he's gonna step it up and not give him those opportunities.
You know, if he plays Nadal, then he's got a chance. Nadal's such a great competitor, as well, that it's not gonna be easy for him.

Q. The other quarterfinal, Nadal quarterfinal, will be played tomorrow. At this stage, is that a factor, that he will have had the day's rest that tomorrow's winner won't have in the semifinal?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's probably a little bit of a factor. I think you'd like to have a day off, I think, ideally. So, yeah, it's probably in Baghdatis' favor, I'd say.

Q. If Bjorkman comes up to you tomorrow and says, "Lleyton, what do I do to beat Federer," what do you tell him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I'm not sure just yet. I think Jonas is gonna struggle to find answers.

Q. Next tournament for you?


Q. You said last year that you thought you're almost the best player apart from Roger. If it would have got that far, do you think you would have taken a set off him this time around?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Who knows? He's been in pretty good form today. I saw, uhm, part of his match, you know, before mine today. He looked in pretty good nick. He definitely looks the stand-out player, so.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


August 9, 2006, 2nd Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Thomas Johansson 3-6 2-3 Ret.



Q. Sorry to see the injury. When did it start?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I felt it last week in Washington a little bit. I've been getting treatment every day since I lost in Washington. Last night just flared up again. I could hardly walk this morning when I got out of bed.

Q. Why did it start in Washington? Was it just the pressure of play?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I've got no idea. Don't know. You know, still not a hundred percent sure how bad it is, what sort of has to happen from here.

Q. Do you know precisely what the injury is?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not precisely. Yeah, it's got to do with my knee, just under the kneecap.

Q. You had a very long, hard match last night. The fact that it was so late, you had to play again relatively soon, was that part of the problem?

LLEYTON HEWITT: A little bit. You know, even having one day off, I don't think it was -- from the way it felt this morning when I woke up, I think I caused a little more damage in last night's match.

Q. During last night's match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. I don't think it was probably ever going to heal in time to get through today's match.

Q. I know there's perhaps a little bit of history between you and the guy you played last night (Chela). Did you consider retiring last night, for instance, or would you have?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Went through my mind how I was feeling out there. I kept fighting pretty hard, yeah.
Yeah, hopefully it's not too bad. You know, it definitely got worse after last night's win. You never know. You can wake up the next day and it can be gone.
I fought through last night. It was 10 times worse going on the court today than it was going on the court yesterday.

Q. Is it too soon to say how you'll be for next week?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, got no idea just yet. Wait and see.

Q. US Open isn't far away. That's got special memories for you.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely. It's a great event to be a part of. Hopefully I will be a part of it.

Q. Your prime concern is to make sure you're fit for that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Absolutely. That's the major. This isn't ideal, but when these things pop up, you've got to look at ways to what you've got to do best now to prepare yourself as well as possible in the circumstances for the Grand Slams. That's obviously the US Open in two and a half weeks.

Q. What have you got to do now? Do you have to go to hospital?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, it's more just treatment and ice. I'll maybe have a scan in the next couple days if it's not improving.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


August 26, 2006

Lleyton Hewitt

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. With your injury, has it reached the stage where you considered not playing?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'll probably play. We'll see how it goes.

Q. What exactly is the problem, Lleyton?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Just had patella tendinitis and then a little issue with my patella tendon, as well.

Q. What practice have you been able to get in over the years?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I've hit the last three days now so, yeah, it's more just trying to get my rhythm back and testing my movement out a little bit. You know, it's been more over the last couple weeks trying to do all the rehab and treatment and everything I need to do to try and give myself every possible chance of being able to compete here.

Q. How does it trouble you? You talk about your movement? Is it sore?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, you know, when I did it exactly, you know, the first time, it was obviously pretty painful. You know, there was inflammation and swelling afterwards. You know, the next day it goes down, but, you know, the pain's still there and the problem was still there.

Q. So what does the treatment consist of?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Just been a lot of things. A lot of rehab and, you know, different muscle exercises to work on other areas of the leg to stabilize the knee, as well.

Q. How far off a hundred percent do you think you are?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Uhm, not really sure, you know. It's definitely not a hundred percent yet, but hopefully there's still a couple more days to go and, you know, hopefully if I don't aggravate it any more during the tournament, it will just get better and better.

But, you know, I won't know that until we keep going.

Q. Can you last seven games, seven matches?


Q. Is this the least prepared physically you've been for a Grand Slam?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. The French Open this year was pretty tough, as well. Twisted my ankle, uhm, five days before the French Open, so that wasn't ideal.

You know, I've been able to play with, you know, niggling injuries in the past. You know, there's no doubt that my ankle wasn't a hundred percent during the French Open, but I was still able to get through a few rounds and push Nadal in the fourth round. So, you know, I definitely know how to play with pain, at least. That could be something that's going to get tested again here in the next fortnight.

Q. Have you played points out there?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I've played a few points.

Q. Are you able to play full-out?


Q. How much of a drive is it to return to Flushing Meadows where you've had so much success? Is that really boosting you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's always nice to -- you always get a bit of a buzz, I guess, the week before any major, any one of the four. You know, obviously, for me, coming back here, a place that I've played so well throughout my career, you know, I've had so much success here, you know, not only winning, but making a final, semis and quarters here.

So, you know, I've been able to put myself in contention deep in the tournament here so many times, so it's always nice to come back to somewhere you've played well at.

Q. A couple years ago Pete Sampras played his last Open. This will be Andre's last Open. What does it mean to the players on the tour when somebody who has meant so much to tennis is saying their good-byes?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's -- well, Pete, at the time, it was a little bit different than Andre, I guess, because no one really knew when he was gonna retire and if he was gonna play Wimbledon the next year and so on. As it turns out, it couldn't have been much better for Pete, you know, going out, winning the US Open, his national title.

So in terms of Andre, that's a different situation, but, you know, Andre is at the stage of his career where I think it's been good, and he's such a showman and given back so much to the game that it's good that he's been able to have this sort of farewell, leading up -- probably started at Wimbledon when he announced it, through to the US Open. I think he's a bit different than Pete with his personalty and off-court attitude, I guess. So I think that's probably worked in Andre's favor. I think the crowd definitely enjoyed it, as well.

Q. If you could go off with a farewell win like at the Australian Open or Davis Cup, Wimbledon, which would you choose?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, I don't know. You know, obviously, I've never won the Australian Open, so that would obviously be one of the highest priorities.

Q. How have you fared with the scheduling?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I'm not sure. I've got no idea what scheduling is happening.

Q. Where does Andre fit in for you among your competitors in your career?

LLEYTON HEWITT: He's one of the best that I've ever played against. He's definitely the best ball-striker that I've ever played against, the cleanest hitter of the ball. For me, you know, I always enjoyed growing up watching a guy like Andre Agassi play, as well. I liked the clothes that he wore when I was younger, and his personality on and off the court.

So, you know, I think he was very entertaining for tennis in particular. You know, I think the way he's been able to come back, as well, you know, after a year or so, 140-or-so in the world, then to be able to bounce back and win more majors and be able to play until 36 is pretty amazing.

Q. What do you think of that match with Andre you played in Adelaide?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I was pretty nervous before the match going out against a guy like Andre Agassi who you've seen so much about on the TV. Yeah, it was a dream just to be walking out alongside Andre Agassi, let alone beat him, you know, especially in your first tour event. I really didn't know what it meant at the time, I guess.

Q. How did he handle that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure. You know, he's joked about it in the past a couple of times when we've had practice sessions and that, but I'd say at the time he probably didn't take it too well.

Q. What do you know about your first-round opponent?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, he's a typical Spanish clay courter, I think. You know, he's gonna be a bit of a road runner out there, make a lot of balls, hit a lot of forehands, but he's not a guy that is going to hit me off the court. I'm gonna get my chances to execute out there, and that's what I have to try and do.

Q. How are you feeling mentally? Is it all about survival, or do you feel as though you can be a threat?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, the first week's about survive, and then if you can get into the second week and put yourself in that position, you never know what can happen, and especially in draws these days. You take your chances and opportunities open up. You know, I've played enough big matches in this tournament, in this arena to know what it feels like to play another one there. So, you know, hopefully I'll get the opportunity to do that late in the second week.

Q. Have you security concerns about the tie in Argentina?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I'm not even worrying about Davis Cup right now, mate.

Q. When you think about some of the retiring Americans of this generation, do you see any similarities sort of with the Aussies in the '60s and '70s, Margaret Court, Laver, Rosewall, that chapter ending? Do you see similarities there?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, probably. I probably don't know enough about Laver and Court and these people, you know, to do with their actual retirement and everything. But to see guys like Connors and Sampras and Agassi and these guys that I've been around to witness, you know, it's pretty amazing to think Andre Agassi won't be going back on the tennis court after this tournament. You know, so many tournaments and so many people love watching him play, so it's a different feeling, I think, and something you get used to over time, but he'll definitely be missed in this game.

Q. If you could reflect for a minute, do you think it's sort of a sad commentary that so much discussion these days about sport is about either drugs or security? Do you think there's a sad element to that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Maybe a little bit, but I think, you know, that's just the way the time is. I think everything keeps improving.

I guess in the terms of drugs, you know, there's been too much of it happening, I guess. That's why it keeps getting headlines. You know, there's not a whole lot that we can do about it. You know, you guys, when someone gets done and it gets written on the front page of every paper, then it's gonna get on a bit of a roll, as well. Obviously, all other sports are trying to do their best to keep their sport clean, and it's the same in tennis.

Q. Security, also, which has been a topic?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Security, a little bit. I don't know so much about security with sport. You know, not so much I don't think there hasn't been as much talk about security as actual doping.

Q. What's your sort of personal philosophy on how you handle the right to challenge the line calls here? Any sort of approach?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I don't worry about it too much. I'm more worrying about, you know, going out and doing exactly the same. Obviously, that's there if we need it or we feel like it's necessary out there, but it's sort of a spur-of-the-moment thing. If you think there's a line call to be challenged and you have challenges left, you challenge it. I don't think it's a great tactic sort of thing out there in my mind.

Q. Did you use it much in LA or Toronto?

LLEYTON HEWITT: A couple times. Not a whole heap.

Q. On a lot of these challenges, the player thinks it possibly could have been good or out, but there are also challenges where the player absolutely is certain that the call was the way he didn't want it to go. In your particular case, have there been cases where you looked at balls and said, I absolutely know that ball is out or good, and it turned out to be incorrect?

LLEYTON HEWITT: There was one or two cases in Washington where I was playing Clement and we both sort of -- I challenged one, he challenged one, and we thought the person that was challenging was right, and then on the screen it turned out to be just wrong, which was strange because the ball mark sort of didn't suggest that on the court. So both of us sort of found that weird and actually had a bit of a laugh about it at the time on the court.

Yeah, that was a bit of a different situation, I guess.

Q. Do you think players in general have been sobered by the challenge system, finding that their eyes possibly are not as good as they think they are?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I think sometimes players, you know, use challenges at the end of sets because they're gonna run out of challenges anyway, so I think you'll see a lot more challenges go against the player purely because they're sort of doing it in hope because, you know, there's very little to lose if you've got two challenges left and you're in the last game of that set. So you may see some more challenges go against the players in that way.

Q. What's it like for you to come here not a top seed?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not that different. I've still got to take seven matches to win a Grand Slam. That's the way I focus on. It's not looking at a guy like Federer or Nadal. I've got to focus on Montanes and trying to get through that match. I've been in enough situations in Grand Slams where draws have opened up, and you've got to take those chances when they pop up.

Q. Among the Hispanic players, who do you think is improving the fastest?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure. Obviously, you know, there's a lot of tough players. Acasuso, I think, is playing extremely well at the moment. Calleri has played well, I think. There's a couple of young guys I think from Argentina, as well, who have come through quallies and probably have decent futures ahead of them, as well.

Q. Now that you've been a dad for a little bit, what's the best part and what's the toughest part about being a dad?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I guess the enjoyment you get, you know, just seeing your child change every day. That's pretty amazing.

Q. Any "C'mons" yet?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really, no.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


August 30, 2006, 1st Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Albert Montannes 7-5 6-4 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. First of all, the knee, any problems? You feeling okay?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, not too bad. You know, there's times when I feel it. It's definitely not a hundred percent yet. It was important just to get through today's match and give myself the opportunity. Hopefully, you know, no more damage was done, hopefully. And, you know, see how it pulls up again tomorrow.

Q. You've had so many, you know, great memories, I'm sure, here. This has been a wonderful venue for you to perform in. Just talk about this whole atmosphere, what it does for you as a player?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's great playing any Grand Slam. You look forward to it. It's always a buzz. I think every Grand Slam has a unique feeling about it leading into it, probably the couple days leading into it.
But for me in particular, you know, the US Open, that's where it started on a Grand Slam level for me, winning the doubles here in 2000, and then obviously the singles the next year.
You seem to always try and, you know, play your better tennis, I guess, you know, at those tournaments that you've played well and had good memories at in the past. It's no different for me. You know, I'm not sure why, but I love the atmosphere here. You know, especially you play big matches on Arthur Ashe Stadium. It's the biggest tennis stadium we ever get to play in front of. It's a pretty awesome thing to be out there, you know, only two guys out there in front of 25,000 people.

Q. You played well on hard courts early in the season. I know the past few weeks you've been hampered by the injury. Is there another good run in you, do you feel?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, at this stage I'm more trying to focus on getting through the first week and the next couple of matches. And then if you put yourself in a position in the second week, then, you know, I feel like I'll be getting better and better with my rhythm and timing and confidence. And, you know, hopefully that can put me in a good position to maybe have another run at it.

Q. When you started out yesterday, maybe a little bit tentative and probably the weather delay didn't help, but really sort of came once you got to 5 2, you really put the pedal down, and then obviously finished it off today. So good for the confidence?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was good. For him to get 5 2 yesterday, I thought he was playing well. He didn't miss too many balls. His backhand was a lot better than I've seen it in the past. You know, it was a matter of trying to hang in there, 'cause at 2 All I had 15 40 and ended up having three breakpoints and wasn't able to take them. I knew I was gonna get my opportunities, but, you know, it was nice to get out of that set and at least be on an even keel going into today.

Q. Of all the matches you've played in your career, was there one or two matches where everything was working, where it was the best you ever felt on a court? Any of those matches come to mind?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Uhm, probably the semifinal and final here in 2001. You know, everything pretty much went to plan. Yeah, I did everything possible. Yeah, I did everything well those two days. And, you know, probably when I played Kuerten in Davis Cup down in Brazil I didn't do too much wrong down there either.

Q. Just for fun. Boxing match between Federer and Nadal, who do you think would win that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I've got no idea.

Q. Do you think they'd be in the same weight category?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Probably not. Probably not (laughing).

Q. Must have been heartened to see Mark put up a good performance. You probably didn't see a lot of his match, but he put up a good performance against Nadal today. He said he's looking forward to going to Buenos Aires and playing the Davis Cup there. It's obviously good to see him come back?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I didn't see any of his match so...
You know, obviously, it's a rough draw, you know, playing Nadal. I don't think Mark would have played him before, so it's the first time he's seen him. He's obviously pretty confident at the moment, Nadal, on any surface.
I think Mark obviously took a huge step winning Newport, you know. That was gonna give him a huge boost. You know, hopefully for him he can take it into the Australian summer. If he can play well, you know, in January, that sort of sets up the whole year for him; he's not defending any points.

Q. Nalbandian is doing his best to get you down and out. He's gone on record saying he wants to play you on his home court. Does that fire you up?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really, no.

Q. Water off a duck's back?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, yeah. Nalbandian always says something, so...

Q. Mark is also quite pumped to team up with you down in Buenos Aires. Does that influence your decision at all?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, mate, right at the moment with everything going on with my body, I'm trying just to focus on getting ready for tomorrow's match. I'm not even gonna get in the debate right now.

Q. So you're still at that point where you're still

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not even gonna yeah.

Q. I'm not talking about Davis Cup, but about your body.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, the knee's not a hundred percent, no.

Q. So it literally is day to day?

LLEYTON HEWITT: At the moment, yeah. Obviously, today was a good boost, but, you know, what happened in Toronto was, you know the following day it was useless, you know. After a tough match, that's what I'm more afraid of right at the moment.

Q. What will you do today, put it up, rest, ice?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I've already done some treatment, and I'll do some more treatment this afternoon. Yeah, the last two weeks have been all about doing everything possible just to get on the court yesterday. And, you know, so far I've been able to do that. Got to keep going along with it, though.

Q. When you slipped yesterday, did that aggravate it in any way?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, but I did feel it. Yeah, it was amazing. It was hardly raining, but it was so slippery out there.

Q. Do you have any idea what caused it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I'm not sure. I think it's wear and tear for the most part, but then the actual patella tendon had something wrong with that, as well, which is probably more so because I was playing with patella tendinitis. And the actual tendon's got a split in it. That was probably came about through playing that tough match against Chela, I'd say.

Q. Playing one set yesterday, two sets today, is that a good thing? Is it like kind of a couple of practice sessions? Or you prefer to get one out of the way?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It would have been nicer to get it all done yesterday, you know. Just to have that in your mind, you know, day off today, work on what you want to do, get your body right, and then know that on Thursday you're gonna have your second round match.
Yeah, similar to Wimbledon, though. It felt like over the first week at Wimbledon I was getting ready to play every day, and it's more psychological, I think. You got to be mentally tough and mentally prepared to play your match every day.
So, you know, I've had to do it enough times, so I don't think tomorrow should be a major problem with that.

Q. You got Berdych. You've played him five times, I believe.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think this is our fourth time this year. Yeah, he's an underrated player. He's very tough from the back of the court. He moves sideways extremely well on the baseline. You know, he's got a deceptive first serve. He likes, you know, hitting balls down the line on both sides.
So, uhm, yeah, if I can step it up another notch, that is gonna help me out tomorrow.

Q. What's the prognosis for this split or tear in your tendon in your knee healing itself or getting better especially while you're still playing?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't know. Not sure. Ideally, I wouldn't have been you know, if this was any other tournament, I wouldn't have even tried to play. So sort of tried to rush it a little bit to play the US Open, which is you only have four chances of playing Grand Slams a year, and I try and do everything possible to be as close to a hundred percent as possible.
But, you know, only taking two and a half weeks off, you know, probably normally, you'd want a bit more than that.

Q. So you think either way, whatever happens while you're here, you're gonna need some rest?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't know. I'm just touch wood, if it gets better and better each day, then, you know, there's no need for that hopefully. But until this tournament's done, I don't know how it's gonna pull up.

Q. So the doctors really just have no there's no answer? It's, Just go out and see how it is?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, the doctors have suggested rest is the best thing. They understand, though, the US Open is, uhm, coming up and, you know, they were more than happy for me. They said maybe if it flares up after this, I will need to take a long break to get it a hundred percent right.

Q. Is that the only issue now that they've pretty much guaranteed security?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm not going into the Davis Cup right now, yeah, thanks.

Q. In terms of your health, that's really what you're concerned about?


Q. If they suggested to you an extended rest is necessary after this, you want (indiscernible)?


Q. What about you yourself, what's your guess? You know your body pretty well.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I've got no idea, mate. I listen to the doctors.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


August 31, 2006, 2nd Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Jan Hernych 6-4 6-2 6-2

THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Obviously, great to be through to the third round. How is the knee?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Uhm, yeah, it was no different today than it was in the first round, which is a good sign. You know, 'cause I was, you know before I came into the tournament, I was a little bit worried more about the second round, if I got through the first round, how it was gonna pull up.
You can't emulate on the practice court what it is like on the match court. Today I was happy with how it felt. Couldn't complain, that's for sure.

Q. Is that the biggest positive to come out of that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think so. I think my ball striking was a lot better today than it was in the first round, as well. And even though the score line suggests that it was pretty one sided, we still had a lot of deuce games out there, and he's always I've had tough matches with him in the past.
As I said yesterday, I think he's underrated. And he's a difficult opponent 'cause always when he's behind he plays a lot better, I feel. You know, he seems to play a lot better on my service games than he does sometimes on his own.
So it was more trying to, you know when I got out of that first set, then I sort of opened up a bit and played better as the match went on.

Q. What was the story with all the foot faults?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure. No idea.

Q. The umpire said he agreed with you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I didn't hear what he said.

Q. He said, "I agree with you, Lleyton."

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. I couldn't hear what he said. He said something, but I was struggling to understand what he said with his accent anyway. It was something I was just trying to block out. You know, I was obviously doing something right, you know, even though I didn't serve well today.
You know, that's still a positive, that against a guy that likes stepping in on second serves, my second serves still held up pretty well.
So, you know, it was obviously disappointing with a few more foot faults than I would have liked. After the first couple, you sort of stand back a little further anyway. I was more wondering what was going on when I was that far back.

Q. Is that all you can do about it, stand back? Can you do something in between matches?


Q. Just have to deal with it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, pretty much.

Q. Is this the place you most get foot faulted?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, last year in last year, yeah, in Sydney I got foot faulted a lot just in that one tournament. Ended up going to the referee at the tournament and, yeah, it's the way I pivot my foot sometimes, and it actually doesn't touch the line. But to the naked eye, you may actually 'cause the back of my foot, my heel sort of twists so much it doesn't touch the line but sometimes it's over the line. But the rules are if it is not actually touching the line then it's not a foot fault.
You can understand why sometimes they can, you know, see from the line that the actual shoe isn't touching the line.

Q. Going back to the match today, when you play a guy like that who plays in little spurts like he's a top 10 player then makes really elementary mistakes, is it hard to keep your focus?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was more so, like I said before, that he plays so much better when he's behind. And, you know, that was the case at 5 2 in the first set, you know. When I was up a double break, he sort of opens his arms up and swings for a few more.
At 5 3 he had a good service game, probably one of his better service games for the match. You know, the next game, even though I didn't play great that game, he still, you know, came up with some good shots and put me under the pump.
That's why, you know, I was always wary, because every time I've played him it's been the same situation. You've always got to be very mentally tough against a guy like that. Even when you get in front, the job's not done.

Q. He just said to us that out of the four times he's played you, he thought this was your best performance. He thought you were more aggressive and hit the ball crisper. Does that give you some confidence in terms of hearing someone else say that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Uhm, yeah, a little bit. You know, within myself, I know how I feel like I'm hitting the ball and what I feel like I have to do against the better players. Against him, yeah. It's hard to say, but the score line I had today, you know, looks great on paper. As I said, I think there were some a lot tougher games than the score line suggests.
When I played him in Las Vegas this year, earlier in the year, I thought I played pretty well for the two sets and it was a pretty straightforward win.
The French Open, I felt I actually played pretty well in the first round against him, even though I lost the second set against him. I didn't feel like that was my bad play, but I thought he stepped it up. It was probably one of the better times I've played against him.

Q. If you look at the two guys that you could face, obviously Djokovic is a real up and comer. A lot of people are saying good things about him. If you faced him, what are you dealing with?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm not sure. I've never hit with him. Never played against him.
So, you know, I've seen him play a little bit, and he's obviously very solid from the back of the court, but he can step it up, as well.
He's got a deceptive first serve, and he's had good wins against good players in big tournaments. He's sort of on the rise, especially in Grand Slams I think, more and more these days. So, you know, match like my first round to today, I've got to step it up another notch. I'm gonna play a guy that's in another category to Hernych, and I've got to be prepared for that.

Q. Mardy Fish?

LLEYTON HEWITT: He's a slightly different matchup. He's probably a versatile all around player, but will probably give you a few more cheap points than Djokovic I would have thought.
Fish is obviously getting somewhere near when he made the final of the Olympics and played some of his best tennis in Cincinnati that year. Yeah, so he's a dangerous player. We haven't played a lot of times either, but he's got a great backhand and he's gonna try and penetrate through the court and come to net, so...

Q. How long did you hit for today compared to what you would normally hit for?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Before the match?

Q. Yeah, I understand you were cramped for time.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, we were a little bit rushed. I still hit 15, 20 minutes, I guess.

Q. What would you normally hit for?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Max, 30 minutes.

Q. Problem with time?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really, we had to end up going a totally different way that I'd never been before. I got to see a bit more of New York than I probably would have liked to this morning.

Q. Any phone calls to the organizer saying you're on your way?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Roger maybe did, you know. He was directing traffic for a bit of it, as well.

Q. Actually got out of the car and directed traffic?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, we were at a standstill for 40 minutes, I think. Yeah, he had to tell the police at the front that there's such a backup of cars that someone had to do something, not all wait to go through the tunnel.

Q. Been there many times.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, that's probably one of his better ones.

Q. When you started, obviously you didn't know whether you were going to play. Now here you are, you'll be at the weekend. When you look back on where you were a week ago, you've got to feel pretty good about just being here and in this position.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it is. As I said, it's all a positive. And coming into the tournament, I felt I knew I was gonna have to battle some pain, you know, through my matches, and especially in my first round.
I was more concerned about the second round, you know. I felt like when the draw came out that I was gonna have some pain in that first match, and I had to get through it. It was more an amount of how I was gonna have to recover after that. It didn't get any worse. Obviously I'm happy with that. I get a day off tomorrow to do all the right things and give myself every possible chance of playing well on Saturday.

Q. I mean, it doesn't seem like your movement is that restricted. How much is it restricting you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's a little bit. I'm not feeling a hundred percent out there at the moment.
Uhm, you know, it's more times when, you know, you get that pinch of pain out there knowing that you don't want to make it any worse, I think. It's a bit of a psychological battle, as well.
You know, I've had these sort of situations, though. Made the final of the Aussie Open, I had a hip problem. At the French Open, where I played well this year, I had obviously an ankle that wasn't a hundred percent going in.
So there's no doubt that in I've been pretty mentally tough with niggling injuries. You've got to try to put it behind you as much as possible when you're out on the court, though.

Q. As much mental as physical?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Sometimes, yeah. In some situations I think it is.

Q. On a separate note, Andre, obviously playing tonight. May be his last night. Is that something you might be watching? What are your emotions about that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Uhm, I may have a little look. You know, I think it's obviously gonna be a great match, if it lives up to all its expectations and if Andre's body is after a tough match against Pavel in the first round, if it holds up, a guy like Baghdatis, you don't know what to expect. He could come out and play an awesome match or be off beat and give Andre a real chance.
It's probably a good situation for Andre. You know, I'm sure he probably would look forward to going out and playing, you know, in his last tournament a guy that's on the rise and one of the up and coming and future of the game. You know, so you definitely wouldn't write Andre off, that's for sure.

Q. You're obviously a lot younger than he is and had your first big win against him. Now you see these young kids coming up, 17, 18. Can you put yourself in their shoes and imagine another 11 years out here?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. I don't think anyone can do that. You know, put themselves in Andre's shoes and what he's been through. Yeah, it's pretty amazing, it really is. To be at the top of the game for that many years and see so many players come and go, I guess. You know, it is pretty amazing.

Q. How does Ljubicic not being in your quarter of the draw work out for you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: At the moment, I'm not worried about that. I know the players say that every time. Djokovic or Fish, I'm gonna have my hands full with either one of those. Then Gasquet is after that, been in good form making the final of Toronto and pushing Federer.
So, you know, there's never really any easy matches. You get to fourth round in a Grand Slam, and you're always going to expect someone that's playing well; they don't get there by luck, so...

Q. Is there any specific medical thing that you do, or just rest tomorrow, treatment?

LLEYTON HEWITT: During a tournament I can't do much now, so it's more, you know, icing and steam and ultrasound and all these kind of stuff that's pretty much the basic standard kind of stuff that you do for most injuries now.

Q. Do you literally have to stay off it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I can walk around. It's not going to make it any worse.

Q. Yesterday Nalbandian told us that he wants to play Davis Cup against the best Australian team, and you are the best player in Australia. What do you say?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I got no comment about Davis Cup, thanks.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


September 3, 2006, 3rd Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Novak Djokovic 6-3 6-1 6-2

THE MODERATOR: First question.

Q. The wrap obviously was good for the knee. Had a great result out there.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, sort of just staying the same at the moment, not getting any worse. It's hard to see it getting to a hundred percent at the moment. If I keep going, then hopefully it will.
Yeah, today was a lot better. I knew I had to step it up another notch. Never played against him before. You know, the first six or seven games, I was more trying to feel out what his strengths and weaknesses are a little bit out there.
You know, I felt like I executed what I wanted to do out there today pretty well.

Q. Seemed to break his spirit. He went away in the second.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was strange. Felt early on he was serving extremely well, I couldn't really get into his service games. Halfway through the first set, I started getting onto his serve, just ran down a lot of balls, made him go for shots that I don't think he really felt comfortable going for.
I snuck into the net when I needed to. I moved the ball around well. That was sort of the game plan out there. It paid off perfectly today.

Q. In order to keep going, now with the rain, it's going to be almost a daily thing to play, how do you physically think that's going to be?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, I'll have to wait and see. Obviously, I would have liked to got the match in yesterday just to keep on that routine of a day on, day off. Knowing that I'm going to have to play tomorrow now, it's a matter of trying to do everything in order to bounce back as well as possible.
This is exactly what I could have hoped for. Hour and a half match, to get through against a guy that can play that well, that gives me a lot of confidence going into a similar kind of match up against Gasquet.

Q. Djokovic, you take satisfaction from beating a good young player as him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't think he was at his best today, for the results he's had. I think he made the quarters of the French and maybe Round of 16 at Wimbledon. He beat a lot of good players at Wimbledon, as well, to get to the Round of 16. I know he beat Robredo and Youzhny, probably should have beaten Ancic. I was very wary of the kind of player he is. Did my homework as well as possible without actually ever hitting against him to know what to expect out there.
It was still a little bit of suck it and see the first seven or six games. It was a good win for me. First up against a guy like that, as well. It's not an easy third round, I don't think.

Q. Were you in the locker room when Andre came in?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I haven't seen him, no. Saw a little bit of the start of the match on TV. Haven't seen anything since.

Q. How did you find out about the result? Did you hear anything from Ashe coming over?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I didn't know until I came back in the locker room. Yeah, obviously from what I saw before I went on, his movement wasn't nearly a hundred percent today. It was always going to be a tough order against anyone. I know the guy's a qualifier, but there's a reason he's in the third and now fourth round of a Grand Slam.

Q. You could give us a pretty accurate read maybe how gutsy he's been. Can you give us a player's view of what it's taken him to play?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I can't probably exactly. Only Andre really knows how he is feeling. From all reports, it wasn't too flash.
Yeah, that's been a little bit the case throughout the last year and a half, though. He's been always trying to get ready and ready. You just never know if he was ever going to be a hundred percent in any one of these matches.
It was a remarkable win what he did against Baghdatis, one of the better players going around the world at the moment. In the top 10 and deserves to be in the top 10.
It's probably a little bit of a shame that he didn't end up maybe losing a close match to Baghdatis in that atmosphere that was there that evening.

Q. How do you see your draw now with Agassi gone?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, at the moment I'm worrying about Gasquet. I think he's two sets to love up or something. He made the final of Toronto Masters Series only a few weeks ago. He can play. We've never played against each other before. That's going to be a challenge in itself.

Q. Do you know much about him? He's another one of these young up and comers. You played one today. Do you know these blokes very well?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I know a bit more about Gasquet. I've hit with him quite a few times. I know a little bit more about his game, what to expect. Djokovic today I didn't know a whole heap about. It was more Roger doing as much homework as possible to at least give me an insight so I wasn't going to be absolutely shocked when I went out there.
Yeah, it's fortunate in five set matches you can sort of get a feeling for things within the first set at least. Ideally I think I'm going to know what to expect tomorrow against Richard, though.

Q. In terms of the knee, when you move, is it a case of restricting your movement or just when you maybe put weight on it or certain times where the pain shoots in?

LLEYTON HEWITT: There's certain times when I just get the pain and that feeling that I've had the last couple of weeks. Obviously that's always in the back of your mind when you're moving out there. It's a matter of trying to, as I said before, that mental battle of trying to push through that pain. If it gets to a stage where you can't compete, you can't compete. Sort of trying to lay everything on the line at the moment.

Q. Are you surprised, happily surprised? Thought you would get this far in terms of the injury?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's more so playing with pain and trying to limit it as much as possible over the two weeks. When I had the injury, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to walk on the court, let alone compete. I'm obviously happy with the way I can compete out there at the moment. It's been good that I've been able to get through my matches in straight sets as well and not put too much strain on it unnecessary strain anyway.

Q. Are you going to be playing Davis Cup next week?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't know, Mate.

Q. You feel as though you have your teeth in the tournament, second week?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, you can't win it in the first week. That's sort of been the challenge right from the start with the knee injury. That was trying to get through the first couple of matches and feel okay after it, I guess. I've done that so far. It's going to get tougher and tougher with every match. We all know that at Grand Slams.
So far so good. I've put myself in a position to have another crack in the second week of the US Open, which it's always nice.

Q. What is it about Flushing Meadows? Is it the court, speed of the balls?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure. Obviously, the court, I love the courts here. I've always been a fan of 'em. I think they suit my game well. I've played a lot of matches on all three of the show courts over the years. I think they're all unique in their own way. They're all a good feeling out there. Like today felt, you know, very close to the crowd, good atmosphere out there, even though it wasn't totally full either.

Q. That's going to be an advantage for you against Gasquet, the fact you feel so comfortable on these courts?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I don't know. He's obviously feeling pretty comfortable on hard courts at the moment, making the final of Toronto and pushing Federer in that match. Yeah, I feel as comfortable as anyone, I think, on this kind of court.
Yeah, it's still a matter that's not going to get me over the line. It's a matter of going out there and putting it all on the line again and hopefully executing the way I want to.

Q. Nalbandian says Australia has no chance in the tie.

LLEYTON HEWITT: He would know (smiling).

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


September 4, 2006, 4th Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Blow out some cobwebs.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Could say that. I don't know. Would have preferred to finish it in three and been done a couple hours ago.
But you just never know what's around the corner. Yeah, even though I won the first two sets, they were still tough sets. We traded service breaks quite a few times in both those sets. Through the third set, you know, he was starting to serve a lot better. He was getting through service games a lot cheaper out there. You know, at 5 4 down, I, you know, got up 40 Love. He played a great game to come back. He sort of slashed at a few shots, then that sort of you know, he got on a bit of a roll early in the fourth. Turned into another fight.

Q. Must have been pretty confident going into the fifth set. Got a pretty good five set record?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I've got a good five set record. That was obviously in the back of my mind. I haven't lost a five set match for a few years now. But you can't rely on that. Once you get out there, you got to focus on what you've got to do. It was important getting that first service game under my belt. You know, it was the first set tonight out of the five that I was actually serving first, so I wanted to try to get that early lead and try and, you know, hold it for the rest of the set.

Q. Is it a bit disconcerting when he calls for the trainer, looks like he's not in good shape, then suddenly he's like a rabbit out there, running everything down. You tried a couple dropshots, he was unbelievably quick.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's tough in that situation 'cause, you know, obviously in the back of your mind you're focus you know that something's not quite right a hundred percent out there with him. But, you know, then again, he was hanging in there and running down a lot of points. You know, my first matchpoint, I couldn't have made him run any more than I did, and he came up with an unbelievable passing shot.
So, you know, it's a lot easier said than done, but you've got to try and focus on going out there and executing and worrying about your game.

Q. Do you think, you know, you've had this incredible run here, quarters or better now, seven straight years. Is this in some ways the most sort of impressive one because of the fact that you're not a hundred percent?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Uhm, yeah. It's up there, I guess, yeah. You know, obviously winning in 2001, you know, and beating a guy like Sampras in the final, it's hard to beat that.
But this year, you know, not sort of having the runs on the board the couple of weeks leading in when I made a final a couple years ago I had a great run going coming into the tournament so I sort of knew where I stood and, you know, how well I was hitting the ball coming in. Whereas this year, it was a huge question mark, you know, not knowing if I would be able to even play the first match, let alone last the two weeks.
So I've put myself in another position here, and, you know, got to try and take it when they come.

Q. Obviously, Andy has changed his form around. Very, as you said earlier today, very poor first six months of the year for him. He's got Jimmy Connors in his camp. How much do you think that that's helped him, and also talk about the match.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Uhm, yeah, I don't know. You know, obviously, Jimmy will come with a few different ideas, I guess, than he's probably had in the past. Obviously listening to someone that he and everyone respects so much, as well.
Uhm, you know, I think Andy, you know, obviously he's won a few matches in a row now. You know, especially struggling, he struggled through the first couple matches in Cincinnati. Won 6 in the third and probably should have lost in the first round there.
It's more when you get those wins under your belt to try and keep rolling with it. Obviously, he's been able to do that. He had a tough match yesterday with Verdasco, a talented left hander, and, you know, I've got to step it up another notch. I definitely know what to expect.

Q. And in terms of your knee, I mean, there were a couple of times out there when it looked like you were stretching, you went to your right side and it might have jarred.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, no, I felt it a little bit out there the whole time. It's sometimes worse than others, but when I see the other guy cramping up the other end, it's a matter of that gives you a bit of an extra boost, as well.

Q. Does your winning record over Roddick give you a little bit of added confidence?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. You know, at this stage, we haven't played for a while. So it's more I think both of us are in the same boat in a lot of ways. We both know what to expect from one another's games. We've played enough times. We've played enough big matches, as well.
I think at the end of the day it's going to be who can execute well on Wednesday, and who does that best is gonna win.

Q. What about the crowd? Probably won't have too many friends in the stands.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, I've played a few big name Americans here over the years. I know what to expect.

Q. Do you think he's doing anything differently under Connors?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's hard to really know at this stage. I haven't seen, you know, enough of him here. I don't think there's a whole heap different, I can't see from some of the matches that I've seen, the last couple of tournaments that I've seen him play. But this week I haven't seen enough to really know.

Q. Just a matter of maybe confidence?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, I think so. If you win a Masters Series week before a Grand Slam, you're gonna have a bit more spring in your step. He was able to, as I said, get through a tough match early on in that tournament. He obviously got better and better. He beat good players in the quarter, semi, and final there.

Q. Does a long five setter have any impact on your knee at all?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, I hope not. Hope not. We'll see what happens.

Q. How is it feeling?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's not too bad.

Q. How does this change your routine now? Obviously, you probably won't get to sleep until 5 o'clock or something. What does it do to tomorrow and the way you'd normally have the in between day?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, you know, I'll obviously try and get as many hours of sleep as possible. You know, at this stage I'm probably banking on I assume we're probably going to play Wednesday night. That's my guess.
So at least being probably another night session probably got me on that same routine a little bit for the next couple of days. Obviously, tomorrow, see how the body's feeling. May have a light hit later in the day. But, you know, take it easy for most of the day and just chill out and do everything possible to feel as good as possible, I guess, you know, come Wednesday.

Q. Do you travel with your own physio?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not here at the moment, no.

Q. You come in here to get some treatment tomorrow likely?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, yeah. I'll get some, whether it's here or at the hotel.

Q. Do you have a preference, I mean, you prefer the nights?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It doesn't worry me. You know, it's a great atmosphere, you know, at night, obviously, being the feature match. Doesn't really worry me.
You know, obviously, you know, when you get a big crowd in that arena, it's pretty electrifying.

Q. The crowd cheering the ball girl, was that distracting?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I didn't know what was going on the first couple times it happened.

Q. They finally dismissed her.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, then they started booing the other bloke. He was pretty shattered.

Q. That fifth set, I mean, you really had no idea what he was going to throw at you next, did you? How do you sort of try to lock yourself into a match in those circumstances?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, you know, as I said, you know, I was serving first in the fifth set so it was a matter of trying to keep my nose in front. You know, even though I was up the break, you know, late in the fifth set, he still started to have a couple of breakpoint opportunities. It was a matter of trying to hold on to that break as much as possible, and I was able to do that in the end.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


September 6, 2006, QF

Lleyton Hewitt - Andy Roddick 3-6 5-7 4-6

THE MODERATOR: First question for Lleyton, please.

Q. When he's playing well, obviously a hard guy to beat?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he came out serving so well at the start. So you're sort of up against it right from the word "go." Didn't give me too many opportunities the first few service games to get into points, give me too many looks at second serves. You know, I just played, you know, a slightly loose game to lose my serve halfway through the first set. You know, against a guy like Andy, when he's serving like that, it's important, you got to clean up your service games.
I didn't feel like I served well for the whole night at all, but I still had opportunities in the second and third sets there, even as well as he was serving. So you try and put yourself in a position to have a go, and those three breakpoints, one in the second set on set point and then the two at 4 3, I actually, you know, got into the points and had opportunities. You know, he played good points, but still you got to try and take them. Against the better players, you have to.

Q. Do you mainly look at this tournament, glad you had a crack?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Absolutely. You know, I was always gonna do everything, you know, just like I do for every tournament, but especially Grand Slams. You know, I did everything possible to get on the court, and, you know, left nothing in the locker room.
So, you know, I felt like considering the doubt that I was under coming into the tournament and the amount of practice that I wasn't able to have, I guess, you know, I felt like I did pretty well to get to the quarters.
When you get there, you know, you still want to go those couple of further steps.

Q. You know Andy since many years. Were you surprised about his level of play, how he picked up his game again after last year where he didn't play so good? Now last couple weeks, he's up again.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, you know, when he's serving well, he's obviously tough to beat. That's his main strength. Anyone that's got that big a serve, if you keep holding your serves, you're gonna get into tiebreaks at least. He's fortunate enough that in a couple of service games, he gets to 30 All, 15 All, he can have a lash at a couple. And doesn't sometimes matters if you've got a serve that's gonna back you up a couple of times.
No doubt he's a little bit more confident after winning in Cincinnati; so he should be, as well.

Q. Do you think one of the things that maybe when you were No. 1 and you won your Slams, you were obviously playing a lot of tournaments. Is that something that you want to try and get back to, or are injuries making that hard?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I played more tournaments than I have at the moment, but not as much as most guys I wouldn't say, even when I was No. 1.
You know, probably only played between 16 and 18 tournaments. It was just that I did exceptionally well in the tournaments I played in, whether they were Masters Series or Grand Slams. If you do that, then the results are gonna happen.
You know, one of the years I had chicken pox, I didn't play basically the Australian Open. I still got No. 1 in the world at the end of the year.
If you perform well in the bigger tournaments, you know, your ranking will take care of itself most of the time.

Q. Late night, obviously you've just come off court after a tough match. Could you take a moment and talk about the passing of Steve Irwin.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, that was obviously shocking news. You know, you don't you sort of can't comprehend it really, you know. I woke up a couple of days ago and sort of puts life in perspective, I guess, a little bit.
You know, I was fortunate enough to meet him a couple of times, as well. So, yeah, it's shocking news. You sort of can't get around your head that he's actually gone, you know, especially when you're overseas and that, as well. You see him on TV so many times. He was such a happy go lucky guy, I think, as well.
Yeah, it's yeah, I feel shocking for obviously his family and everyone close to him.

Q. My hunch would be that you might get along pretty well with him. Can you talk about your meetings with him.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, the first time we met was actually when the president George W. Bush came to Australia. John Howard invited myself and Steve to go to Parliament and listen to the president speak, and also attend a barbecued lunch at the lodge in Canberra straight afterwards. I had a couple great chats with Steve. He was obviously a great person.
As I said, he's a typical Aussie bloke. I think that's how it came over. He wasn't show. He wore his Khaki clothes to I don't know if he was at Parliament, but to lunch when he met the president. That's him.

Q. Did he know anything about Lleyton Hewitt?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm sure he would of, you know. But I think we were talking more about him and his sort of life than we were mine at the time.

Q. In the big picture, are you happy with the way you played during this tournament here?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, for most of it. You know, it's never nice to lose. Yeah, when you look back on it in a few weeks, I think, you know, all in all, I you know, with the preparation I had and everything that happened beforehand, I did everything in my power to play good tennis.
Yeah, even though, you know, you lose in straight sets tonight to a guy that's obviously playing well and gonna be a contender, but, you know, it's still only a few points here and there. You take those chances, and things can turn around.

Q. You've been compared so often to Connors. Could you see any of his impact on Andy's game tonight?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, it's hard to say. You know, I didn't see any huge difference compared with, you know, the way that Andy was playing when he made the finals of Wimbledon twice and won the US Open back in 2003.
He's obviously more confident at the moment, and whether Jimmy's got something to do with that, only he knows.
When Andy is playing well, he's hustling, he's running down everything, he's, you know, doing fist pumps, he's doing everything, showing a lot of emotion. That's him anyway. I think that's more come back with him winning a few matches maybe more than Jimmy.

Q. Did you sense he almost went in the zone in parts of the match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: He had great serving rhythm the whole match. Really, very few points that I got opportunities. And in the end, I was still, you know, making him play, play balls, getting back 138, 136 mile per hour serves.
You know, if you are gonna keep doing that, it's hard to break guys the whole time. But if I got a few more looks at second serves here and there, even his second serve is holding up extremely well.

Q. Do you think if he played this well against Roger, do you think he'd have a decent shot?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Probably not. It's hard to say because I've played Andy before. He played pretty well in Cincinnati in the semis against me last year when I lost to him 3 and 6. Played Roger the next day, and Roger destroyed him. There's obviously something there that he doesn't match up great against Roger.
I don't know. Maybe that puts a little bit, you know throws his rhythm on his serve a little bit. Roger gets a few more looks at second serves. Stuff like that. But on paper, it's very hard to see, you know, even Roger I don't know. You know, obviously, Roger would serve a lot better than I did tonight, and that would maybe put a little bit more pressure on Andy's serve, and he might draw a few more errors from him.

Q. Will you play the Davis Cup?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know, mate.

Q. When you will decide?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know.

Q. What do you think about Argentina's team? Captain Mancini called Nalbandian, Coria, Chela, and Acasuso.

LLEYTON HEWITT: That's good. It's a nice team.

Q. Are you going back to Australia now?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure, mate. Haven't worked it out yet. Haven't even thought about it.

Q. Andre was very candid about the top of the rankings being occupied with Roger, most specifically, and also with Nadal being at No. 2. Which are the realistic expectations for a guy like you who's been there before and a guy like Roddick?

LLEYTON HEWITT: First, obviously, you know, Andy and I have got to try to get back into the top 5 and start putting pressure on those guys week in and week out. The big thing about those two guys, they've been so consistent on every surface throughout the year. You know, it's tough to do. If you want to compete against the best guys, you've got to be able to do that. Week after week, you've got to be putting yourself in positions to have a crack at those guys and be making semis and finals.
As I said before, the rankings will take care of themselves. Those two are obviously the form players. I think Roger is sort of above everyone, but Nadal, he's absolutely second at the moment.

Q. Talking about Nadal, were you surprised how he lost today against Youzhny?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I was a little bit surprised, but I actually gave Youzhny a very good chance, believe it or not.

Q. And now against Roddick?


Q. People are talking already about the final, Roddick and Federer. First he has to beat Youzhny.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, Youzhny, I've got a lot of time for. He's a lot better player than his ranking suggests. If he's on, he's tough to beat, as well, because he's very free flowing off both shots, and he takes a lot of balls on the rise. That's obviously where he gave Nadal a lot of trouble today. He kept dictating play, and it paid off for him.
Against Andy, obviously it's a totally different kettle of fish with, you know, Andy's serving compared to Nadal's serving and the way they both structure points. But I don't know if Youzhny has ever beaten him, but I've seen him play some tough matches against Andy in the past. Yeah, he deserves to be in the semifinal.

Q. How was your knee tonight, and do you need to get another specialist to look at it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. You know, it was sore. It's got sorer as it's gone on. You know, against five sets against Gasquet, it was a lot more running than I'd done in any other match. So, you know, I'll see how it pulls up in the next couple days, whether I, uhm, you know, see the specialist here or not. You know, wait and see how it pulls up.

Q. You're gonna stay here and wait?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, yeah, I haven't even thought about it, mate. Don't know.

Q. You said before that ranking and getting back to No. 1 is not a high priority, that Slams and Davis Cup are the two things that really motivate you, but do you want to get the ranking back up? Obviously, playing more tournaments would be the way to do that.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Uhm, yeah, in some ways. It's the same question you asked before. If you do well in Slams and Masters Series, then ranking is gonna take care of itself, you know. I don't even know how many tournaments I played last year, but I don't think it would have been ten with the injuries I've had, and I still finished 4 in the world. It's not too bad.

Q. Despite a relatively low ranking now, do you still believe that you're in the Top 5, say between 3 and 5?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, yeah, I believe it, yeah, absolutely. I think against the best guys in the world, I think out of the guys that can win Slams and push the best players, I think, yeah, I'm up there.
You know, but you can't take it away from guys like Davydenko and Robredo and Ancic and these guys who have obviously had big results in the field of bigger tournaments this year, and they deserve to be in the top 10.

Q. What do you think about the chances of Australia in Davis Cup with or without you on the team?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it will be an uphill battle for anyone, I think. I think Argentina in their home country, I think it's one of the that and Spain and France or Russia, as well, they're probably some of the hardest ones I think away from home.

Q. Do you still, in your mind when you come off the court, see that there were a couple of points that could change the whole match, do you think to yourself, I've got another Slam in me?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Absolutely. You know, just got to look at, you know, what I did at the Aussie Open. You know, even last year at the US Open here. I was only a few points away from being up two sets to one against Federer last year in the semis. We all know how good he is, especially on this surface and in New York here.
Obviously, I have got a great record here, play well here. The Australian Open is obviously another priority. I want to do a bit better than I did earlier this year.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


January 13, 2007

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR: First question for Lleyton.

Q. How is your fitness and is a lack of match practice a concern for you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, the calf is coming along well. Slowly, but (smiling)... It's getting there. I've had two good hit-outs the last two days. It's held up as well as I could have ever hoped.
Yeah, the match practice, definitely I would have liked to have had more. There's no doubt about that. It's a matter of trying to deal with that as much as possible, getting those hours that I need on the practice court before going into Monday or Tuesday's match.
The first couple matches, okay, they're not going to be easy. It's a matter of trying to get through those as quickly and convincingly as possible and move on to hopefully get my teeth into the tournament a bit more.

Q. How worried were you when you did it initially?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I was worried. I did it 5-All in the second set against Kunitsyn. Felt like a gun going off in my calf. It felt like cramps. Never had anything like that before. For the whole third set, I wasn't there, wasn't able to compete. Came off the court, knew there was something wrong. The odds are that I wasn't going to be able to play Sydney anyway, which was disappointing for me anyway. You know, I really love that tournament. Obviously, you know, that was a big decision in itself, to pull out of Sydney.
But, you know, there was no guarantees it was going to be right by now. Normally it would take two weeks or so. You know, I've done absolutely everything possible physio and treatment-wise to get me as close as possible to a hundred percent. I think, fingers crossed, it will hold up okay.

Q. Did you think you might not be here when it first happened?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Absolutely. When I pulled up a couple hours after that match, you know, there's no chance I was going to be able to play, even if I got through that match, the following day in Adelaide. Obviously, Sydney was starting in three days' time. You know, the scan showed I had one-and-a-half centimeter tear in my calf. Not a lot I could do about it. It was more trying to stay positive and manage the situation that I had in front of me.
Obviously when you haven't played a match for a couple of months as well, I was looking forward to this month. I love playing Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne.

Q. Not only dealing with your calf, you also had to deal with the split with Roger. How has that affected you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think I've dealt with it all now. I'm focusing on what I need to do now for the tournament. I feel like I've got a good group behind me that want the best for me, are going to try to put me in the best frame of mind to go out there and compete over the next two weeks. I think that's a big thing for me. If I'm mentally ready to take on every challenge that's going to be put to me, and there's going to be some big challenges over the next two weeks, if I last the distance.
Yeah, I think I'm as mentally ready now as I can be. In practice, I've been hitting the ball well. It's a matter of going out there and executing.

Q. Were you surprised by his decision?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I've spoken about it. I'm sort of going to leave it on that at the moment, try and focus on the positives, what I need to do over the next two weeks now.

Q. To this point, have you made the best out of a bad situation with the injury and the split with Roger?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm not hiding it's not the best situation to be in coming into a Grand Slam. But, yeah, I think mentally the injury knocked me around more with the chance I may not be playing the Australian Open. And the first couple days after I found out I had a small tear, I was a bit down obviously, not knowing how it was going to respond. It was probably the first couple days I couldn't walk properly and felt it the most that I thought, Is this really going to heal within a week?
Everyone was assuring me that pretty much it will be right. But then the question mark, you know, you're going to come in under-done as well. Is that really giving you the best opportunity of trying to win the tournament?
Yeah, I think I've dealt with the situation as well as I can. The people around me as well believe that I'm good enough to go out and have a big tournament.

Q. Have you learned a bit yourself over the course of the past week about yourself and about where you're at with your game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit. I've had some good chats obviously with Scotty over the last three or four days now, five days. He's a very positive guy, as well, brings a lot to the table. I think it's a matter of going out there. I know what to do on the court. I know how to play the game. Depending on who I play in the draw, obviously a qualifier I'm not sure, but most of the time I know how they're going to play against me. It's a matter of me going out there and doing what I need to do and executing the way I want to.
If I play my best tennis out there, then I'm going to have an extremely good chance, you know, especially getting through the first week.

Q. Could you put a percentage on your fitness, on your calf, then your match fitness as well?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, the calf's over 90% now. The last two days I haven't felt a thing out there. I don't feel like I'm holding too much back in practice. Had a couple good hit-outs with Looch. Match fitness, you can't emulate matches, getting them under your belt. So percentage-wise it's hard to put. I would have liked a bit more than two matches, that's for sure.

Q. With this preparation, can you win?

LLEYTON HEWITT: If I get through the first week and put some pressure on the name players in the second week, I've got a chance, that's for sure. I think mental toughness is going to play a huge part.
You know, I feel like I've prepared as well as possible. I did a lot of stuff through November and December to get ready for the Australian Open. If I put myself in the right frame of mind going out there, that never-say-die attitude, especially what got me to the final two years ago. You know, I can't have a much tougher draw than I had a couple years ago here. I know what it's going to take to come through a couple big matches.

Q. What do you make of your draw this year?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's not too bad. Qualifiers, the one thing they have is three tough matches under their belt. Also they're going to be put on a lot bigger stage than being on court 17 or 18 out the back, as well. Hopefully that works in my favor.
Second runs, Dancevic or Hanescu. I played Hanescu as least once, I played. Dancevic is an up-and-comer with a bit of flair, flashy kind of player. If I can get through there, we'll start looking at some of the bigger names in the draw.

Q. We've heard you talk about in the past couple years how the courts didn't really suit you, how you were unhappy with things with the tournament. How do you feel about things now? How would you assess the way those changes affect your game? McNamee is gone now.

LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, I think in terms of the court, it's more trying to get a level playing field, so courts like court 17 and 18 aren't playing different to Centre Court and Vodafone. Them playing it a bit earlier this year, the same time they lay the outside courts, maybe that helps that. I haven't hit on the outside courts yet, so I can't really judge the comparison.
Yeah, in terms of the tournament, I love the Australian Open. I love playing here. I get goosebumps walking into this place. This is great memories for me, not only coming here as a young kid matching Lendl and Edberg and Wilander and all these guys, but making the final two years ago, even though I lost, was a huge occasion for me and one of great pleasure and great memory.
I have nothing against this tournament.

Q. Is Rod Laver playing faster?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Slightly. Slightly maybe (smiling). It's hard to say. I've heard the outside courts are bouncing reasonably high from other guys. You get so many different opinions out there.
For me I think it's playing, you know, maybe a little bit faster and a little bit lower bounce this year. I think probably more so this stage, you know, before the tournament. Maybe by the end of the tournament last year, I wasn't in it long enough to know, but maybe it was playing a bit more like it is now at the end of the tournament last year.

Q. So are you happy?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm ready to play on it.

Q. You mentioned it was one-and-a-half-centimeter tear in the calf muscle. Is this wasn't a major, would you be taking more time off?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I wouldn't have had as extensive physio and treatment on it as I've done. I've been pretty much getting treatment and physio all day every day when I've been away from the court. I'm doing everything in my power to be fit by Monday and Tuesday. But, you know, it would have to be a lot more than to make me not play the Australian Open.

Q. After such a tumultuous buildup, can you think of a tougher time in your career that you've had to overcome before an Open?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I've always had a lot of -- US Open last year was difficult, you know, having a knee injury, knowing that I definitely wasn't a hundred percent going into it.
You have little obstacles you've got to try and pass. You know, I overcame that pretty well considering I wasn't even close to a hundred percent playing, was still able to make the quarterfinals there.
Yeah, it's going to be mentally tough. I think that's one of my assets. I'd like to think it'll come through again.

Q. Do you think you even thrive on your obstacles?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Sometimes. A lot of people would say that. You know, I try and be as mentally tough as possible every time I step on the court. I think when the bell rings Monday or Tuesday, I think I'll be ready to go. Mentally I'll be as focused as ever, you know, know what I need to do out there.

Q. Will you speak to Roger or expect a good luck phone call before your first game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know, mate. Not sure.

Q. Can you foresee in the future, or do you still have a good relationship with Roger?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm sure we will, yeah.

Q. In the future?


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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


January 16, 2007, 1st Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Michael Russell 3-6 2-6 6-3 6-3 6-3


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton

Q. Going down a break in the third, your thoughts then?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Just took me a while to work out not only where my game was at, but also work out what was best to play him. I was just going to hang in there and keep fighting.
I just tried changing up a few things out there. Mix up the height of the ball, the depth. I was trying to be a bit more patient out there with him, let him try and dictate sometimes.
First two and a half sets he played great. Didn't miss too many balls. He would have made only three or four errors, I think. It was a matter of hanging in there and waiting for my chances.
I felt like it got better and better as the match went on, which is a good thing.

Q. How do you think you've pulled up?

LLEYTON HEWITT: At the moment I feel pretty good, considering what I've been through, the calf injury and everything. Right at the moment, I'm feeling as good as I could coming back from two sets to love in a grinding match from a guy that plays pretty similarly to me.
There was a lot of running from both of us out there. Right at the moment it's hard to tell, but I feel pretty good right at the moment.

Q. Can that competitive match help get your juices flowing like that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It can. I'm never one to shy away from a contest. That's what it was tonight. The deeper and harder I was pushed out there, the better I felt like I came up with my best tennis when I needed to.
My serve started coming together. My movement, started being a bit more aggressive, took it to him. I was able to turn it around somehow.

Q. Looking ahead now, are you concerned you've spent that extra amount of time on court tonight, or is it not a worry because you didn't have all that match practice you really would have liked last week?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I would have liked to have got through a bit more comfortably. But, yeah, I don't think it's going to mean much in a day or so's time. Played enough big matches. I've done enough hard work in November and December to bounce back.

Q. Any symbolism in kissing the court at the end of the match? Some might consider it unusual because it's the first round. Are you all of a sudden in love with the Rebound Ace?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't think it's so much the Rebound Ace. I think it's more the arena and what the place means to me.
It was a big match to get out of. I had to dig as hard as I've ever had to dig. I've had some big matches there. I've come back from two sets to Love there once before in a big match, as well. Yeah, it's not a bad arena for me.

Q. Does that worry you, that you had to dig so hard so early on in the tournament?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really, no. Should be okay.

Q. You've told us a couple days ago how you believe you're mentally fit. After tonight, does this help that cause in terms of being able to come back from two sets down?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely. If I wasn't ready for the challenge, then I would have been out in the first round tonight. Yeah, I was ready for the challenge and whatever he was going to throw at me. He threw basically the kitchen sink at me out there tonight. I tried to throw it back and put some pressure on him.
Somehow I was able to turn the match around and get it into my favor. Going into the fifth set, the thought of losing never entered my mind.

Q. Dancevic next round, Lleyton.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. I've never played against him, never hit with him. A little bit of an unknown. He's an up-and-comer. From what I've seen in the past, he's, yeah, a pretty complete player I think, all-court kind of player, nice forehand, nice single-handed backhand. Nice first serve, likes to flatten it out a bit.
Yeah, I'll find out a bit more. I'll be ready.

Q. Any twinge with your calf?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I feel pretty good. From what I've come through, the amount of treatment, to put it through that tonight, for it to hold up, it was pretty good (smiling).

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


January 18, 2007, 2nd Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Frank Dancevic 6-4 6-4 3-6 6-4


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. From playing Michael Russell, being two sets and a breakdown in the first-round match, you seem to be getting back in the groove. Are you pretty happy? How do you think you've done it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit. Obviously wanted to go out there and get a little better start than I had a couple nights ago. Yeah, that was important today. I got on top of him early. I was able to play the big points well, especially in the first set there, get that under my belt.
His serve, though, did get better and better as the match went on. I found it hard to get into too many of his service games. I got to a few 30-Alls, but couldn't get break points out there. Just had to keep holding my serve, take care of that in the fourth set, and wait for my opportunity.

Q. Is there a problem at the moment with serving? Just a lack of match play?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, today was a little bit different. I think I just didn't serve great. When I got my first serve in, I took care of it. I just didn't -- my second serve just wasn't there today. Yeah, disappointing. You know, it's nice to come through those matches even when not everything's clicking either.
I was able to find a way. In the fourth set I served a lot better when I needed to. Takes care of business a lot easier, as well. The games I was holding to Love or 15 nearly every time in the fourth set.

Q. When you've been away, your serve is usually the last thing that clicks in for you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Sometimes, yeah. It's a unique stroke, I guess. You have days. Against Russell, I served the big points extremely well when I needed to. Today was maybe just a bit of an off day with my serve. Everything else felt a lot better than when I played Russell, especially early in the match.
I still felt when I needed to I served well today. Serving for both the first and second sets. I served good games there. Throughout the fourth set when I needed to I wasn't getting into enough of his service games to put pressure on him.

Q. You said you wanted match practice. A little bit more than you'd like at this point?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit probably. You can't win the tournament in the first couple matches. You got to find ways to win. When you're a little under-done, sometimes there are tougher matches to get through, and they're most important ones to get through.
These guys have nothing to lose against me. Russell played an exceptional match the other night, especially for two and a half sets. This guy today was flashy. Doesn't give you a lot of cheap points out there either.
You got to be prepared to work and do the hard yards. It's good to get two wins.

Q. You mentioned at Indian Wells that you wanted to improve your approach shot and volley. Your volley looked crisp. Have you improved a lot on the approach and volley?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. Sometimes it's just a matter of getting in there and being able to do it. If you pick the right balls to approach off, it makes it a hell of a lot easier at the net.
Yeah, if you're coming in -- and for me a lot of the keys are hitting those approach shots into the corner, giving myself a good opportunity at putting away the first volley rather than coming in sometimes like a Rafter and having to play a lot of lunge volleys, half volleys and low volleys, a lot of those ones.

Q. You seemed more willing today to go to the net though. Is that a conscious thing?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Maybe a little bit. I think playing that guy, as well, I felt like that was one way, when he -- you know, when he changed to his slice backhand instead of going topspin, I felt like I had an opportunity to get in and put pressure on him.
Even when he went for a couple of flashy backhands, he made a few passes here or there, but I won a majority of the points by doing that.

Q. No shortage of advice leading into the tournament. Part of it came from Todd Woodbridge Monday when he suggested you have too many off-court distractions now to really produce your best tennis. He felt you were zapped of energy when you walked out on court. Do you have any response?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's a big call by Todd. That's about it.

Q. In what way?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not going into it, mate.

Q. So is it just a point of it's unusual to have a former Davis Cup teammate being critical, publicly?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Todd's entitled to his opinions. We'll keep it at that.

Q. How big a factor was the heat today? What is your view on the heat policy, how uncomfortable?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's warm. Obviously a couple days ago it would have been a lot warmer if you had to play outdoors in those situations. You know, I still feel that's what you do all the hard work for, to play in situations like that, put your body through grueling times. If you're not up to it, then pull out.

Q. You don't think the matches should be stopped once they're started?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't think so. This is a different situation where we can close the roof on a couple of courts and keep playing on those. Sometimes if you're fortunate enough to be playing on those courts...
This is a sport where you have to do a lot of hard work and preparation to get your body ready. It's a one-on-one sport. You come into the tournament knowing there's going to be some hot days. If you draw those days, you got to be able to put up with it.

Q. You always have got Nadal in trouble. Can you explain what you do against him? What is your recipe?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure. We've had some tough matches in the past. None of them have been easy at all. I got fortunate in some of them. Got the better of him in a couple of 'em.
But even the one I lost at the French Open, I still feel like I played a great match on clay against him there. Yeah, I put a lot of pressure on him on obviously his favorite surface.
Yeah, I don't know if it's my game matching up against his or not. He's obviously a great player, maybe I'll get up for that match a little bit more.

Q. What is your plan?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Just play my best tennis and see what happens.

Q. González, if he wins, what do you expect from him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he's a great ball-striker. He can hit winners from anywhere on the court. Very dangerous. It's a matter of weathering the storm and trying to take my opportunities when I get them.
He's a tough player, especially on this kind of surface or a clay court. He's going to be obviously running around, looking to hit a lot of big forehands.

Q. How much better will you have to play?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, I'd have to improve. I'd want to against him. Yeah, he's a worthy opponent, especially for a third-round match.

Q. Have you seen Del Potro?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I've seen a little bit, not a lot of him.

Q. How is your calf and your physical condition general?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, the calf's held up pretty well, considering the amount of time I spent on court the last three days. It's holding up well at the moment. The body, considering I haven't had a lot of tennis, a lot of match play, is holding up well, as well. Just try and keep it going.

Q. Are you growing in confidence that you can make a very big impact in the second week?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm trying. Yeah, first steps first. Try to get through the first week. Now a lot tougher players, the tougher opponents. This is when you have to stand up and be counted.
These are the challenges I look forward to. This is why you play the Grand Slams, play the sport. It's going to get a lot tougher from here, though.

Q. Have you heard much about Del Potro? He seems to be a player on the rise.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I haven't heard a whole heap about him. Saw a little bit of him at the French Open when he qualified, lost to Ferrero first round. Yeah, he looks quite dangerous on a slow hard court or even a Rebound Ace, clay court.
Yeah, he's obviously got a big game, big serve, big forehand, moves quite well for a big guy I think, as well.

Q. Got someone out there watching him now?

LLEYTON HEWITT: We'll find out a little bit more about him.

Q. Shortly after he got out of the hands of the trainers, you and he traded shots with 22 rallies, which ended with him diving. Do you get cynical when you see that sort of thing?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It was a tough rally. I enjoyed it. I felt like it was toe-to-toe. I was taking it to him in that rally. That was 15-30 to bring up --
You're talking about the match point?

Q. Yes.

LLEYTON HEWITT: to bring up match point, as well. You know, I enjoyed being in that situation, putting pressure on him. Obviously I was trying to play an extremely tight game to close out the match there, as well.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


January 20, 2007, 3rd Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Fernando Gonzalez 2-6 2-6 7-5 4-6


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Was that a case of him just making too quick a start, you giving up too much of a start to him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit. It's always going to be hard to come back against a guy like that when they get their nose in front, swinging like that out there.
But, you know, I was nearly able to turn it around. A couple points in the fourth set, I could have nearly got back on even terms. But it's always going to be a tough ask coming back from giving him such a big start. He was obviously very confident. His serve got better as the match went on. He served great except that one service game where he lost serve in the end of the third set.
It was a bit of an uphill battle on all those. On my service games he was flashy, slashing away. I was able to dig deep in the third set and come up with something. Then in the fourth set, you know, I had a breakpoint early to go 2-Love up. If I could have got that, it could have been a different story.

Q. He was red hot in those first two sets

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he hit a lot of winners. Didn't make too many unforced errors. Yeah, doesn't matter who he's playing against, he's dictating play if he's playing like that. It's a matter of trying to weather the storm as much as possible. If he's hitting winners, there's not a whole heap you can do about it. It's a matter of hanging in there and buying time, trying to find a way to get out of it or change it around.
I was able to do that with some gutsy play in the third set. Holding my service games gave me that opportunity, but wasn't quite able to do it.

Q. Is it a case of waiting for him to go off his form, or do you have to contribute that for the turnaround to occur? Because I think it was two unforced errors he had in the first two sets.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, a bit of both. If he's playing that well, that's too good for those two sets. But it's a matter of me trying to mix up things, try and make life as uncomfortable for him as possible. In the third and fourth sets I felt like I was able to do that.
The fourth set could have gone either way there. We had a lot of deuce games. Just wasn't able to get those big points when it counted. If I got into a fifth set, then I would have liked my chances.

Q. What were your thoughts in the final game of the third set when he threw a couple of double-faults in? Must have had a bit of confidence at that stage.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well up till then he'd served extremely well, apart from his first service game of the match. He served well. Didn't miss too many first serves. He was hitting lines left, right, and center. It was hard for me to get into any of his service games, you know, obviously after that, but then he went back in the fourth set to serving well again.
Yeah, it would have been nice to get one of those cheap service games of his and get a break early in the fourth set, but it wasn't to be.

Q. How do you like his chances for the rest of the tournament?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, against Blake's a different match-up. Both very flashy. Both play very similar games. He's a great ball-striker. A lot depends on whether he can play like that every match, though. You got to do it seven times in a Grand Slam.
Yeah, he's always been a great ball-striker. That's never been his biggest problem, I don't think.

Q. How do you review this tournament? You'll say you entered it to win it. But realistically with the disrupted lead-up, how do you look back on it now?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You're disappointed when you lose. I'll look back, and I'm sure there's some positives to come out of tonight's match. It's disappointing I lost. But put everything on the line again, went out there, was nearly able to turn it around again.
Obviously not having the best preparation, the most matches that I would have liked coming in, yeah, makes life tough.

Q. When will you sit down with Scott to discuss the further arrangement between the two of you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not sure yet. That's the last thing on my mind at the moment.

Q. How pivotal has he been for you during this tournament?

LLEYTON HEWITT: He's been great. He's a great mate. He's got a lot of different ideas, which is good. You know, he was one of the most talented tennis players that I've ever come across in my time.
Yeah, he had every shot under the world, and, you know, was able to obviously get to his ranking. But he's had a lot of disappointments in his life, as well, on and off the court.
He's got a great attitude. He's a positive guy. He looks at different situations I think to a lot of other people. It's been good for the last couple weeks, that's for sure.

Q. In which way has he been most important to you? Has it been helping you mentally, inspiring you, or actually helping with your game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: All over, I think. He's got a good tennis brain. But away from the court, as well. He was my first ever person I beat on tour back when I was 16. We spent a lot of time together. He knows my game inside out over the years through Davis Cups and traveling together. Yeah, he knows what my strengths are and what my weaknesses are as well.
Just another view, you know, a different view, an outsider's view. You know, it's a good thing.

Q. How are you feeling physically after this tournament?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not too bad. The calf's a little bit sore. But considering how much tennis I played, not too bad.

Q. Will you take some time off now?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I'm not sure yet.

Q. Are you confident about what you can achieve for the rest of the year now?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, you know, want to get some more tournaments under my belt, a lot more matches, get back in the rhythm of things. That's been the toughest thing, especially with the knee injury late last year.
Couldn't get back-to-back matches together, which is a tough thing. It's not easy going into the Grand Slams, you know, against the best guys in the world when you're under-done.
Hopefully I can get a few wins in the smaller tournaments, just get a lot of matches under my belt.

Q. The challenge you made in the last game, obviously went your way. Was it tough to get your composure back after that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Uhm, not really. The crowd was obviously into it the last few games of the third set and the fourth set. Obviously when that was an overrule, then obviously the crowd was pretty excited, as well. Sort of a matter of just focusing and trying to get back on with it.

Q. What are your thoughts about the Hawk-Eye system now?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, not sure. Not sure. I just think sometimes the ball marks are slightly different to what the thing shows. Andy Roddick's serve or a Joachim Johansson's serve, the mark is about this long, whereas on the screen it doesn't come up that long.
And we can - even on a Rebound Ace surface or hard court surface you can still see the ball mark that has been left. So I've still got a few question marks.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


May 7, 2007, 1st Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Oscar Hernandez 6-3 6-7(3) 1-6


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Just what happened out there? Was it a matter of a rain delay, or are you feeling all right?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit. For the first two sets -- I felt like I was a better player the first two sets. I just didn't take my chances. Got off to a bad start in the first set and rain delay, courts play extremely heavy.
Totally different conditions out there. He got better as the match went on. But, yeah, for the first set and a half, yeah, especially I felt like I was the one that had breakpoints and opportunities to go up a set and a break and perhaps serve for the second set, and I just couldn't take the breakpoints when I had them.

Q. Is it a bit frustrating to be always in the same sort of condition here in Rome, because this is not the first time this happened to you here?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. Last time I was here it was very similar. As I said, the conditions, when you come back out after a rain delay, are completely different. Yeah, the courts are a lot heavier and you're playing a lot slower than it was earlier.

Q. May I ask you, maybe it's an embarrassing question, but you have been No. 1 in the world 80 weeks, not just two or three. You play singles, and at the same time there is a double where Nadal and Federer are playing and 4,000 people watch the doubles. What that means to you? It's the media who have built up the image of those two top players right now and they don't give consideration enough to the other players? What's your reaction?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, those two, over the last two years or so, have been clearly the two best players in the world. You know, and I think considering -- yeah, apart from Roger's couple of losses to Canas this year, Nadal is the only guy that pushed Roger, especially on clay in the last couple years.
I think everyone sort of looks forward to those matches because they know that Nadal has gone out there and had Roger's measure on clay. I think everyone knows that if Roger wins the French Open he can be the greatest player of all time.
Yeah, obviously it's pretty intriguing at the moment when they get matched out there, and they don't play doubles that often. I wasn't here last year, but by all accounts they had a pretty epic match here. It's understandable the crowd is going watch them play.

Q. So it's not frustrating? You don't feel lonesome?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, no, not at all. For me I only worry about going out there and playing my game and not worry about that at all.

Q. One more question about Kim Clijsters. Yesterday she decided to retire and she announce it officially. What was your opinion about that? It was a mistake to try to play this year when she had already planned to get married in July? She should have done something different, or what do you think?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not necessarily. I think, you know, Kim's so well-liked around the world and she's played well in so many tournaments around the world that it would have been nice for you her to compete for the rest of the year just for herself to get enjoyment, and obviously for the crowds as well.
But I know how many injuries she's had over her whole career basically, and she's had to play through some tough times. She knows her body best. Everyone's -- very rarely do you walk on the court feeling 100 percent. So, you know, yeah, she's had a great career, though.

Q. For you now, where do you go now? Put a little wrench in your plans? French Open preparation?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, for me the French Open is the main goal on clay.

Q. Right.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Got two more tournaments: Hamburg and Austria before then. This week I was basically just coming here to try and get some matches and get in rhythm. I haven't played really since Indian Wells and Las Vegas basically. I was just feeling it out.
You can practice on clay as much as you want at home, and we don't really have the caliber of players playing these tournaments.

Q. And for you, being Nadal and Federer are where they are, what is your goal? I mean, what is the goal of everybody more or less who was top, No. 1 in the world? To become No. 3? Or you still see the possibility or you dream about going back and being where you were?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Absolutely. You keep working hard and you keep working on areas of your game to improve. But, yeah, you don't really focus on Nadal and Federer that much. If you come across them, hopefully it's going to be later in the tournament anyway when you come up against them.
Nine times out of ten those two guys over the last couple of years are the guys you got to beat to win Grand Slams. Obviously on clay Nadal is a stand out and on hard court and grass Roger's stand out.
So yeah, it's always something that yeah, you try to improve your came ever time you step at practice court. It's a lot easier said than done as well.

Q. The family life has mellowed you a bit in your opinion? You were more relaxed or instead you're more nervous, you know, to be married and have a child sometimes changed people?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. When I get in the gym or in the practice court or match court is all the same. Maybe away from the court I'm more relaxed and not thinking about tennis quite as much. Booking flights and hotels around my baby more than myself I guess. That's the biggest change.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


June 26, 2007, 1st Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Richard Bloomfield 7-5 6-3 7-5


THE MODERATOR: Lleyton Hewitt. First question, please.

Q. Was that tougher than you thought it would be?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You never expect easy matches in Grand Slams. I didn't know a lot about the guy going into it. It takes you a few games to work out things. You know I heard a few things how he plays.
But, you know, this is his big opportunity every year to play at Wimbledon. Grass courts definitely suit his game. You know, it was difficult to get into the match. He volleyed extremely well. But happy to get away in straight sets.

Q. The way the match was played, rallying from the back court, but also a target at the net, does that give you a bit of everything in terms of getting all the kinks out of the system, finding your own grass court game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit. He's probably a lot different to play to 90% of the guys you play nowadays, even on a grass court. Most guys stay back. So it was pretty hard to get rhythm out there against him.
From the back of the court, I felt like nine times out of ten I was going to -- the longer the rally went from the back of the court, it was definitely in my favor.
But he was flashy as well. Came out with a couple of big forehands up the line when he broke me back in the first set. That's what you can do, I guess, when you don't have a lot of pressure on you.

Q. There was a lot of talk before the tournament that you had a pretty good draw here. Do you look ahead at that, or is that too dangerous to do that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, never really look ahead too far. At this stage, just trying to get through the first week. That's sort of the main thing at the moment.
Obviously, if you get to the second week, everyone's playing pretty well. If I can get through my first three matches, give myself a chance, you never know what opens up.

Q. How would you characterize where your grass game is right now?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's hard to say. I lost a tight match at Queen's and actually didn't play that badly. Served pretty well. The guy played a great couple of tiebreaks to beat me there.
It's sort of hard to rate. It was a good one just to get through today. I definitely feel like I'm going to get more and more comfortable the longer the tournament goes.

Q. From a British perspective, what would be your advice maybe to somebody like Richard who has a very low ranking? What did you see today that was good?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Obviously he's got to work extremely hard. He's got a nice basic game. His game suits grass court, though cross court tennis. It's like Jonathan Marray, I played a couple years ago at Queen's. He's very similar. Not quite as strong from the back of the court, but he had great hands at the net and knew where to move as well on a grass court, which was important.
We only play on grass three or four weeks of the year. It's not that easy to get your ranking up, especially when you got to play on clay and slow hard courts.

Q. It's easy to see like some guys, like Federer, why grass courts suits his game. You've had good really results here. It's not as apparent why it suits you. What do you think it is about the grass court that tends to bring out good tennis in yourself?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I guess when I started playing well on grass, I started focusing more on my game and not necessarily the serve-volleying. I was trying to play to my strengths probably a little bit more. If I take care of my service games, I'm a good enough opportunities to get opportunities against guys.
If I can break down their strength on this surface that really opens the door for me. When I played well on grass the year I won here, when I won Queen's, I serve well, take care of my service games, but pounce on their second serves.
You got to still take your chances on this surface. In the past, I've been probably able to do that.

Q. There's so little grass court tennis. But there's so few guys that are grass court specialists. Is part of the key adjusting quickly? Is it a matter of who can make do in terms of adjusting their games?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit. The way everyone plays on grass has changed a lot as well since I first started playing here at Wimbledon. There are so many more serve and volleyers and guys coming in now pretty much since I won here, 2002.
Everyone's staying back now. Very few players are serve-volleying at all. Even Roger. He mixes it up a little bit, but he plays 90% from the back of the court. He has some of the best volleys in the game.
That sort of says where the game's at right at the moment, no matter what surface you're playing on.

Q. You have sort of a lower profile here than when you were No. 1, defending champion. Is there any sense you are able to sneak through a bit less noticed than before?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I guess. It doesn't really bother me too much one way or the other. Obviously when you're No. 1, defending champ, or playing at the Australian Open, there's going to be a lot more spotlight on you. You sort of take it with a grain of salt a little bit.
You just need to get out there and get the job done and focus on the guy at the other end of the net.

Q. What do you know about Bolleli, if he gets through?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not a lot. From what I've heard, a very pretty talented player, pretty good hands, not a bad first serve. I'll try and find out a little bit more.

Q. Wayne Arthurs came back from two sets down against a bloke half his age. We'll see the end of Wayne at some stage over the next couple weeks. How should we remember Wayne Arthurs as a tennis player, his career?

LLEYTON HEWITT: For me the number one thing when I think of Wayne is he's always put his hand up for Davis Cup and playing for Australia at any call. Whenever we needed him, whether it was singles, doubles, yeah, the Davis Cup final everyone remembers when he had to go out last minute and play the fifth match, deciding rubber in a final.
That's why he has so much support out there with the Australians, the last couple games I saw. It's great for him to be able to come through quallies at his age, the way his body is, how sore it would have been, and then come back again today from two sets to love down. It's very fitting, I think.

Rusty - always # 1 in my heart

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