Lleyton's Press Conference - Page 16 - MensTennisForums.com
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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


June 28, 2007, 2nd Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Simone Bolelli 6-2 6-2 6-1


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton Hewitt.

Q. Was that a step up for you today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was good. From what I saw in his first-round match, he was quite flashy out there. Yeah, you can easily play into his hands no matter what surface it's on.
I had to get a lot of balls back, especially off his first serve, make him play, make him feel uncomfortable out there. I felt like I was able to do that right from the start today. It was a totally different match to what I had to play on Tuesday, getting a target the whole time. I felt like my movement, you know, I got a lot out of today's match.

Q. Is it good to maybe conserve a bit of energy at this stage of the tournament, get an easy one under your belt like that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, you'll always take those. They're always good to have. You know, a lot different to my second round last year against Hyung-Taik Lee where we had to come back and finish off the fifth set, tight fifth set.
It's always good to get through these matches. He's a dangerous opponent if I played into his hands. I felt like I didn't do that today. I played a smart match. I served extremely well. I felt like I moved the ball around well right from the start.

Q. I suppose you don't quite know when you will be playing. As it turned out, you haven't been affected by it. Is it important to get your rest days?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, it's been good. You look at someone like Henman, he said he feels like he's been playing every day when I spoke to him this morning. It's important over two weeks to have those little things fall your way sometimes as well, which is a good thing.
To have that bit of routine as well, have a day off tomorrow, do a bit of hitting, work on small areas you want to work on, keep that rhythm going, but not sort of stressing out whether you're going to get your match in or finishing off all the time.

Q. Do you feel at this stage that your game is as sharp as it has been coming into a Wimbledon?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Uhm, today was a big step up. I felt confident out there today. I felt like every part of my game was working well today. In the first round, whether it's nerves, whether it's playing the first round of a Slam, it's one of those you sort of just sort of want to get through. And it's against that guy, I really I didn't know a lot about in the first round. And he was an awkward player. He played totally different to most guys.
You know, today, whether that was the main reason, I was playing someone from the back of the court where I felt like I could take control of the points. He wasn't a massive server out there, but he served 73% I think in his first match over four sets. I felt like I got on his serve and made him go for a little bit more and a little bit more, and that made me more confident.

Q. Of all the things that pleased you, was the second serve one of them?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, my serving in general both. First serve, I felt like I had great rhythm out there today. I was probably going after it a little bit too much on Tuesday. Today I felt like the ball toss, everything, it was just really good rhythm out there. I wasn't overhitting at all.
Second serve, you know, I felt like I was putting it in difficult areas for him to attack off or do what he wanted to. He wanted to have some cuts on second serves. Even on a grass court I felt like I was getting a little bit of kick on my second serve, which was good.

Q. Four aces in a game.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, you don't get that too often, especially on grass. It's not common. It was nice.

Q. The match is not finished yet, but Cañas or Mirnyi, what you'd have to do against them?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, it's a totally different match-up against either one of them. Mirnyi, you know he's going to come at you the whole time. He's going to come in on some good shots and he's going to come in on some junk, as well. A lot depends on how he serves.
At the French Open, it's a totally different surface, his worst surface, on clay. I played him in the first round. I got all over his second serve very early on in the match. That made him try to mix up things a lot more.
On grass, he's a lot tougher opponent. He's had good wins and good success here at Wimbledon.
Cañas, he's a great competitor. He's going to stay back most of the time. He's got a big forehand. He moves extremely well. Yeah, he's got that never-say-die attitude as well. It's a little bit more like today's match against Cañas. He's obviously going to be a step up in class from the bloke I played today.

Q. If it is Mirnyi, how big a difference does it make when you play from the back court trying to pass him, just his wingspan? How different is it from playing a normal-sized player?

LLEYTON HEWITT: He's got great reach. He's got great feel around the net, as well. He knows where to move, whether that's playing a lot of doubles, having a lot of success at doubles as well. He knows how to move on a grass court.
He's going to come in always on some great approaches. But he does come in on a lot of junk, as well. You've got to take your time and pick the right shot, sort of go for it.

Q. What does that mean, comes in on junk?

LLEYTON HEWITT: A lot of times he'll just come in on a mid ball hoping that you're going to -- sort of a chip and charge but not on the right ball all the time.
Because he's got such a wide wingspan out there, he's sort of hoping he'll put you off by coming in, sort of being at your face on the net. He did that at the French Open. He's done it the last few times I played him at Queen's.
It's important just to pick your shot, stick true to it.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


July 3, 2007, 3rd Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Guillermo Canas 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-4



Q. Have you ever been involved in a situation where you had to wait so long to play and finish your match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No. That's the longest and toughest rain-delayed match I've ever had to put up with. Yeah, obviously it's so strange for everyone getting ready to play Saturday, late Saturday, and then having a day off on Sunday. So that was strange for starters.
But then to go on and off so many times, yeah, it was a mental battle more than anything out there. Yeah, you just couldn't get down on yourself at all or get worried with the situation because it was the same for everyone.
You know, I felt like I handled it exceptionally well.

Q. Did you count how many times you went on and off?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure. I think maybe six. We got ready a lot more times than that, I'll tell you.

Q. Have you looked ahead how it might work out for the rest of the week if the weather improves?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No. I'm sure there's going to be a lot of matches if you keep winning, back to back basically. Yeah, pretty much after we didn't get on Saturday, there was going to be no play on Sunday, that was going to be the case for our side of the draw anyway. Having to get through third-round matches, and yesterday backed it up even more.
Just got to be prepared to do it. This is how you win majors. It's not getting frustrated with the situation. Whatever hand you're dealt, you got to deal with it, you know, keep positive.

Q. Where does this rank in your many, many matches against Argentines in the past? How satisfying is this one?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, it's really satisfying. I'm really relieved more so from the fact that I was able to handle the situation. He's a tough competitor on any surface. If you're not ready to go out there to play against him, you're slightly off after one rain delay, he'll take full advantage of that.
I felt like mentally it was taking a lot out of me the last couple of days. I felt like I handled it really well.

Q. If you were ever in a situation like Nadal is currently in where he hasn't finished his third-round match, if the weather wouldn't clear, would you ever consider finishing a match and starting another one in the same day?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I wouldn't, not at a Grand Slam. Grand Slam matches, say they don't get through today, they got to come back tomorrow and finish it. There's a lot of nervous energy wasted, as well, going into a match, just to go out there and stay in the tournament.
Personally, I would prefer to finish every match in a Grand Slam, yeah, in a single day.

Q. Were you surprised you were second on court today rather than first?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not really, no. I thought it was probably the right thing to do. When I went off last night, I thought -- I was assuming that was probably going to be the case.
We were sitting in the locker room all day yesterday. As I said, we got ready, put our shoes on, warmed up maybe 10, 15 times yesterday.
Yeah, I think from that point, they sort of said we were held yesterday and so long-last night till they called it off, that they basically said, We'll give you a little bit more rest time, I guess, and at least a little bit more preparation.

Q. When you're facing a breakpoint when the rain comes, how do you deal with that situation? In the locker room, if you stay keyed up you can almost fry yourself.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's a tough one. In that situation, I was unlucky that both times after two of the rain delays I was up a break but down breakpoint.
Ended up going out there and losing my serve both times. Obviously didn't do the right thing in the locker room.

Q. Seriously, it would be hard.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's hard. Yeah, it is, because it's playing on your mind, where you going to serve that first ball. If you make a first serve, it makes a huge difference compared to a second serve. You want to be ready to go and well warmed up when you have to go on, as well. Because if you're not, a guy like Cañas that doesn't miss a whole heap of returns out there, he's going to take full advantage of it.
So that was another part of the match that I was happy with myself because I was able to -- I lost those games. Both times I went back out in that situation and I broke him straight back on both accounts. That probably was the telling part in the match, getting out of that third set somehow.

Q. When you've had so many stops and starts, how important is it to have a warmup? Is it essential to have that five minutes?

LLEYTON HEWITT: After a certain amount of time, it definitely is. It's more so, especially serving, especially breakpoint down in that situation. I think it's pretty important.

Q. Does this stop and start really bring out the best in you? What do you think?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Every time's different probably. You've got to be very mentally tough and very patient, yeah, not get overawed with the situation or frustrated at it more than anything.
If you get frustrated for a minute, then you'll lose the match.

Q. Are you satisfied with yourself with your game so far?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm happy. I'm relieved to get through this one today. Who knows what the weather's going to do for the rest of the day. I'm pretty happy to get through.
He's a tough competitor, as I said, as well. I've had to go up a notch every match. I've been able to do that.

Q. How do you rate your title chances?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, obviously Roger's the favorite, but he's in the other side of the draw to me. I'll worry about Djokovic, Kiefer, whoever comes through that one. I'm going to have my hands full with either one of those.
Djokovic is having a stellar year so far, so he's going to be extremely tough. But if Kiefer knocks him off, then he's obviously playing pretty well, as well.
Both guys got big serves and return well and move well. It's going to be a tough match-up.

Q. You know what it takes to go all the way here. Do you get any of those feelings?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not yet. Normally you'd be through to a quarterfinal normally in this situation on this day. Through the fourth round, in the second week, I've got a chance.

Q. What were you actually doing in these off periods? Were you sitting around watching a DVD or reading a book?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I was sitting in the locker room. Not a lot. Watching the covers come on and off. Lying on the massage table, trying to put my feet up a little bit. That was pretty much it. Same as everyone else in there.

Q. You don't try to take your thoughts away from it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. I want to try to stay in it as much as possible until you get canceled for the night. You want to try and stay in that match frame.
Especially with the weather, the way it's been, you can go on and off a number of times off there, numerous times out there. Yeah, you want to stay as mentally sharp as possible every time you're about to go on.
Then again, you can be a couple of hours, as well. It's not easy.

Q. What about practice? Outdoors or inside?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, the last two days before my matches I've been fortunate enough to warm up, like most guys, on the grass at Aorangi, which has been good.
Since the tournament started, we haven't been able to get a lot of hours on the grass. After my second-round match I think I had to hit indoors for two or three days in a row basically. That's basically just to keep my eye in. Indoor courts are totally different to anything on grass movement wise and the pace sort of coming through, as well.
So that's basically to stroke a few balls and keep your eye in.

Q. Your family has been a big part of your career. Your parents aren't here. How much contact have you had with them back in Australia?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I talk to my parents every day.

Q. Are they still offering you any advice?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, mainly support and encouragement. Not so much tennis advice. I got enough good coaches around here at the moment to worry about tennis on-court stuff.

Q. Are you primarily working with Darren Cahill still?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I haven't seen Darren a lot during these two weeks. He's doing commentary here. It's been more John Fitzgerald. He's our Davis Cup captain. It's been good having him along, as well.
Darren comes out when possible. He came out to the end of the match out there today. But, yeah, it's a mixture, which is good.

Q. If you made it through to another final, say you met Roger, do you feel you're in the sort of form you could trouble Roger?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's a long way before Roger, that I've got to worry about Roger. Everything is sort of falling right for him yet again at the moment.
He played, from what I saw, a pretty good match against Safin. He's a dangerous opponent. Then he got a fortunate walkover against another dangerous opponent in Haas on grass.
Yeah, he's probably not complaining about too many things right at the moment.

Q. You're quite happy with the way you're playing?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm going all right at the moment.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


July 5, 2007, 4th Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Novak Djokovic 6-7(8) 6-7(2) 6-4 6-7(5)


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton Hewitt.

Q. You must be disappointed not to have taken that match into a fifth set?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. I felt like, you know, I fought so hard to get back in a position to, you know, give myself another crack at the it. Yeah, to his credit, though, he went for his shots a little bit more when I served for the fourth set.
Up till then he was starting to get a little tighter and missing some balls that he hadn't missed, especially in the first two and a half sets.
I had my opportunity, though, and couldn't quite take it.

Q. Do you think you could have done any more today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I could have won.

Q. Other than that, were you happy with your performance?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, it was patchy. I still feel like I could have played better. Yeah, the score line shows. I lost three tiebreaks, won more games out there, broke serve more times.
Yeah, I just didn't have a lot of luck out there today. That happens.

Q. How big were those set points in the first set tiebreaker?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, if I could have closed that one out and been up a set it would have made life a lot easier, especially considering the first two sets I easily could have won.
I was 5-All, 15-40 in the first, and then 6-5, Love-30 I think in the second. Could have put some pressure on and maybe snuck out of those two sets, then and then it's a totally different ballgame.
In the end, I had to try and forget about those two sets and losing them so tight and having those chances and try to find a way to get back in the match.
I felt like I did find a way to get back in; I just couldn't quite finish it off.

Q. You probably don't feel too well-disposed for Hawk-Eye after that match. Two crucial matches, tight calls went against you.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, as I said, I didn't really have anything go my way today. Net cords, you name it, I didn't have it.
The Hawk-Eye one, the first point of the tiebreak, I was baffled by that being in. No chalk came up, no chalk on the ball. Yeah, too good.

Q. Your opponent had some treatment. Were you aware of him slowing down, being affected in any way by his injury?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not at all. I didn't notice any difference. He was still serving 130s out there even straight after he got treatment end of the third set.
He was down breakpoint first game of the fourth. He came out and was serving 130s on breakpoints. He served well, especially on big points.

Q. Do you ever think there's some sort of gamesmanship about having treatment after a set has been dropped?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's within the rules. Anyone can do it. You can definitely exploit it. It's within the rules.

Q. Can you assess the difference between the Djokovic you beat at the US Open last year in straight sets and the one you played today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he's a little bit more confident at the moment. He didn't try too hard in New York last year. That's probably the biggest difference. He had all the shots. He didn't really put in too hard in that match.
Yeah, he went away after the first set. He's obviously confident at the moment. He hits the ball well from both sides. He's got a lot of power out there, as well.

Q. Can you see anything in the way Djokovic plays, retrieves everything, similar build to yourself, isn't he?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, little bit. He does move extremely well. He turns defense into offense very quickly, as well, because of probably his movement. Yeah, his first serve's good, but his second serve has a lot of work on it as well. It's not easy to attack.

Q. Are you impressed with how he handles the pressure of tiebreaks?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, these last couple matches, against Kiefer he won a couple big tiebreaks as well. He's obviously doing something right.

Q. When you went down in the tiebreak, 0-4 point, did you hurt yourself?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I just felt something in my ankle. I think my ankle brace saved me. I definitely rolled my ankle. Yeah, it's not too bad at the moment. I got a little bit lucky.

Q. What's the lead-up for you to the US Open?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't know at the moment. Haven't even thought about it really.

Q. You played some good tennis here and at the French Open. How important is it to you to appoint a new coach, or are you pretty comfortable with how things are at the moment?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I feel comfortable at the moment. I feel like the last couple of months I've been able to step it up. I did some good training with Darren back in Sydney before I came away to the clay court season.
I was training hard. That held me in good stead. Hamburg gave me a lot of confidence. Yeah, to go so close to Nadal there, but to also have a good result in Paris, and probably could have gone a bit further if I got a bit better draw there.
But, yeah, so far, you know, Fitzy and Darren have been good. I feel pretty relaxed about things.

Q. It's a great resource, isn't it? Do you feel like you're at the stage of your career where you necessarily need one voice as a coach all the time, or are you happy taking advice here and there from people you trust?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. There's certain times I guess where it's the best of both worlds. Yeah, the last couple months I know how to play the game. I know all my opponents out there. I know how they're going to play. I've seen them all play so many times.
Darren has been exceptionally good. Then Fitzy's come in during the two slams, just added little reminders for my game more than anything, not so much my opponent's. That's been good for me, that reassurance.
Just little things, whether it's on my serve, rhythm. Just little things out there which you keep in the back of your mind, which is a lot easier than probably doing it by yourself.

Q. There's been a bit of speculation about you teaming up with Tony Roche. Do you have any plans to talk to him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. A lot of people have read into it. I haven't spoken to Rochey. Yeah, I heard Greg Rusedski say, Yes, it's happening after this tournament yesterday. That's news to me.

Q. On Djokovic's performance today, can you see him going all the way to the final on Sunday, particularly in view of the fact he's going to have to play another three successive matches?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. I don't even know who won the other matches in our half. Who does he play?

Q. Baghdatis.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. When I played Baghdatis in the quarters last year I was pretty impressed with the way he played. For him to take care of Nalbandian so comfortably in the third round, I think that will take a little bit out of Djokovic, today's match, as well.
I like Baghdatis' chances.

Q. Looking back to this time last year, lot of big changes in your life: got married; had a baby. Do you feel like now you're back sort of in more balance in terms of personal life, professional life, or...

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I didn't feel that big a change, to be honest, with it all. I felt pretty comfortable. Obviously traveling with an infant, that's the biggest challenge I guess at the start. She's been great. Makes it a lot easier if me.
I feel comfortable right at the moment where I'm at, both on and off the court, which is good. I would have liked to have a couple more wins, but that's about it.

Q. How much upside is there to your game at the moment going towards the end of the year?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, basically I've only got the US Open points-wise for the rest of the year. Yeah, it's a good opportunity for me to play some big Masters Series events both before and after the US Open.
Yeah, I feel like there's areas of my game which have been worked on and are doing better over the past couple months. Hopefully I can continue. I still feel there's room for more improvement.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


August 6, 2007, 1st Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-6(5) 6-4


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Kind of special when you play a guy like him, as good as he has been, he's still a pretty good player?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, says a bit about the Masters Series events. We're both not seeded and we draw each other first round. Yeah, it just shows how tough matches are. You can't take anyone lightly. I was prepared for an extremely tough match today. He's picked it up again this year, I think. He made the semis of Monte-Carlo and then quarters of Hamburg and the quarters of Wimbledon, beat Blake along the way.
You know, I knew it was going to be a tough match. I was happy to get through it.

Q. What do you do after Wimbledon to gear up for the US Open part of the year?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, probably took maybe not even a week and started hitting balls again, getting into it, in the gym every day. That's pretty much it. Just training and doing as much hard yards as possible. It's obviously a lot colder at home at the moment than over here (smiling).
I was just trying to prepare as well as possible for the next few weeks. I enjoy this stint of the year. I've always played well on U.S. hard courts. US Open I've always really enjoyed. Yeah, it's something I look forward to.

Q. You seem more focused in the last sort of six months than you were last couple years perhaps. Is that because you've short of shaken off the injuries, you feel fully fit again?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, don't know. I know I've done all the hard yards, done all the right things. You know, the body's feeling good at the moment, as well, which makes it a lot easier to go out there and not worry about your body, just worry about your opponent, how you've got to execute out there.
Yeah, it was frustrating. Indian Wells and Miami were frustrating because I was playing well going into those events. Winning Vegas, I felt like I was starting to turn it around again.
After Miami, I spent a lot of time in the gym, worked extremely hard to try to get my body right. It held up really well through Rome through to Wimbledon. You know, just about trying to do those little things to keep it going.
The tour is tough enough as it is playing so many weeks of the year. You don't really get a chance to build a big base, so...

Q. Tony Roche, any effect? What have you found so far that he's been helpful with?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, I've known Rochey for so many years. Yeah, we've sort of spoken on a lot of occasions over the last few years as well when we're at tournaments. We've always had a great relationship. He's very easy to talk to for me, someone that I respect so much, as well. Helped me out a lot when I was coming up through the ranks with Davis Cup.
The last two and a half, three weeks has been good back at home. We've been training extremely hard. Rochey's a tough taskmaster. We've put in a lot of hours.
Yeah, he's got some good ideas which, you know, you're not going to see results straightaway, but hopefully they come in the next six months to a year.

Q. Will you be talking to him after every match you play here?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think so.

Q. Sometimes sports have a dominant player like Roger or Tiger Woods, they thrive. But do you think tennis is better off with rivalries or can it thrive with just one player who's clearly dominant?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't know. You know, the rivalries over the years have been good for tennis I think, especially because of the different personalities as well. We've been fortunate with guys in the past, whether it's McEnroe and Connors, you throw Borg in there, a totally different personality. Sampras, Agassi, too, totally different guys. You look at the moment, Roger and Nadal, two totally different guys as well.
In those terms, we've been fortunate probably. Yeah, I think it definitely helps, you know, because people want to see those matchups, see those guys come head-to-head at the end of big tournaments.

Q. They've been 1-2 now for over two years. What is it going to take for someone to crack those two?

LLEYTON HEWITT: A lot of good matches, you know. There's no secrets. They're not going to get any worse. Guys are going to have to step up to the plate, play a lot better week in and week out. Those guys are so good because they bring their A game every week. Very rarely do they have a bad match. So it's a matter of, you know, every week.
Nadal now has gotten extremely good on all surfaces. It's not like he comes in on grass or hard court and you expect him to lose early. Both those guys, you know, they deserve to be 1 and 2 at the moment.

Q. You spent your time at No. 1, occupying that space. Can you express how hard it is to stay at that level with the depth and quality of men's tennis today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's very tough. That's why you've got to take your hat off to Roger. He makes it look easy. Yeah, everyone wants to go out there and play their best tennis against the best player in the world.
Roger, he's been dominant for the last four or five years now. It's not an easy thing. I think people probably take it for granted a little bit.

Q. You have had some great Australian rivalries back in the day. In the U.S., sometimes it's hard for people to warm up to a rivalry that doesn't include an American. Is it the same in Australia? Is it something that the fans have to grow to understand and appreciate?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't think so, no. Yeah, I think come the Australian Open, I think obviously those two guys will be 1-2 probably at the time. There's obviously going to be a big buildup just like there was in January this year that potentially they could play in the final. Nadal hasn't had his best results at the Australian Open as of yet.
But, you know, I think the crowd would be - apart from myself - pretty excited to see those two guys doing well.

Q. What did you think changed in the game since you and Juan Carlos were also No. 1 in the world?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's always improving. A lot more players getting better. We probably took it to another level, then Roger's taken it to another level again. Yeah, a lot of things have changed.
I've had a few injuries over the years. Juan Carlos had the chickenpox and had a few bad injuries which was tough to come back from, as well. He's a tough competitor. He can match it with the best players, as I said, beating Blake at Wimbledon pretty comfortably in four sets. That's his least favorite surface.

Q. Do you think it's really Roger and Rafael Nadal that came or how the players have approached the game, it's more tough physically now than it was a couple years ago?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Roger definitely took it to a new level, there's no doubt about it. The game keeps improving. You've got to improve with the game. That's where Roger has been so good over the last four or five years, he's sort of improving as well. It's hard for anyone really to catch him.

Q. You talk about Nadal playing better on hard courts. Is it easier for a clay courter to make that improvement as opposed to a hard court player trying to learn how to play on clay?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely. There's no question about it. Yeah, this is one place, I think this hard court is quicker than a lot of other places around the world, too. This is a lot quicker. It's a lot bouncier out there than a lot of other places that we play. Indian Wells, Miami, those kind of tournaments are a lot slower than this court.
You know, those slower hard courts definitely suit clay court players, a lot easier to make that transition.

Q. What is your side of the story of playing doubles with Nadal? He said yesterday you were talking in the Wimbledon locker room.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he asked me at Wimbledon. Yeah, quite often I like to play a match of doubles the first tournament back from three or four weeks off just on that surface to try and get a couple more matches under my belt. It's never really bothered me who I've played with. There's not that many English-speaking guys on the tour now, so I have to look elsewhere (smiling). If Hanners isn't here, I don't have too many guys.
Obviously, I'm looking forward to it. I like Rafa a lot. I think he's great for the game. He's got a great attitude. I don't know why the hell he would be wanting to play doubles here after all the matches he's played. That just says, you know, how much he enjoys competing.

Q. Said he was a little worried about being able to communicate with you on the court.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, that could be a problem. I don't know if he'll serve-volley, stay back, what he'll do. We'll work something out.

Q. Work out a code system.

LLEYTON HEWITT: We'll to something. We might both play singles and hopefully still win.

Q. With getting married, the injuries, having a kid, being an older player, you're a tremendous competitor. Can you look back the last five, six years where you dipped maybe a little low in motivation, is that a normal thing that would happen to any player as they mature?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really my motivation hasn't dipped too much over the time. You get frustrated, yes, with niggling injuries and stuff where you feel like you can't compete at your best. But in terms of motivation, there hasn't been one time I've stepped on the court and think I'd rather be somewhere else, in practice or the gym. That's one thing I've prided myself on, that every time I go in the gym or in the practice court, it's business as usual.
In terms of that, the motivation for me's never changed. I've always wanted to improve and try and get better. Maybe it comes with feeling good at the moment. Looks a bit different, a little easier than it is some other times.

Q. Do your expectations change? When you're floating around 15, 20, even like Juan Carlos, do you sort of have to make readjustments as to where you think you're going to be in the game? Have you reached that point?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. I'm not overly concerned about my ranking at the moment. I'm more thinking about the Grand Slams and trying to get myself in as good of nick as possible because Grand Slam's a different kettle of fish. You go out there, draws open up. Over five sets, the guys that I've lost to this year in the Grand Slams have been three pretty decent players.
You know, I like the US Open. My main focus is on that more than ranking situation. In terms of points, though, I've only got a US Open quarterfinal for the rest of the year. I feel like I'm a lot better player than where my ranking is sitting at. I'd like to say I'm a dangerous floater now. Yeah, things change (smiling).

Q. Can I ask you about the whole Davydenko betting story? What was your reaction to it when it came out?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I didn't know much about it. It's obviously a little bit strange.
Yeah, as far as I can see at this stage, you can't sort of read too much into it until the investigation. I think the ATP were quick to jump on it. They're doing everything in their power to work out what's happened and the situation.
Yeah, it's a hard one right at the moment. Till we find out more stuff, I think it's hard for any player to sort of get their head around.

Q. Are you surprised by something like that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit I guess. I think there's so much for a player to lose for going through something like that. Until it's all sorted out, who knows.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


August 9, 2007, 3rd Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Dominik Hrbaty 6-7(10) 7-6(6) 7-5


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton.

Q. Quite a battle out there.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was a tough one. Right from the start. He played extremely well. He looked like a guy that, yeah, hasn't had a great year, but he went out this with nothing to lose. Obviously to beat Kohlschreiber and Robredo both fairly comfortably in his first two matches.
He was, obviously, swinging out there. He returned as well as I've seen anyone for a long time.

Q. How did you feel about your game today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not too bad. It was patchy a little bit. But he's a tough player to play against because he wants to dictate play the whole time.
Yeah, I was doing a lot of scrambling out there. But, yeah, even my first serve, and second serve in particular, he was really having a swing at it, trying to get on top of the point. He wants to try to put pressure on me right from the start. A lot of the match was played on his terms in a lot of ways, and I had to try to dig deep and get another ball back.

Q. Take us to the two match points you saved in the second set tiebreak.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Got lucky on the first one with a net cord. Fairly long point. Second one I hit a second-serve ace.
So, it's a good way to do it (smiling).

Q. What about playing Roger, your old friend?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, I'll start thinking about it now. I hadn't really thought about it. Happy to get out of jail today.
Yeah, it's going to be another interesting match. Yeah, I haven't played him for quite a while now. It's a good challenge for me and, you know, obviously don't have a lot to lose out there. So, yeah, I look forward to it.

Q. You made a reference the other day to your ranking not being that important. Roger said the same thing today, that even though you're not ranked high, everybody respects you. You're more dangerous than your ranking.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'd hope so (smiling).

Q. Does the rank do you care about the ranking any more?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely, I care about it. But not when I'm 21, I don't. You know, the top 10's fantastic, obviously. But, for me, it's about preparing as well as possible for the majors of the moment.
If I do what I want in the majors, then the ranking is going to take care of itself. I don't have to really worry about it. I've always said I'm not the kind of guy that's going to chase small tournaments, play every week to get my ranking a few spots higher.
But the years, obviously, when I was up in the top two or three in the world, that's when I had great Grand Slam results and a lot of consistency through the big tournaments. It takes care of itself then.

Q. When you reached No. 1 at a young age, do you have the feeling then that you are going to be there for a while? Do you have any sense of how hard it is to stay up there? Roddick at 21, you were younger when you reached No. 1.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, you don't really think about it at the time, I don't think. Yeah, you don't really dwell on it that much actually when you're probably No. 1. You look back on it now and think, Yeah, it was amazing, fantastic to be No. 1. In some ways you take it for granted a little bit when you're there.
But, yeah, I think that's the same with everyone.

Q. There's probably a sense of you don't have the perspective you might have if you got to that ranking at 25.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, maybe in some ways.

Q. The trajectory is up, up, up, you're there, you think, I'm going to stay here.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, maybe. It's not an easy thing to do. That's what I spoke about the other day. For Roger to be able to stay No. 1 for the last four, five years, I think a lot of people outside tennis sort of take it for granted. It's not easy, whatsoever.
Yeah, being that top guy that everyone wants to knock off week in and week out, that just shows how guess, to be able to handle that.

Q. With regards to Rafa, he has accumulated more points at No. 2 than a lot of guys had at No. 1. Do you think that's something the public sort of doesn't get, how really good he's been as a No. 2?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think they probably get it. I think from where I see it anyway, I think a lot of people realize how close he is to Roger. A lot of people, even outside the tennis world, I think realize that he's had Roger's measure in a lot of big matches.
You know, he's basically only been two Wimbledon finals where Roger has had the better of him in a lot of ways.
When you have a guy like Roger that's had stand-out years the last three or four years, probably better than Pete and Andre and all those guys had at their best. So, yeah, obviously you're going to have to have a great year to pass him and get the No. 1 ranking. But, you know, it's only around the corner for him.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


August 10, 2007, QF

Lleyton Hewitt - Roger Federer 3-6 4-6


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was it like to play him again today two years later? Has he changed? Have you changed?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not a lot. Yeah, I think all in all, his game's still pretty similar to when I played him at the US Open. I think that was the last time we played, in the semis in 2005.
You know, obviously he's got a great serve that sets up a lot of cheap points for him. He's got a good second serve to back it up. You know, he's got a great forehand and that's where he can dictate play.
Over the last five years, that's been the difference, I think. His forehand, he can hit winners from anywhere on the court.

Q. Is it pretty hard to get away from his forehand?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, if you don't get it up good enough into his backhand, he's able to run around. There's a couple of times he did it, he just chipped the returns back. I didn't quite step in a couple of times enough and penetrate into his backhand, then straightaway he's on you.
He generates a lot of pace from very little effort on that forehand, as well.

Q. Anybody else on the tour that's at all similar to him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't think so. Yeah, he's yeah, Nadal's ball is totally different to Federer's. But the way that he can step up in the court and, you know, hit the ball on the rise coming forward, follow it into the net, no one else can do it like that.

Q. A couple of times where you look like you hit a quite decent return, he'd still step into it, smash it down the line.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he passed pretty well today, as well. I felt like I took it to him. On a fair few occasions out there, even when I got broken in the first set, I had game point. He played a couple of good points. Then on breakpoint, I came in on his backhand, he sort of just did a flick half volley up the line.
Still could go anywhere, but he made a lot of backhand passes today.

Q. After this match can you judge a little bit how close you are of going back to No. 1?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, it's hard to say. You know, you got to play -- I felt like all in all, ball-striking-wise today, I hit the ball pretty well. We had a lot of good rallies out there. There's a lot of positives to take out of this match.
This week, the couple of matches I played before today, I hit the ball okay, but it's a totally different match-up than playing Roger. I felt like I took it to him. I had a lot of chances to break serve. He came up with big serves on big points.
He saved two breakpoints there late in the first set with two big aces out wide, 210 Ks, I think. I had a lot of 30-All points on his serve, as well. I felt like he was having a pretty good serving day.
So, yeah, if he's a little bit off sometimes, maybe I would have got a few more opportunities to break.

Q. You consider yourself improving?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, I felt like today I improved from yesterday's match. A different kind of match. I knew I was going to have to take it up to Roger. I felt like, yeah, if I served a little bit better today, it would have given me a bit better chance, I think. He returned well, though. He got a lot of returns back in play, which makes you go for that little bit more. His forehand return, you know, puts you under a lot of pressure, as well.

Q. How do you evaluate your performance in general in this tournament?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's been a good week for me. Yeah, after a few weeks off after Wimbledon, to come out, it's disappointing I lost today, but I felt like I got better with every match. Come through a couple of tough matches. Ferrero in the first round is not an easy draw either. It was good to get through that one. Yeah, there's a lot of positives I can take out of this week and this last match today.

Q. Just as a tennis player, forget about the crowds, the money, is there a satisfaction or something about playing him as a player, to measure against him, have the thrill of playing that high level in the game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You love playing the best players. That's what you look forward to. He's obviously the best guy around at the moment.
For me, it was a good chance. We hadn't played for a couple of years. I always look forward to that challenge.
Yeah, it's always nice to play the better players, I think, especially in big arenas and big tournaments as well.

Q. According to the official data, you won two-thirds of the points on his second serve. Is it something you can build on for your match-up against him? Also is there something he needs maybe a bit to improve to make sure to win the tournament here?

LLEYTON HEWITT: The way he played today, I can't see him losing the tournament. But, you know, obviously, his match-up, if Rafa gets through, Rafa's had the wood on him a little bit in big matches, except on grass.
I felt like I returned his second serve pretty well today. He doesn't have an easy second serve to return. It's still heavy with a lot of kick. I felt like I stepped up in the court, went after it, took my opportunities on that. It was just a shame that on some of those bigger points, you know, I wasn't able to get a second serve. He came up with big first serves and he hits the lines on a lot of points.
Yeah, it's a little bit like playing Pete. Pete, at his best, came up with a lot of big first serves. You were sort of looking, hoping you were going to get an opportunity on a second serve, and it just doesn't happen.

Q. Having to play him, having your coach be a guy that coached him three months ago, did that in any way change or help you? How did that play into the match today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not a big difference, I don't think, just yet. Yeah, I can definitely see areas of his game where Rochey's helped him over the years, last few years. It's just little things, you know, that I think I've seen Rochey work on with Pat over the years when I was in Davis Cup. Roger does some of those things extremely well, as well. There's no doubt that Rochey instilled that into him. Roger's so talented that he's able to do it and execute it perfectly (smiling).
Yeah, in terms of little knowledge, I pick up little things when I play against him, as well. Yeah, there's little things that I take out of today's match hopefully for the next time I play him.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


August 14, 2007, 1st Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Stanislas Wawrinka 7-5 3-6 7-6(5)


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Pretty easy, huh?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was a tough one. Another long match in the heat. But that's what you need heading into a Grand Slam. You know, three-set matches where you finish in the tiebreak is never easy.
It's a little bit of a toss of the coin in the end. You got to be able to play some big points well in the tiebreak, and I felt like I was able to do that today.

Q. The double faults I'm sure you wish you could take some of those back.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, just didn't quite hit the spots on a couple of them. I hit a bad double fault when I was up 3-1 in the tiebreak. Apart from that I played pretty good tiebreak breaker.
That was my only real unforced error in the breaker. I would have liked to have had that back at the time, but I focused and got on with it and got out of it.

Q. Where are you with your game now? Are you satisfied? How satisfied are you with where you are right now?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I have some good days where I feel like I'm hitting the ball well. I guess Federer last week I felt like the ball striking in that match was pretty good by both of us. There was only a few points here and there.
I had a lot of breakpoint opportunities and he came out and served extremely well. If I could have taken a few of those chances it could be been different. Yeah, since Hamburg I've been playing pretty well, making the semis there. The guys that I lost to in other tournaments since then have had to play extremely well to beat me.

Q. Were you just relieved when you hit that volley winner and the match was over?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Absolutely. 6-5 in the tiebreak, I think so.

Q. What were you thinking as you saw that opportunity for that winner on match point?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't miss it. I played a good point. I structured the point well. I had him moving, but he's a dangerous guy. I came in a couple times on his backhand pass earlier in the match and he had a couple of big winners up the line when I came in on pretty good approaches, so I was a little bit weary of that.
I just hit enough on the backhand cross-court approach shot that he couldn't quite get a good hit on it. So you just have to basically get it back in court and I took the initiative and put the volley away.

Q. Did you notice your shirt was similar to the linesmen's?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. It was last year as well.

Q. When you hit the ball out of the stadium, understandably excited, how excited were you? This is an early round match when you look back on things.

LLEYTON HEWITT: It was probably a bit more relief to get out of it and get to the next round. Obviously had to save a lot breakpoints at the end of third set there and came up with some big serves and got out of a few tough situations. I was relieved it get out of it against a dangerous opponent.

Q. How much does is that help you for the later rounds, surviving a third-set tiebreaker?
LLEYTON HEWITT: As long as it doesn't hurt you physically. I have to play another guy tomorrow, Gasquet, who gets a bye. That can either help or hinder you. So it really depends on how I guess my body pulls up.
I feel physically fine at the moment and hopefully it won't be a problem. I got a match under my belt, so hopefully it'll help me.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


August 15, 2007, 2nd Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Richard Gasquet 6-1 3-2 Ret.


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously he was struggling a bit toward the end, but you seemed to be playing better today.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. I played a lot better. Came out the blocks well. At the start he was hitting the ball like he always does. He's very fluent from the back of the court and he's got all the shots and hits a lot angles as well off both sides.
I got out of the second game of the match and then the next game I played a really good game. I put pressure on him and hit a good return to break serve. And just try and consolidate. I was down Love-30 and got out of that game and that was big, and that opened the doors a little bit.

Q. You had such a long day yesterday. You've obviously recovered from the long match yesterday.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Pretty well. As well as I can.

Q. Were you sore this morning?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I was a little bit tired. But warming up, that was probably a little bit harder today than yesterday. But once the adrenaline gets going, yeah, I feel like I've done all the hard work. I know that once I get on court I'm going to run around like a greyhound and get a lot of balls back.

Q. You probably didn't want to win this way, but was it also nice to get a break given the you played almost three hours yesterday?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was good for me. I felt like I was getting on top. I was serving pretty well today as well. Even throughout the second set there my service games were pretty comfortable.
Obviously I was getting in his game in that last game before he stopped. For me hopefully it was only going to be a couple more games before I got off anyway.

Q. You looked to be coming into the net a lot today. Was that part of the strategy against him, or something you're trying to do more?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I just felt like after yesterday I probably had a lot of missed opportunities where I could've come in and put pressure on him, and I tried to work on that today. Just adding another dimension to my game.
It's not easy though. Both guys that I've played the last few days their strength is probably their backhand, and they both have great backhand passes. I came in on one ball early today in the match against Gasquet and he hit a great backhand pass on me.
So you really do have to pick and choose the right ones. Then again, you don't want to get too down on yourself if you do it and they come up with a shot like that. You need to keep telling yourself if they're good enough to do that they're too good.

Q. Do you have any thoughts on the ongoing investigation involving Davydenko and that match where a lot of money was placed against him Poland? I was wondering what was your thoughts on gambling and tennis in general.

LLEYTON HEWITT: We went through it all last week, but until the investigation is done it's out of players' hands and I don't have anything to do with it basically. It's obviously awkward for Nikolay at the moment with that sort of sitting over his head and trying to play and compete and beat tournaments as well.
Obviously something strange has happened, and I thought the ATP were pretty quick to get onto it and sort of done everything in their power so far to try and find out and get to the bottom of it.

Q. Were you surprised that happened?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, I guess a lot of people out there gamble on a lot of things. On everything basically. That's why you know, there's so many gambling agencies out there that you can do it through.
In terms of tennis, I think all the players have been warned and told enough times to know that they shouldn't be doing anything if they are. If he's found guilty then there's going to be a bit of trouble for him.

Q. Some of French guys last week were saying that they had calls -- some of the doubles players -- that they had calls from people offering them money to throw matches. Have you heard of anything like that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No. I haven't heard of anything.

Q. That's amazing. In their hotels.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. If that happens it's amazing.

Q. It's never happened to you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No. I've never heard of it. I guess in tennis maybe it's easier in a little way because it's a two-horse race. But, yeah, I'd like to think that every player out there is playing for the right reasons.

Q. Is part of the reason you're coming forward more from working with Tony? Is he suggesting that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. That's one of the things he wants me to try and do a little bit more. But, yeah, still something that's going take time. Doesn't happen overnight. It's obviously something, that and my serve, are two of the main points.

Q. So many players seem to hit better passing shots on the run than they do straight out.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Sometimes. The last couple days the I was surprised with a couple of the shots Wawrinka hit on the full run yesterday, especially off his backhand. He was extremely strong on the stretch. Gasquet is known for that. That's one of his strengths.
For me it's more of a mix up, a change up a little bit. And as I said, just to have it my back pocket if I need it use it.

Q. What about your prospective opponents? You've played Melzer.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. I played Ancic I think once two years ago here in the third round. He's coming back obviously from a long lay off and he's a quality player. Yeah, if he's feeling strong and feeling good then he's always going to be tough to beat. The way that he plays it's aggressive from the back of the court and got a big serve.
Melzer is a dangerous opponent. You're never really sure what he's going to throw at you. He's got an all-court game as well. He's capable of coming in and does volley very well.

Q. What role does your family play in your tennis at this point in your career?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Big role. You know, obviously for me having my wife and child travel with me means a lot. It's a lot easier for me to just worry about going out and playing tennis and not missing them so much. That's the biggest thing for me. I feel comfortable with it.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


August 16, 2007, 3rd Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Jurgen Melzer 6-3 6-3


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Looked like you were playing pretty well today and moving him around. How did you feel out there today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not too bad. I think physically it's a tough match out there for everybody. You just got to hang mentally tough out there and not let the weather and the heat effect you at all.
Still stay sharp and take your time when you can and stay well hydrated I guess as well. I felt pretty fresh.

Q. How can the weather affect you in heat like this?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It makes you go for wrong shot selections more times I think because you're trying to finish the point off, you know, because it is so hard to keep playing long rallies in these kind of situations. You really have to pick and choose the right ones to go for then.

Q. You'll be glad to know that Carlos Moya had a tough three-setter today. You play him tomorrow. Can you just talk about playing him again?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. We have played some big matches in the past in big tournaments. He's been playing some of his best tennis this year. He's had a very solid year: One title and he's made finals. Yeah, it's going to be a tough challenge.
The guys he's beaten so far this week are pretty good players, so it's going to be a tough match.

Q. What do you make of his career? He had a couple down years in '05 and '06, but certainly looks as good as he has in a while.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he has been. He did have some injuries there for a while as well. Niggling injuries. I know how that's been the last couple of years. It's hard when you can't get on that roll. You're used to playing so many matches and come out and play a couple tournaments here and there and have some small injuries, it's not easy. He's a classy player and he's a big match player as well.

Q. It's been a while, but what do you remember from the final here in 2002?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not a lot. I made a final after that here as well. It was a pretty tight match, though. Break in one set and then a tiebreak I think to finish. So it was a little bit unlucky not to win it, but I think sometimes they go your way and sometimes they don't.

Q. How have things changed for you tennis-wise since you got married and had a daughter from when you were single maybe and at the top of your game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Tennis-wise it hasn't changed much at all. I still get on the practice court and do all the things that need to do prepare as well as possible.
Travel-wise and, you know, stuff like that maybe changed a little bit more. But in terms of hitting the ball and going to the gym and doing all the preparation I need to do it's all the same.

Q. Do you look at things differently now that you have a daughter?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not so much tennis-wise, I don't think.

Q. How about off the court?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Probably of the court, yeah, a lot of things change. She's obviously, with my wife, they're my priorities. They always come first. When you're single and by yourself, you know, a teenager, there are a lot of other things you worry about.

Q. Is your game as good now as it was a few years ago, or are you still going up or have you leveled off?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Some days it's pretty good. Every day is different. But, yeah, I feel like since Hamburg I've been hitting the ball pretty well. Guys I've lost to have been in the top couple of players in the world, so they've probably been the three stand-out players.
So in terms of that I feel like I'm taking care of what need to do. Just need to get back on that roll and play a lot matches and getting back to the business end of the big tournaments again.

Q. How have you felt so far in this tournament? Do you feel like you were playing the tennis that you wanted to today or were you just doing whatever you had to do to get through the heat and win the match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I played pretty good. After going down an early break I played pretty solid for the rest of the match. I served well. I put pressure on his serve. You know, made him go for a few bail out shots when he didn't want to rally, which was good with the circumstances in the weather conditions out there today.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


August 17, 2007, Quartefinal

Lleyton Hewitt - Carlos Moya 6-2 6-4


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You seemed like you had a lot of energy, especially that first set. Did you feel pretty fresh out there?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I felt good. Especially after of the condition yesterday. It was very zapping for everyone I think. It was a battle to get through yesterday and my body felt good out there today. Yeah, I just tried to dictate play as much early on, and I really did that really well.

Q. As well as you've been playing in the tournament, how important is it not just to get this win today but to keep going in this tournament?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's good. All these big tournaments, it's hard enough winning the first match let alone getting to the semis and finals. To back up last week. Lost to Federer in the quarters.
Felt like I hit the ball pretty well that week, and it's good it back up it this week into the semis and get another shot.

Q. Carlos said you're a top 10 player, or on your way to being a top 10 player. Do you permit yourself to think of yourself in that sort of category again?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think at my best I'm easily in the top 10. There's a lot guys I felt comfortable about beating when I'm playing at my best. The last couple of years I've had niggling injuries, so, yeah, that's been the hardest thing: Getting on court and getting match time.

Q. Do you think people forget about you at big tournaments like this because you're not physically in the top 10?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I don't think the players do.

Q. But I guess that's all that matters to you.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. I've just got to doesn't worry me. Like Gasquet second round I had here. Pretty tough draw on paper. I feel quite confident now and the draw has opened up nicely and I find myself in the last four now.

Q. But when you're not seeded that makes it tougher, too, doesn't it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Sometimes. I've been seeded between 13 and 16 at the majors. The last couple majors I ran into Nadal and Djokovic in the Round of 16. So sometimes if you're not seeded you can knock out a lower seed early on and get a better draw. At the end of the day you got beat who's put in front of you.

Q. I guess you have a little bit of a unique perspective in that you're not currently a top 10 player, but it seems like you play with a confidence of a guy who's in the top 10.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I feel like I'm capable of beating nearly anyone on a given day. I've done it before in big tournaments and being there. A lot these guys that are even sitting in the Top 15, you know, haven't played big tournaments and Grand Slam semis and finals before.

Q. Because you were No. 1 for so long, does that allow you to have that swagger even if you're No. 20 in the world right now? Hey, I was once No. 1, I can still beat these guys.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I know myself what I'm capable of doing. Yeah, as I said, I feel like on any given day I'm capable of beating any of these guys. It makes at it a lot easier the last few months the body's been feeling good.
So that makes it easier to go out there and be confident and try and play the way that you want to play.

Q. Why is the body feeling good the last few months?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I had a couple injuries in Indian Wells/Miami. I couldn't really play and had to pull out of Miami. Spent a couple months, about a month and a half getting the body right.
I was trying to do a lot of strength work and working on areas where it's been playing up a little bit in the past. Since Rome and Hamburg it's been good.

Q. It was a back problem?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It was back, yeah, hips. Different areas I was having a few issues with.

Q. If on any given day you can beat anyone, and certainly you've proven that here in the past, where does Federer come into this conversation?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, yeah, he's the best player going around at the moment, and he's had the wood on me last nine, ten times that we've played. So for three or four years now.
So, yeah, that's the benchmark, though. That's what you're competing against and trying to put your best foot forward and give yourself a chance to play against the best guys such as Rog late in the tournament. Hopefully I get another shot in tomorrow.

Q. Is there any way to figure out a way to get an advantage against him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, no one has really been able to figure it out so far. Yeah, he's pretty good. He's obviously a great all-court player. He's got all the shots and he's got a great head on his shoulders as well. He's one of the best players we've seen in the modern era.
He doesn't have too much off days either where he gives you opportunities, so if you do get those opportunities you really have to take them against him.

Q. What was the match like in Canada?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think it was good. Both of us were striking the ball pretty well. It was probably only his serving that got him out of trouble on big points when I had breakpoints late in the first set. I probably didn't serve as well as I could have, and that was probably the biggest difference.

Q. Next year the schedule around this time is pretty brutal with the Olympics and not much time off between Wimbledon and the Masters Series events. Do you have to plan in advance how you're going to work that schedule, assuming you're going to the Olympics?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. I will have to plan. I haven't looked at it as of yet, though. Sure, I'll have to plan. Obviously Wimbledon is a major, and hopefully I'll be competing the last few days of Wimbledon.
It's going to be tough. Four years ago I didn't play -- three years ago I didn't play the Olympics in Athens to concentrate on the US Open and it paid dividends that year.
But, yeah, at this stage I think I'm planning on playing the Olympics, so we'll see what happens.

Q. If it comes down having to chose between Cincinnati and Toronto is there any discernible difference as to why somebody would choose one over the other?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't think so. Biggest thing for me is I've always played a lot better in Cincinnati than I have in Canada. So it'll be an easier choice for me. But, yeah, I don't think players, if they did have to chose, if they felt that was the best thing for their body or the US Open or the Olympics, or whatever, yeah, it's a toss of the coin. Everyone probably has their preferences.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


August 18, 2007, Semifinal

Lleyton Hewitt - Roger Federer 3-6 7-6(7) 6-7(1)


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You said that in Canada it seemed like he played the big points really well, and it seemed like today you and him both played the big points really well. Would you say that's true?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. I certainly played some of bigger points, especially on my serve to get out of trouble a few times. In the second-set tiebreak I played the big points well and in the third-set tiebreak he played the big points well.
All in all he served well when he got to 30-Alls and deuces in big service games, and that's why he's one of greatest players ever. Because he can pull the trigger on the big points and nine times out of ten it comes off.

Q. What is your feeling like after a match like that? You obviously played pretty well and still ended up on the losing side.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, there's a lot of things I can take out of it. A lot closer today than I was last week. Yeah, I had chances 3-2 up a break, 15-Love. I had a volley at the net. Hit the tape. He hit a good pass, so I would have done exactly the same play coming in on his backhand.
I had an opportunity to put a forehand volley away but he hit it a little heavy for me and, you know, then he hit a big forehand up the line and dictated that game was and able to break.
Those half chances you got to take against a guy like Rog. I played a great game to break serve early in the third set when he was serving well. You know, in the end then I you know battled away to get into a tiebreak and just played a couple of lose points in the tiebreak.

Q. How do you feel you handled the adversity? The foot faults in the second set tiebreak, I think one was on his match point and one was on your set point. You won both the those points. You were able to sort of block that out.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. I handled it pretty well considering. Sort of kept happening on all the big points. It was a bit frustrating, but, you know, it happened last week a couple times and I handled it as well as I could have.

Q. Did you think they're misreading?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, most of the time. There may be one time in actually, I don't know, that I actually touch the line. But I know for a matter of fact, I've watched it so many times in the past it's just my action where it looks like my foot twists over the line but my shoe is actually not touching the line.
Spoke to the referee again, but there's not a lot I can do with about it when I'm out there.

Q. What was missing today? Was it more mentally competence or was it tactics?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Couple of points, that's it. It was only a couple of points in the match. Could have gone either way. As I said, I was up 3-2 a break, and if I converted there I'm up 4-2 and I could have a go at all his service games. There really wasn't that much in it.

Q. 18 aces.

LLEYTON HEWITT: That's how well he serves on big points.

Q. From an outsiders' point of view, looks like you were playing the best you've played in along time, and the most consistent.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm playing pretty good at the moment. I like playing on the American hard courts. Suits my game. Sort of battled through my first round here. Didn't play the best tennis, but I got through that match and then I got better from better with every match from then on.
If I keep giving myself opportunities against Roger or Rafa or whoever at the end of tournaments, then sooner or later that's going to fall my way. The last tow weeks have been good. It's been real good preparation for me for the US Open. Couldn't have asked for two better weeks, and it's taken the best guy in the world to knock me off.

Q. 11-0 against Federer. Does that make you even more eager to beat him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You got to count the first seven that I won, so it's not that bad.

Q. In your estimation, or mentally for you, how much of a difference is there in coming this close to beating him and actually beating him, you know, going forward confidence-wise?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's another step in the right direction. Whether or not next time I beat him or not we've got wait and see. I'm going take -- I took a lot of positives even out of a two-set loss last week to him. Felt like the ball striking was good.
There were certain areas of my game that I could still work on. I got a good look at his game, and that helped me for this match today. Got off to a bit of a slow start in the first set. You got to try and hang with him early, because he's one of the best front runners in the world.
So that made at that hard for me. I had to dig real deep to get out of second set.

Q. Looked like you've added a couple shots to your game recently. You chip up the line more than I've seen before.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a couple of times. I guess when you're confident and playing well you start going for more shots and shots that you do on the practice court more than the match court.
Yeah, and I felt like I was hitting and seeing the ball well enough out there. But against a guy like Rog it's not that easy to do the shots you do in practice because he doesn't allow you to do it too often.

Q. When was the last time you felt this good going into a Grand Slam?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, in Hamburg and Austria I felt pretty good going into the French Open ball striking-wise. This has really just been a continue on from that. Going into Wimbledon I was hitting the ball well in practice.
Yeah, the guys, as I keep saying, the guys that have beaten me in the last few months have been the best players in the world, in the top two or three. I'm obviously doing something right against a lot ranked players. It's just trying to get that breakthrough against the big names.

Q. Can you contrast what's it's like when you and Roger play like five years ago or even in the juniors?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he's obviously got a lot more weapons than he had back then. He doesn't make the easy mistakes that he used to make. He was a little bit more erratic when he first came on the tour. That's the biggest difference.
He's so confident out there as well. That's helps an awful lot when you win whatever, 11, 12 Grand Slams that he's won. It's sort of second nature when he steps out on the court.

Q. What is your schedule next week?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Just practice and try and keep the rhythm going basically. Have some good hits with some good tough players and try and rest up. Hopefully it always goes all right.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


August 26, 2007

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously choosing your hitting partners carefully.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit at the moment. Yeah, you know, it was good to hit with a big server today, get a little bit of rhythm on my returns, which was good.
Yeah, my first-round opponent's got a pretty big serve, so it's important.

Q. What do you know of him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I've never seen him play a lot. I think this kind of court probably suits his game the best. He's an attacking player with a big serve, got a big game. Yeah, so it's a matter of trying to weather the storm a little bit.

Q. Feeling pretty confident heading into the Open?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I feel good at the moment. You don't look too far ahead.
You know, as always, I'm just sort of looking to try and get through this first round against Delic. He's a dangerous opponent. Trying to put myself in the right frame of mind to move forward.

Q. What is it about American hard courts that brings out the best in you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. I'm not sure. I've always felt pretty comfortable here, I think. I won the doubles back in 2000, obviously won in 2001. I've always felt comfortable. It suits my game, I think. Grew up on hard courts.
Yeah, conditions, I think atmosphere here in New York, and also it's my personality as well probably.

Q. Is it the speed of the court, bounce of the ball?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, the speed over the years, probably quickens up as the tournament goes on, the more matches and hitting that's been on the courts. Last two weeks, Montréal and Cincinnati, have been reasonably quick, I'd say. Ball's been flying a bit, so...

Q. When you say it suits your personality, what do you actually mean by that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's probably a bit louder crowd here, I think, in terms of -- sometimes people yelling out occasionally during points, if you're playing Americans, gets pretty loud. Especially it's the biggest stadium we get to play in front of any year.
Yeah, I enjoy playing in big atmospheres. I look forward to the big matches. So this is one of the best center courts to play tennis in, I think.

Q. You've had a good month: Montréal, Cincinnati. How does the pace of those courts compare to here? Similar? Quicker?

LLEYTON HEWITT: At this stage, probably playing a little bit quicker, I think. It was probably more the conditions in Montréal and Cincinnati. You know, it was pretty hot days, couple of them. Ball was flying around a fair bit in both those tournaments. You know, here, I think the court's quicken up every day a little bit more, here in New York, rather than at the start when you first get here when guys haven't hit on the courts that much, there hasn't been that much play, probably a little bit slower. I think it's quickened up a little bit over the last couple days already.

Q. You'd expect to like the courts a bit more the longer you go?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Maybe. I'm not complaining about the pace they're at at the moment.

Q. Do you approach this Slam differently to the other three? If so, how?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really, no. All the Slams I approach with the same mindset. For me it's important not to look too far ahead, focus on who you got to play at the start, doing all the right things preparation-wise.
All the slams are as important as any. You know, obviously this is a special place for me, where I first won it. Yeah, I always look forward to coming back and playing here.

Q. What sort of influence has Rochey had on your game in the short time you've been, working with him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Just a little bit in terms of we trained a couple weeks in Sydney, which was good, some hard work. Yeah, he's got some ideas for my game that probably won't come out right at the moment. It's more probably six months, a year away, hopefully I'll be playing my best tennis.
You know, hopefully I'm on the right track at the moment.

Q. How you going to liaise with him while you're here? Just telephone?

LLEYTON HEWITT: We'll go to the commentary booth, set up a video thing (laughter).
No, just phone.

Q. Conference call?

LLEYTON HEWITT: That's about it. I'll talk to him now and then.

Q. Was there any thought to having him here?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No. He wasn't coming here no matter who he was with. He's got another grandchild being born in the next few days. That was always a plan, months and months ago, whether it was with Roger or anyone else.

Q. Obviously been a while since you've won a Slam. Slim pickings the last couple years with Nadal and Federer. Must still have quite an appetite for one more?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely. I'd love nothing more than to win another Slam. Yeah, there's not that many guys I think that are capable of winning them, to tell you the truth. There's outside guys that are capable of making semis, finals, making a bit of a run.
But obviously, as you said, Federer in three out of the four has been the standout, and Rafa has been the standout in the other one. The last three, four, five years, those two guys have dominated the Grand Slams, the big tournaments.
You see a couple of good runs from González, Baghdatis, these guys. Apart from that, there really hasn't been a standout to an actual real contender.
I obviously put myself up there when I'm playing my best just behind those guys, so...

Q. Nice to be on the other side of the draw to Roger?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, yeah. If I'm going to win the tournament you're probably going to have to play him sometime (smiling), whether it's the round of 16 or final.

Q. It would be nice in the final?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It would be nice. Sometimes he plays his best tennis in the finals, too.
Yeah, at this stage, Djokovic is actually in my section. If I get a crack at him, it would be nice.

Q. Would you put Andy Roddick in that group of those who have a shot here?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Absolutely. He plays his best tennis probably on this surface I think in these conditions. So, you know, he's definitely in that next group. Roger's obviously the favorite. Andy I'd say is in that next group just under him. He made the final here last year. He obviously plays pretty well under Connors. Connors likes this place, as well.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


August 28, 2007, 1st Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Amer Delic 6-2 6-4 6-2


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What are some of the things you think Delic needs to tighten up in his game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm not sure. I haven't seen him play that much in the past. Yeah, he's obviously had some good tournaments. Beat Davydenko in Miami earlier this year.
Yeah, he's a dangerous player. If you let him dictate play, that's when he plays his best tennis.
He's very free-flying out there, but you've got to try to keep him moving around and off balance as much as possible. I felt like today I was able to do that.

Q. Is this as good as you've felt on the court, off the court, health-wise, coming into a Slam in a while?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, you know, I felt pretty good going into Wimbledon this year as well, hitting the ball wise. Since Hamburg, I've been hitting the ball pretty well week in and week out.
It makes it a lot easier when the body, you know, is going to hold up out there as well, not having niggling injuries every second week.
I feel like I've been able to do the practice I've wanted to do. At the moment it's paying off.

Q. Look like you're enjoying it more than you have in a while. Is that a consequence of all the results?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, probably. When you feel confident within yourself, you're happy with where your game's at, you enjoy it a lot more.

Q. Your video conference call with Rochey you're going to have, did he tell you to get to the net?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. You guys just keep writing it.

Q. Obviously making more approaches to the net. You were quite successful at it today.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a lot depends on the opponent. Delic is the kind of guy, you give him the half opportunity he's going to take it, come to the net, put pressure on you. He doesn't have the best passing shots out there.
So it was a matter of me mixing it up when I had the opportunity, come in on his backhand, make him press. Quite often, playing Roger out there, the same ball comes up you won't be approaching it the same way. A lot depends on the opponent, who you're playing. Today it was a good tactic.

Q. You seemed to vary your service speed a bit today. Was that part of the strategy, not let him settle in?

LLEYTON HEWITT: A little bit. I tried to mix myself up to use it smartly, work the angles, not let him get into a rhythm out there where he feels like he can just go for it, lash out on a few. A few come off, then you're down breakpoints all of a sudden.
I felt like I mixed it up well. I hit some good kick serves which opened up the forehand court. I felt like I was playing on my terms.

Q. When you've been through some changes, does having been No. 1, having won slams, does that really help you in a first or second round, or does that put more pressure on you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It probably helps I think. You know, Delic was always going to be a tough opponent I think for a lot of seeded guys first round, playing in his home Grand Slam, yeah, out on a big court with nothing to lose. That probably puts a little more pressure on me.
But I felt comfortable enough if I went out there and did what I needed to do, executed the way that I did, that things were going to go in my favor.

Q. How long ago does 2001 seem for you? How different are you? Where do you regard your career right now, what you want to do?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It feels quite a while ago, I guess. In other ways, it doesn't feel that long ago (smiling). It's a strange feeling.
But I've had so much success here, even though I haven't won since then, making finals, semis or quarters since.
Yeah, where my game is at, apart from Roger and Rafa, like we keep talking about every press conference, they've been the two dominant players in the Slams over the last four or five years. No one really has had a chance to win any of the other slams basically.
That's what my goal is. That's what you keep striving towards, working for. Hopefully it will be around the corner.

Q. Faith is a strange word to use in terms of tennis matches. Do you have faith you're going to win another Slam?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I believe that, yeah, it's in me, that's for sure. I think I'm good enough to.

Q. The last match you played against Roger, does that give you that bit more confidence that you're getting closer there?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit. Yeah, it does. In terms of obviously some of the losses I've had, I lost to him in the final the year he won it here. He was too good. Apart from the first and third sets, he killed me out there. The second set I had some opportunities.
Cincinnati I had chances throughout the match. Every set I had opportunities to break, put pressure on. Even though I lost straight sets Montréal, felt the same way. Had a lot of opportunities. He just played extremely confident on the big points when he needed to. Sort of second nature for him. He does that week in and week out now.

Q. Are you travelling with wife and child?


Q. What is that like?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's good fun.

Q. Any bothers? Any traumas?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No. She's easy-going.

Q. Sleeping well, doesn't bother you?


Q. I can see in your face you're enjoying it.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's good fun. I enjoy it.

Q. What do you learn from her?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Learn from her?

Q. Yes.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Watching a lot of kid's DVDs. Learning a lot about Mickey Mouse. Little Einstein, the Wiggles. I know all the Wiggles.

Q. Has being a father brought something to your career?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I guess you focus on organizing flights, accommodating everything around her. It used to be around me and my tennis more. Pretty much everything is solely around her, what's best for her needs. Then I sort of work my schedule around that.

Q. Do you think she's mellowed you out a it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really (smiling).

Q. Has she made you a better person?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't know. Maybe my wife did that. I don't know.

Q. When you talk about Roger, playing the big points with such confidence, presumably there was a time when you did the same thing. Do you have a memory when you felt you were on top of the world?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I guess sometimes you go into big matches, 30-All, breakpoint down, autopilot and it comes off for you. You've done it that many times week in, week out in big matches, it is second nature for you.
Roger's had a long time of that, though. Four or five years of doing it on big points. But, you know, he keeps doing it. Seems like he can keep doing it. That's why he's the standout best player at the moment.

Q. I don't know Patrick Rafter's status in terms of where he lives. Would you ever call up Rafter and have a hit with him or would he call you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't think he really wants to hit tennis balls. A hit of golf, we'd have. Plenty of those.

Q. Wouldn't want to call him up, see what he can do?

LLEYTON HEWITT: We've spoken about hitting when I was tuck for a hit sometimes. It's not the first thing he wants to do, I don't think. He'd probably just stand in a corner. He wouldn't want to be moved around.

Q. What happens when you play golf?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Golf, he's had a lot more time to practice it than me over the last five or six years, so he's better than me.

Q. Obviously there's been stuff about gambling, questions about that on tour this summer. Paul Goldstein yesterday said he'd been contacted. You're a long-time guy. Had you ever had any contact or any thinking during a match something weird is going on or do you think it's a one-off situation?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Personally I've never been contacted. No one's ever spoken to me in the locker room or outside the locker room. For me it's a little strange when I hear stuff like that, that Paul Goldstein got contacted. Llodra, these kind of guys. It's the first time I've ever heard of anything like it.
Yeah, obviously gambling's a big thing now. It's a big deal around the world. Tennis is a two-horse race in a lot of ways. Obviously it's going to be interesting to see what happens in the Davydenko case. See where we go from there.

Q. Do you actually think it's a problem that must be dealt with strongly?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, in terms of tennis, personally I don't think there's been many problems in the past that I've seen or that stand out, I guess. Obviously from what I've read in this one situation, one match, yeah, it does seem a little strange. The reasons behind it no one really knows at the moment.
I think the ATP's doing all they really could at this stage to find out or get to the bottom of it.

Q. You arranged special practice in regard to Delic's serve. How did that help you today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I just got in a good rhythm over the last couple days. Hit with Isner, who is obviously a talented guy with a massive serve. I hit with Sam Querrey yesterday, another up-and-coming American with a big serve.
Yeah, I just felt like I was seeing the ball well return-wise, which is a big part of my game. I felt like I had my position in the court where I wanted to stand. Right from the start today I was on his first serve.
I felt like he had to change the way he was serving out there if he wanted to get a couple of cheap points, which was good.

Q. Having Darren around you, encouraging you, at the time when he used to coach you till now, has he sort of changed the way he looks at thing, given you advice from when he was with Agassi?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, basically he hasn't probably changed that much, I don't think. He's probably learned a lot from Andre, though, I think, as anyone working with a guy like Andre that has been around for so many years, different situations.
So, yeah, he's got definitely small things he's picked up from Andre that you can definitely pick up on and helps out. But, yeah, it's been great working with him.

Q. Are those things that have helped you in your game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think small things, yeah. As soon as the Davis Cup in Belgium, I felt like I got out of him there. Played a great match at the end of the week against Rochus when I needed to win in the fourth rubber.
Since then he's been around doing commentary at Indian Wells, Miami, those tournaments. Yeah, when we've gone out on the practice court I felt like there's been a purpose. Every time we were going out there we were trying to work on something.
It's the same with Rochey. The two weeks I spent with Rochey at home, there was a purpose in everything I was doing. It's good to get back to that.

Q. What did you alter in your receiving position against Delic?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I didn't alter anything. It was just a matter of getting in that rhythm of serving, the ball's coming through a little higher than a lot of guys out there. He's got a good kick serve, big kick serve, which you've got to play strength up high above your shoulders.
It was more a matter of just seeing that pace coming through in the last couple days with good practice form.

Q. When you were no longer No. 1, did it take a mental adjustment to not be disheartened?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. Every time I step on the court, whether I'm No. 1 or 18 on the rise or now, I always busted everything out there to put my best foot forward on the match court and in the practice. So mentally it hasn't changed.

Q. You weren't discouraged?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not at all.

Q. You've obviously handled some great servers in the history of the game. Some people have said Isner's is one of the best already. Where do you place it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I broke him twice in practice (smiling).
It's good. There's no doubt about that. One of the biggest things is because of the height that it comes down. It's like playing Karlovic. From the back of the court he was better than I thought he was going to be.
He moved pretty well for his size. I think he's still got a little bit to learn probably about playing points and situations, big matches, even in practice on big points, shot selection, stuff like that. I think his serve can still get better. He's a good prospect. He seemed like a nice kid, as well.

Q. On the coaches front, you have access to Darren, Rochey, two of the best in the business. Is it fair to say you've got the best deal in tennis at the moment?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, it's good. They're obviously close mates. I feel comfortable talking about anything with both of them. In terms of tennis-wise, their knowledge is as good as anyone around. It's good for me, it really is. I enjoy both of them.

Q. Having a look forward now, you have Seppi or Calleri. Talk about the challenges they bring.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Different match to today. Both of them play slightly different, as well. Calleri is probably a bit more of a shot-maker. Seppi will run down a lot of balls, try to use your pace a bit more, plays a bit more percentage tennis than Calleri.
It's hard. I don't know who will win out of those two anyway. But it's going to be a different match to today, a lot more rallies. I feel like if I can go out there and execute, hopefully I'll be in good stead.

Q. Tim said a couple days ago he could see a situation arising when there were seven-foot tennis players. Do you think there's a chance people of your stature physically will never have a chance of challenging for major titles in the land of the giants this sport seems to be becoming?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Tim's just throwing things out there now that he's finished (smiling).
We've got a couple big guys out there now that on their day are tough to beat on any surface. Roger's not the biggest guy out there. He's not the strongest guy by any means. But his shot-making, the way he gets big serves back, makes it look pretty comfortable, does it easily out there.
I still think if you're as good as Roger, you're still going to be holding up the Grand Slams. I'd prefer to have Roger's game than one of those two probably.

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post #239 of 372 (permalink) Old 07-01-2012, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


August 31, 2007, 2nd Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Augustin Calleri 6-4 4-6 4-6 2-6



Q. Didn't miss much tonight, did he?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, he didn't miss a lot. You know, I didn't quite get enough on the ball sometimes. But conditions were a bit heavier out there. It was hard to hit through the court.
But he didn't have too many problems.

Q. Obviously you've been in pretty good form coming into it. The draw was starting to look good for you. Must be particularly disappointed, are you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Disappointed to lose in the second round of the US Open at the moment. He played a good match, though. Can't take anyone lightly in any matches.
But, you know, early in the second set, I didn't quite, you know, stamp my authority on the match after I won the first set. Could have put a little bit more pressure on him early in the second. Then he started to play better tennis from then on.

Q. A bit shell-shocked after that? All happened so quickly

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, probably just frustrated at the moment.

Q. Would this be your preferred surface of all the Grand Slams?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. Yeah, it's hard to say. I really don't know. Over a long period, I've had my best results here. But I think I've got better and better on clay every year. On grass I feel very comfortable, and very few players probably do. Slight advantage playing on grass for me, too.

Q. What are your immediate plans?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Haven't even thought about it.

Q. Will you be going back to Australia before you go to Belgrade?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't know yet. Not sure. Yeah, I hadn't really planned on anything till, you know, I finished here. I don't know what I'll do. Obviously, get ready to play on clay again.

Q. You looked very much in control in that first set, first five games particularly went according to plan, managed to grind out the set. What do you think was the turning point?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, he was making a lot more errors in the first set, especially early on. Had a little better depth, though. If I hit the ball anywhere half in the middle of the court, dropped it short, he was all over it.
As I said, I didn't quite, you know, play as well as I would have liked early in that second set. That gave him an opportunity to get back in the match.

Q. Once his confidence got up, nothing seemed to stop him.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he was hitting winners from everywhere in the end.

Q. Obviously it's going to take a few days to get over the disappointment. It's a huge tie for Davis Cup, prospect of being relegated, whatnot?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, yeah. It's going to be huge. It's a big ask in front of 20,000 in a relegation match. I haven't played too many relegation matches in my career.
Yeah, it's going to be a tough one. We're going to go in as the underdogs, see what happens.

Q. Djokovic is obviously going to be tough to handle.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he's going to be their main guy, their trump card. Yeah, obviously I'd like to get a crack at him on day three in a live match. Yeah, we'll see what happens.
Both there are guys play extremely well on hard courts as well. Them choosing clay, I don't think probably is their best surface. Probably one of our weakest surfaces. Then again, Lucz's had great results on clay this year.

Q. Are you prepared to play all three rubbers if need be?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, I expect to play all three.

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post #240 of 372 (permalink) Old 07-01-2012, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


January 7, 2008

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton.

Q. You said yesterday you took only positives out of your defeat in Adelaide. What were they?

LLEYTON HEWITT: First two matches I played really well in Adelaide. I was doing all the things that I wanted to do and I was executing it all. Just didn't serve quite as well as I would have liked against Tsonga. He just served a lot better than I did.
I guess a guy like that I gave myself the amount of chances that I probably need to beat him, it was just that I didn't take those chances, and then I didn't take care of my service games as well as I would have liked.
All in all playing a big server like that I actually returned pretty well to give myself that many opportunities. I just didn't take care of my service games as well.

Q. Is your serve your biggest concern like ongoing? When you serve well you seem to play well and get results, but if you're not it's very difficult for you.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Everyone's probably like that. In the game these days there's not too many matches where you break serve a lot of times. Normally it's only going to be that once in a set. Got off to a good start last week. I was up an early break and had breakpoints to get 3-0 double break, so I was doing everything right on the other side of the net. I just had to hold my service games a bit more comfortably.

Q. Do you anything about Mahut, your opponent tomorrow?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he's another fleshy Frenchman. He's got a big serve, decent forehand, and can come into the net. He's got a bit of an all-court game. I feel like I've got to take it to him and see what happens.

Q. Do you think the match against Tsonga, another big-serving Frenchman, will help you tomorrow?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Maybe a little bit, yeah. Tsonga has more firepower I think than Mahut. I saw him play at Queen's earlier this year. It was probably his best tournament of the year really. Made the final there and should have beaten Roddick.
Yeah, he was pretty confident playing on grass. On hard court could be a little bit different.

Q. Going back to your serve, do you think it's improving?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, yeah, my first round against Sela I served really well. I served in patches against Acasuso when I needed to. I didn't lose serve for the match, so, yeah, I couldn't be that disappointed with it.
My second serve was holding up probably a lot better against Acasuso than against Tsonga. That was probably the biggest difference.

Q. Is there anything else is in your game that you feel like you need to fine tune before Melbourne?

LLEYTON HEWITT: This week is about getting more match practice for me and getting out there. I hadn't played competitive matches for three months or so going into Adelaide. Absolutely I would have loved to have won Adelaide or got a couple more matches there, but I got three tough matches.
For the main part I hit the ball pretty well, and hopefully I can continue this week.

Q. Your impression of Plexicushion? Any further thoughts on how it's playing?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Playing like a hard court.

Q. As you expected?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, pretty much. Pretty much.

Q. Some players are saying that it's too slow for them. What are your views?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Depends who you talk to, I guess. Yeah, I think it's probably medium pace. I wouldn't say it's medium-fast or medium-slow, I would say it's medium. It's definitely slightly a little bit slower than the US Open for hard court I would say.

Q. (No microphone).

LLEYTON HEWITT: Pretty similar.

Q. So you're comfortable?


Q. How does it compare with Rebound Ace?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think it's a lot more consistent across the board. Hopefully doesn't differ so much from Adelaide to Sydney and hopefully Melbourne. That's the biggest thing. Rebound Ace you're playing in different states. I played the Hopman Cup before and every court was different.

Q. Do you think this whole thing will blow over? Once the tournament goes along it'll sort of be a spent issue?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think so. Obviously any kind of change or new thing and all you guys are going write about it, aren't you? Yeah, I don't think it's a big deal for the players. We play on hard courts three quarters of the year.
I wouldn't say it's that much different than Indian Wells and Miami. I don't think it's going to be a big deal. I think it's pretty equal for all players.

Q. Does it get a bit boring answering questions about the speed of the court?

LLEYTON HEWITT: At the moment. You going to keep asking this week?

Q. What's a realistic goal after the three months off?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm not putting a round on it. It's a matter of, you know, see what happens. There's not too many easy draws that's days in any tournament. For me, I feel like if I can survive the first week I'm going to be a lot better for it going into the second week and give myself a chance.

Q. There's always a lot of talk about the injuries that come up. You've been preparing for the Australian Open. Sometimes it's been the surface and sometimes it's that players haven't been playing. Do you think it's that so much, or people coming in not playing this time of year?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think it's a bit of both, absolutely. Yeah, the season's that hard that you can't expect guys to finish up in the Masters or whatever and then straightaway get on the practice court and start grinding it out for the 2008 season.
That's the hard thing, because you have to be well-prepared to do well in Australia in these conditions and in this heat. Sort of a Catch 22 a little bit for the guys that have had a big year and played the Davis Cup final in December. They do need some time off, but then again, that could hurt them coming into the Australian summer, too.

Q. You're looking fit and tan. Rochey must have been hammering you after Christmas.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he works extremely hard and puts in a lot of long hours, and I really enjoy working with him, though. I feel like he gets the best out of me every time we step on the practice court, so it's a good thing.

Q. To get back to where you were when you were on top of your game, do you have to improve substantially? Seems like every year the game goes up by five percent.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know about every year it goes up, but, yeah, it definitely goes up I think over three to five years. The game changes, yeah.
Federer's sort of kept it around the same mark I'd say. It's very hard to lift it too high for him. So it's obviously, you know, somewhere that I feel like there are small areas of my game that can help me make that adjustment and to hopefully put myself up there with Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, the three stand-out players like last year.

Q. Do you have any more insight into Federer's game now?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I probably do, but it hasn't really -- I haven't spent too much on it, talking about it at all. Only time it's really come up is when I played him in Montreal and Cincinnati those two weeks in a row. I felt like I played a lot better in those two matches against him, especially in Cincinnati, but I'm sure Rochey has got a few things in the back of his mind.

Q. I saw on the telly today about you and pressure regarding the Australian Open every year. How will Lleyton Hewitt go? Do you thrive on that, or do you wish we would stop talking about it altogether?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It doesn't worry me. I don't take too much notice of it. 2005 I had a lot of expectations I guess. I finished off 2004 pretty well. I finished No. 2 or 3 in the world and then made the final of the Masters and then won Sydney going into the Australian Open.
I handled the situation pretty well, and it was a huge buzz going into every match that I played, all seven that I played in Melbourne. I was just trying to ride the wave as much as possible. I get dumped. I would have liked to have kept going.
For me it's a really enjoyable time of year. I get to go home and watch the cricket and play a bit of tennis at night.

Q. How is Rochey different than other coaches?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Rochey is very the biggest thing is every time we go on the practice court there's a purpose behind every session that we have and every minute that we spend on the practice court. That's the biggest thing. I think really there's a reason and a tactic out there why we're spending hours on the practice court.
We're not just going out there to hit balls up the middle of the court. There's always a reason behind it, and that's probably been the biggest advantage, I think, to having Rochey in my corner.

Q. Has that been stimulating for you to think about your game in different ways than you have previously?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. I've enjoyed it. Every time after a drinks break or whatever we're going out there to work on something specific. And, yeah, it's easy for me to get motivated as well, to want to try and improve as well that way.

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